A Realistic Self Care Exercise For The Busy Girl

Hello angels! As a sufferer of multiple mental health illnesses, I have tried many coping mechanisms and distractions. I personally think that what works the best for me might not work in the same way for you, but in the chance that it does, I want to share with you how to make your own Self Soothe Box.

A Self Soothe Box is something that I was uncertain of at first. It was described to me as a ‘safe place’ that contained things to help me cope with staying safe and positive. 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 that had the potential to help me, and I learnt that I was worthy of helping myself and using this as a way of coping when I am feeling negatively.

I bought my box from a local art and crafts shop for £2.50 and over time began to fill it with small items that helped me in different emotional states. One year on, my box is overflowing and I have a limitless amount of support made by and for myself.

Here are some of the things that you could put in your own Self Soothe Box:



Favourite Quotes

Notes from a Friend or Family Member

Felt Tip Pen

Loom Bands

Glitter Jar

Mini Mindful Colouring Pad

Small Writing Pad

Post-it Notes

Bath Bombs



Amethyst Stones

Hand Cream

Stress Ball


Ribbon and Textiles

Fidget Cube


Guatemalan Worry Doll

Feather or Soft Brush




Fun Snaps




Scented Candles

Body Spray

Face Mask

Lip Balm

Aromatherapy Oils

Incense Sticks

A Small Jar of Spices

Scratch and Sniff Stickers



Hot Chocolate Sachet

Hard Sweets

Gum and Mints

Rescue Remedy

Self Care, Self Soothe, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Rescue Remedy 

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 of the senses, it is likely that you are covered! Most of the items in my 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 in your day.


The Little Box Of Distractions

In 2016 I was kindly gifted with a ‘Little Box Of Distractions’. The Little Box Of Distractions is 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 underserving 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 help people. Hold good fundraisers and to do talks on self harm etc. 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?

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 Soothe Box? Let me know in the comments what’s in yours!

See you on Friday for a new blog post!

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!

Love Casey x

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)

166 comments so far.

166 responses to “A Realistic Self Care Exercise For The Busy Girl”

  1. MyEmotionsAreValid says:

    Thank you for involving me in this Casey. What a lovely post. Kerry x

  2. Kate Rose xo says:

    This is such a great idea! Lovely post! XKate// itskaterose.com

  3. Lucy Furneaux says:

    I just love this idea; I think it could actually be really useful for me during the occasions where uni gets a bit too much. I have a friend for whom this might also really make a difference so I'll be sure to pass on your link! Thanks for such a lovely post, and such beautiful pictures, too!Lx | Lightly We Go

    • Casey says:

      Thank you very much, that is very kind of you. I hope that this post can help you and your friend!

  4. TheWriteBlog says:

    I don't have a self soothe box but this has really made me consider getting one now or at least making use of my senses around me. I've already done smaller things like put up photographs and put fragrances in my room but I would quite like to get a fidget cube because they're so cool! Meg x the-writeblog.blogspot.co.uk

    • Casey says:

      Using your senses are really helpful and useful in grounding yourself and bringing you back to the here and now. The little things are sometimes the big things! x

  5. Stephanie Dring says:

    This is a great idea. Definitely a unique little coping mechanism!Steph http://www.wanderlustpulse.com

  6. Paola Arredondo says:

    This is such a neat idea and I love the fact that it incorporates all the senses! I'm glad that you were able to fill up your box, at first thought I too wonder what I could possibly put inside a box but it's definitely something to try out. Thank you for sharing, I can see this benefiting many people!theglamouradvocate.com

  7. La Coco Noire says:

    aw this is such a lovely idea! sometimes its the little things that can get you out of a mental health wobble, and this is definitely something i'm going to look into creating for myself. i'm pretty sure my box will just be full of candles and chocolate and pictures of channing tatum…katie. xx lacoconoire.com

  8. Jasmin N says:

    I love the idea of this! I actually might put together one for my self, thank you for the inspiration. I'm happy to hear it helps you :-)~ Jasmin N// littlethingswithjassy.com

  9. Alice Gallagher says:

    This is such a heartwarming and wholesome idea 🙂 xAlice // The Rose Glow

  10. Natasha Hudson says:

    This is such a lovely idea! You’ve given me something to put together for when I’m felling a little stressed or low, thank youTasha x

  11. Jessie says:

    This is such a great idea. I have anxiety, and sometimes I have to practice grounding so this seems like a great way to keep those things I need in one spot!Sorry for the rambly comment, but this was great!

