Today I am sharing the ultimate self care exercise that mental health sufferers swear by.
This is one for the busy girl.
Make self care easy when you are feeling low, by creating a self-care box for your mental health.
This self care exercise is something that I was uncertain of at first. It was described to me as a ‘safe place’, containing things to help me cope and stay safe.
At the time I thought that nothing helped me, so I would practically have an empty box. Though with time and as I thought more about it, there were a lot of things with the potential to help me.
I learnt that I was worthy of helping myself and using this as a way of coping when I feel myself slipping into an episode of depression.
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What Is A Self-Care Box?
A self-care box contains everything which you need to complete self-care.
It can be there for you everyday, or quietly stay in the background as a safety net.
Having a self-care kit makes it easy and convenient to help yourself on difficult days.
Creating Your Box: A Limitless Amount Of Support Made By & For Yourself
I bought an empty box from a local art and crafts shop, and over time I began to fill it with small items that help me in different emotional states, and items which appeal to each of my senses.
One year on, my box is overflowing and I have a limitless amount of support made by and for myself.
Here are some examples of items that you could use and put in your self-care box.
Quotes or Lyrics
Notes, Letters or Post-cards
Mindful Colouring Book
Notebook or Journal
My favourite book at the moment is Mrs Hinch: The Activity Journal. It has really helped me to de-stress and appreciate the little things in everyday.
Amethyst Stones or Crystals
Ribbon and Textiles
Guatemalan Worry Doll
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Scratch and Sniff Stickers
Hot Chocolate Sachet
Gum and Mints
It is important to cater for the majority of emotions that you feel; therefore your box can help you in multiple situations.
By including at least one item that appeals to each sense, it’s likely that you’re covered!
Most of the items in my self-care box are small and transportable. Therefore I can always keep the box with me and have the safety of having things close to me that I know help in tricky situations. If you can’t bring your box with you then you can still take a couple of things from it that will support you during the day.
The Little Box Of Distractions
In 2016 I was kindly gifted with one ‘Little Box Of Distractions’, a project made by Kerry and Shelley Elliot. Since 2015, they have been making boxes filled with items to help sufferers of mental health and very kindly sending them for free. When I received one of their boxes it really motivated me to begin to help myself when I felt that I was undeserving of recovery. I got the chance to talk to Kerry about The Little Box Of Distractions.
Casey: Hi Kerry! Who or what would you say has had the biggest influence on you to create such a kind project?
Kerry: I have tried so many different therapies that have been flung at me. I was willing to do anything to make me better. Most services suggested I make a “self-care box”. I realised that when phoning the crisis team they would always say “take a bath, read a book, make a hot drink” etc. so I decided to make up a box that people could try before phoning the crisis team, so that they can say they had already tried their suggestions.
So, I decided to use my own benefit money to make 10 boxes to start with. I thought “if I help 10 people that would be amazing” when those boxes were gone people started donating and I made 10 more. Before I knew it I had helped 50 people and I was getting regular donations from my local council and participation budgets. 2 years down the road, we are a registered charity and have helped over 700 people.
Casey: I really respect your determination to get better and recover! Well done for being so strong. It must be such a wonderful feeling to know that you have helped so many individuals. What are you hoping for The Little Box Of Distractions to achieve in the next 2 years?
Kerry: I am hoping to continue to aid people’s well-being; hold popular fundraisers and to do public speaking around self harm within schools and workplaces. We want to provide as many charities, organisations and schools with boxes which they can allocate to people who may need them.
Casey: That’s wonderful! I wish you the best of luck with your fundraising! Is there any advice that you would give to anyone that is struggling right now in terms of their mental health and well-being?
Kerry: If you can’t manage one day at a time, try one hour at a time or a minute at a time. It’s one more minute you have got through it.
Do you have a Self Care Box? Let me know in the comments what’s in yours!
Below are links to websites that can support you if you are suffering from a mental illness.
116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday)