When you struggle with depression, anxiety and panic attacks leaving the house can feel like standing before a firing squad.
When my depression was at its worst, months passed where I struggled to leave the house. My depression held me within the four walls of my bedroom and every so often, I would venture into the garden for some fresh air. It was awful and the longer I stayed there, the worse it became. It became my comfort zone.
Leaving your comfort zone when you have depression and anxiety is scary, like really fucking scary. However, one way to make it less intimidating is to create a self-care kit.
So, what is a self-care kit?
First things first. What is self-care?
Self-care is prioritising your mental, physical and emotional needs in order to take care of yourself. Self-care is any healthy activity that makes you feel happy, loved and cared for. For example, some of my daily self-care activities include walking, yoga and journaling.
So, a self-care kit is a collection of items that make you feel more comfortable, relaxed and help ease your worries. I literally carry my self-care and anti-depression kit everywhere. To work, to family events, to weddings, and even when I’m just popping into town.
What should I have in my self-care box?
Your self-care box is personal to you and only you will truly know what products and activities make you feel safe and loved.
Take some time to brainstorm things that make you feel better. Maybe you like to journal? Keep a pocket-sized journal in your self-care kit so that whenever you are feeling overwhelmed you can get it all out.
Maybe having something to fiddle with helps you relax and feel more grounded? Keep a small, stress ball in your self-care kit.
Allow a few days to brainstorm activities (some will come to you when you least expect it so remember to make a note) and start small. Go for a 5-minute walk every day with your anti-depression kit and if you begin to feel overwhelmed, use your toolkit to feel more at ease.
My self care box essentials
Putting together a self-care box is an ever-changing process. I am constantly adding new things to it and replacing old ones.
With that being said, here are a few items that I recommend you include when you create your self-care kit. These NO of things have always been part of my self-care kit and are a great start for beginners.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m out and about everything feels too loud.
So, to combat the ‘too loud’ situations I find myself in, I am always wearing my headphones. I aim to go for a walk every day so my headphone definitely comes in handy. I use this time to listen to audiobooks on audible.
I started listening to audiobooks at the beginning of my personal development journey. whether you’re communting or walking, listening to audiobooks is a great positive distraction.
Journal/ Notebook and pen
I don’t know where I would be without my journal, it honestly keeps me sane. Without it, my mental health would have plummeted instead of gradually getting better.
I have always been a stationery addict but I never put any of it to use. I would buy pens and pretty notebooks that would sit collecting dust for months at a time. Now, I make sure I use them.
I use my journal to practice gratitude, plan my days and keep track of my thoughts and feelings. Whenever I’m out and about, I take my journal out to either write or read the last few pages. It always makes me feel better and see the progress I’m making.
If you want to start a journal but don’t know where to begin, this post will help you start the right way.
A family friend introduced me to Bach Rescue Remedy after struggling with her own mental health. I’d never heard of Rescue Remedy before but fast-forward 3 years and I have 5 bottles in all my different bags.
Yes I’m a little obsessed.
Rescue remedy is a herbal remedy by Bach that helps ease feelings of anxiety, panic, and stress. I have recommended it to so many people who struggle with their mental health and are now huge fans.
There are so many different remedies that help in different ways but my favorite is the comfort and reassure dropper. I will say, it has a very strong bitter taste, and little sixteen years old me took a while to get used to the taste but it is honestly worth it. If you are not good with strong, bitter flavors then I recommend trying the comfort and reassure spray.
Bach Rescue Remedy has enabled me to become more relaxed and when I can feel a wave of panic coming on, I take 4 of the drops and it eases the feelings. If you haven’t tried Rescue Remedy before, check it out here.
Adult Colouring Book
Colouring is great for relaxation and is also a positive distraction for anyone who struggles with mental illness.
Keeping an adult coloring book in your self-care kit will help you feel grounded when anxiety begins to kick in.
Here are a couple of my favorite adult coloring books to include in your self-care box.
The swear word coloring book for adults has to be my No.1 favorite.
You can’t deny its a bloody good way to relieve stress and anxiety.
Millie Marotta’s Curious Creatures Mini Edition coloring book is perfect for on the go.
If you find your anxiety flares up in public places, this colouring book will help you manage these feeling while you’re out.
These Crayola colouring pencils are vibrant and perfect for mindful colouring. With over 50 bright colours to choose from, you can create beautiful art while calming anxious feelings.
Creating a self-care kit is not just a way to calm anxiety, it is a way to show yourself that you matter. It is so important to take care of your mental and physical well-being and by creating a self-care kit, you are telling yourself that you are worthy.
Do you already have a self-care kit? What do you include in your self-care box? Let me know in the comments below!