I have a self care box at home containing the things that uplift me when i need to feel better. It includes my trusty eye pillow, some oils, words, art tools and so on. I find it useful to have these items always at the ready - a “ritual in a box” if you like, that really helps me practice self care on the regular.
Read on for my tips to create your own self care box!
What beauty do you have around you? None? Say it ain’t so! Can you implement some emergency beauty? I’m lucky enough to live by two flower shops and two great parks with tonnes of local cats and dogs. And of course the sea, which never fails to offer that idea of infinity from the vast horizon. In Norway, i would get up into the mountains, to get above the clouds and to (also) get perspective. But you don’t need to be outside to get a fix of visual beauty - put it in the box! How? Print out what you like, keep it in the box or place it in your space.
There might be pictures or postcards that float your boat. And old vision board that you don’t want to part with. Or some images you might not have a home for. If they make you feel good, nourished and vibey, plop them in!
I'm tactile like a friendly cat and find touch so very soothing. Get creative - look around your home for things that give you pleasure from touch. Duvet feelings. Carpet vibes. Wooden things. Textured things like speakers have also been something i've gravitated towards since being a small child.
If i don't have my fave touchy thing to hand (for example, kittens or pups or a fabric shop), i have a list of outdoor places in my Box (titled, “places that bring me joy”) that i use as inspiration to head somewhere to get my touchy fix...really resisting an a-ha reference here. Some examples include carpet stores and my trusty fabric shops (one of my fave artist dates), hell, i’ll even enjoy some textures in any hardware DIY store, there’s opportunity everywhere! I tend to gravitate towards outdoor things though, luckily the stone filled Brighton Beach is a wonderful grounding place to feel around. Parks are good too (plus opportunities to get involved with some neighbourhood animals is always fun!).
Big on smells (thanks for letting me inherit this one mum), i am literally a beast for any kind of good smell. If we go to a supermarket and lose each other, you’ll find me down by the smelly section, be it fabric conditioner or candles, that´s where i´m at. Unless i’m pre-menstrual in which case i’ll probably be lurking near the bakery for my fix. Smell is a great way to shift your state as it can have a powerful effect on our mood.
Many of you who have been to classes and/or workshops and/or retreats with me know they play a big part in my sessions. I use essential oils but i’m also a fan of concocting whiffs with creams and oils and all kinds of things. Some of my fave´s at the moment include some citrus and geranium for good vibes plus trusty lavender. My Box features essential oils, creams and candles for that scent fix!
I have (too) many playlists collated in my self care box that give me joy, be they in vinyl, tape or digital form. Most of them are labelled “Ethel”, after my alter ego (some of you know who i´m talking about!). These tend to favour a disco - esque mood, however there´s defo a stench of ample 90s and early 00s r&b to be found. I also have my weekly revolving playlist - if you want to hear what music is floating my boat, check out my music section here.
Goes without saying, many of you know food never fails to bring a smile to my face! But experimenting with taste is a really interesting way to think about self care. You can devise a little taste test for yourself using types including: sour, sweet, spicy, etc…..
Also, have to hand your fave food snacks where possible for a little fix. Or try out alternative recipes. Tea is my weak spot so i tend to tuck rogue tea bags in bag pockets (and a box of those badboys whenever i´m working in Norway) so i can have a luxe moment of self care wherever i am. It´s particularly comforting when i´m away from home or in transit - most cafes will let you have some hot water and you can bliss out in a sweet safe space. Alternatively, if you’re home, it´s so fun to create a tea ceremony for yourself. Really savouring the aromas and tastes of your chosen brew. Add cake where appropriate.
Also, in those times of emergency, i keep a stock of dry ingredients in my Box to put together my fave nourishing snack (energy balls). Here´s a recipe for that!
Essentially there are so many items that might work in your box. Here’s some more ideas:
- A Notebook
- Art supplies
- A fave novel
- Stickers (just me?)
- Glittery paper
- Precious stones
- Your fave shoes for vacuuming the house in
- Lip balm
- Photos of your fave things
- A picture of your fave puddings (mine’s on my work desk FYI)
- A mixtape from your 90s teen years
- Yoga mat
- Cards you’ve received
- Anything sentimental that makes you feel good
Lists - of good people you can call if you feel like it, of movies that you adore, of great memories, of puddings (again…), of your fave 80s pinups (again, just me?), achievements you’re proud of, places you want to go, things you want to eat…..etc.
You can also create “mini self care Boxes” and place them in areas that you need. For example, by my bed i have a self care snooze-ease box, containing (another!) eye pillow, some frankincense oil, magnesium in various forms and some lotion. Other places to keep Boxes might be at the office, or a mini one to carry with you each day.
I translate the Self Care Box to my online life too:
- A playlist of my fave shows on Netflix that include Ru Pauls Drag Race and A Different World.
- A Youtube playlist of the things i need to feel better (documentaries, cats and animals in general really…)
- Cheesy tv shows, the ones from the States tend to be the best in this very niche, very comforting genre.
- Pinterest - I have (too many) secret Pinterest boards. Here´s one that i spend time on when i need a pastel beauty fix for example... or this trusty place for my animal friends. I also have lists where i store things like places i want to eat, animals i´d like to touch, my very sacred Prince shrine, art i like... you get the idea!
- I head to Spotify for an immediate top up and to shift my state via the (notorious) bathroom disco.
- If i’m feeling semi social, spaces like Instagram are fun too, for connecting to beauty every day and choosing to follow people that uplift and inspire. And unfollowing those who don´t. Keep it positive and supportive, surrounding yourself with the things you need. Keep a note of the hashtags that float your boat.
And if being online feels like a drag, take some inspiration from my lovely friend Chris who takes the most amazing photographs- he makes slideshows on his screensaver so he can bliss out to beauty. Yeah!
There are so many ways to create a self care box - don´t be afraid to think *ahem* outside the box and smear self care into your everyday environments as and when you need.
I hope this helps you feel inspired to create your own Box and use it every day!
Take care of you.