Ever feel like you need emotional 911?  A Band-Aid for the soul?

We’re taught as kids of the importance of a first aid kit to treat minor physical emergencies.  (Thanks, Girl Scouts!)  But what about an emergency first aid kit for emotions?

Often in times of emotional crisis, our heads are cloudy or spinning so fast.  We can’t think straight and our self-soothing is often reactionary, jumping to the first thing that will comfort us, even if it isn’t the best coping mechanism.

Listen, I’m no stranger to the occasional crying into a pint of cookie dough ice cream or becoming best friends with Jameson for a night (or that time or two that I drunk dialed an ex).  And on an occasional basis, these things are totally acceptable (…maybe not the drunk dial).  But they shouldn’t be our go-to methods of self-soothing.

So today, let’s talk about how to create self-care kits that will be your emergency first aid in times of crisis.

 

Why Should I Create a Self-Care Kit?

Because self-care is super important!  (And super awesome!)

When we experience emotional crises, it’s because our needs aren’t being met.  These needs may be emotional, mental, physical, social, spiritual, or any combination therein.

A self-care kit can help us in these times by pulling us out of the initial crisis mode or anxiety attack and bring us to a much calmer and clearer state of mind where we can start engaging with these unmet needs.

Simply put, a self-care kit is a collection of items that make you feel safe, comforted, and cared for.  Things that spark your inner SoulFire and make you feel good.

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How Do I Create a Self-Care Kit?

 

Step 1 – Finding a Home For Your Self-Care Kit

First, decide where your self-care kit is going to live.  It should be in a place easily accessible to you.  It could be in a drawer or cabinets, on a shelf, in your closet or under your bed.  You can even set one up in your home and your office!

 

Step 2 – Setting up a Container For Your Self-Care Kit

Baskets are a great container for self-care kits.It’s perfectly fine to have all your items in a drawer or on a shelf together, but I’ve found putting them in a container makes it easier.

Baskets work well.  Boxes too – you can find cute decorative boxes at places like HomeGoods or on Amazon.  Or you can get a plain box and decorate it yourself.

Be creative!  Almost any container can be your self-care kit.  Small food or item storage containers, loose leaf tea tins, memento boxes, a purse, clutch, or drawstring bag, a large bowl, or whatever your little unicorn heart desires.

 

Step 3 – Add In Your Items

Now it’s time to add items to your kit.  You can add whatever you want.  Anything that makes you feel good, comforted, safe, loved, and inspired.  Ask yourself: what makes me feel amazing?  What makes me feel joy?  What comforts me?

It’s recommended to have a variety of items that touch on all 5 senses plus your spirit.  Engaging our senses can be a powerful way to disrupt our concentration on negative emotions and shift our focus back into the present moment (mindfulness).  Having items that engage various senses can also help if we get too focused on one sense.  It also keeps your kit interesting to deal with a variety of emotions.

Suggestions

Sight: Pictures; postcards; mementos from your favorite places (maybe it’s a shell or small bottle of sand from your favorite beach, or a small Eiffel tower figure to remind you how you fell in love with Paris on your study abroad semester, or a small figurine from your grandmother’s house); notes to remind you to watch certain feel good videos or movies (I remind myself to watch cute animal videos); items of your favorite colors.

Add items that make you feel good, comforted, safe, loved, and inspired.Sound: Make yourself feel good playlists, playlist of songs that comfort you in times of distress, encouraging voice memos or voicemails, a list of inspiring speeches or podcasts, a list of MP3/CD of mediations or nature sounds to music.  Leave yourself notes in your self-care kit to engage with these things.

Touch: fuzzy socks or gloves; lotion/moisturizer (a plus if its scented to engage 2 senses); body scrub; hair brush; small massage items; stress balls; playdoh or kinetic sand.

Smell: essential oils/aromatherapy; perfumes/body sprays; shower gel samples, scented candles; incense; room freshener; Vicks menthol smell sticks.

Taste: lip balm; lip scrub; special toothpaste; gum; tea, especially calming teas like Valerian, Kava (brewed cold), mint, and chamomile; generally, it is suggested to stay away from putting food in your self-care kit to avoid the tendency to eat our emotions, but a small square of dark chocolate to boost endorphins is fine.

Spirit: quotes; poems; love notes; song lyrics; prayers, sacred wisdom, or scripture passages; notes reminding you of meditation and breathing techniques; loving notes to yourself; a list of awesome fulfilling things you’ve accomplished.

Other:  Anything else you think will be comforting.  Perhaps it’s a reminder to take a walk on your favorite hiking trail or visit a place that brings you comfort.

Gather these items around your house or give yourself a little self-care shopping trip and arrange them all nice in your kit.  Feel free to change items in your kit as needed.  Remember, there is no right or wrong here, only what feels right to you. 

And that’s it!  Creating a self-care kit is that easy!

My Self-Care Kit

My Self-Care Kit!

 

BONUS STEP – Making a Travel Self-Care Kit

 

Because sometimes emotional crises do not come at convenient times.  We can’t always be home with easy access to our self-care kit.

But that’s okay because making a travel kit is pretty easy!  You follow the same steps as above, but keep in mind travel size.

For a container, really anything that can fit in a handbag, suitcase, or console in your car.  A ziplock bag or small travel makeup bag is fine (you know how when you get a new makeup bag set and it comes with like a bazillion bags of different sizes… yeah one of those).  You can even use an eyeglasses case.

Now fill the kit with your items, keeping in mind space and travel considerations.  Lip balm, a tea bag, gum, small pictures, notes, or mementos, small sized body spray and lotion, roll on scented oil, note of playlists, a stress stone.  Whatever fits!  (Stella-Tip: But if you are going to an airport be aware of TSA or other agency guidelines on items and sizes allowed through security checkpoints.)

There you have it!  You now have a stellar mechanism for emotional first aid whenever those little earthquakes hit.

 

Have other suggestions for self-care kits?  Comment below or on the SoulFire Tribe – Light It Up Facebook Group!  Share your knowledge and engage with other women!  Share this article with a friend and continue the conversation!

Xoxo,

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Stella Autumn

Founder, Women's Empowerment Coach, + Writer/Blogger at SoulFire Tribe
* Queen * Rebel * Unicorn * Coach * Writer * Lawyer * Witch * Geek * Goth/Alt Chick * Poetess * Explorer * Artist * Hippie * Book Dragon * Ladyboss * Quirky, Curious, + Creative * // I empower women invested in personal and professional growth to discover the courage and creativity within themselves to lead happy, balanced, and successful lives defined by their own terms!

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