  12. Official Savana Rae says:

    I don't have a self sooth box but when I have high anxiety I do turn to rescue remedy. it's been my bestie for years.. I need a self sooth box though.. great idea and post

  13. HannahLoveBook says:

    I've never heard of a self sooth box and honestly I think that it is a completely fab idea! I sometimes find it hard to calm myself down when my aniexty is getting at me and think I am going to try this. Thank you for writing this post! xxacupofwonderland.wordpress.com

  14. A Little Cup Of Kindness says:

    I like this idea! I use rescue remedy too and the gum 🙂

  15. Aycan says:

    This is a beautiful idea. I love collecting little bits that have meaning and which bring back memories, but I'd never have thought of doing something like this. I've bookmarked this post, and when i get some spare time, going to make one. Thank you!!

  16. Holly Watkins says:

    I love this idea! I've never heard of this before and is actually something that instantly appeals to me. Having something that when I don't know what it is I need to cheer me up or make me feel safe and settled when I'm having a bad day, I can turn to a box of sensory items and favourite things that at least one of the things will help. I have the perfect box for it and I'm going to start collecting this week. Can I ask, how to do you find the glitter jar works for you? And how have you found the rescue remedy? Such a usefull, inspiring post. Thank you for sharing Holly xx

    • Casey says:

      Thank you so much Holly! I'm glad that this will be helpful for you! I'd love to see your box when it's all finished! The glitter jar in my box is one of my favourite things to help me on a bad day. Watching the coloured glitters spin inside and slowly fall is so calming, it reminds me of a snow globe but the glitter makes it so much more mesmerising and fun. It is something that can very easily bring me back to the present moment and it is really fun to make too. I have used the rescue remedy for about three years now. It is something that I find really helpful because it kicks in quite quickly and helps me to relax when my anxiety is high, I use it mostly when I do public speaking or have exams coming. Thank you for your lovely comment!xx

  17. Ellie Tomlinson says:

    this sounds like such a great idea and I’m glad it’s helped you! Your photography is stunning Elliewww.headintheclouds.me.uk

  18. Erin Russell says:

    That is such a lovely idea and concept. I love the idea of collecting things that mean a lot to you to help soothe, I have two magnets which I always grab in emotional times, I just sit with them in my hands! 🙂 Erin || MakeErinOver

  19. Mollie Westhead says:

    This is such a gorgeous post, what a lovely idea! Rescue Remedy is my life saver! x

  20. Pınar Rawlins says:

    What a great idea! Rescue remedy is great stuff! Pinar | beautybakingbella.com

  21. Samantha Bazzini says:

    I love this idea, it's really great.. I've never seen anything like this before!

  22. Hello Bexa says:

    This is an excellent idea Casey. It’s so handy to have this little emergency box when you are feeling anxious and can’t think straight. The rescue remedy spray is so soothing. Lovely idea <3 xxBexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  23. Zara McIntosh says:

    What a wonderful idea. As a sufferer from anxiety this is something I guarantee to find helpful in many ways. Thank you for sharing this lovely, I can’t wait to start filling my own little box.Zara xx

  24. Baobao Tea and Soy says:

    This is such a great idea! I especially love that it is multi-sensory. Definitely something that I have to try – and maybe adapt for my daughter.

  25. PAE Reviews says:

    I love this idea! I'm going to try and make one

  26. Katie Henry says:

    Such a good idea. Wishing you the best of luck with everything x

  27. KateBallamy says:

    Oh what an amazing idea, I will definitely give this a go – I love that it includes so many of the senses. Great post!http://www.katelovesx.co.uk/

  28. Kymberlee Faye says:

    I am so happy that I came across this post. I have never heard about a self-soothe box, but it sounds delightful. I have tried so many things when it comes to my mental illnesses, and not all are helpful. I’m going to try making my own box. Thanks for sharing ❤️❤️

  29. Ellie Tomlinson says:

    This sounds like such a great idea! A stress ball is something I’m definitely in need of! Rescue remedy has literally been one of my life savers for such a long time Elliewww.headintheclouds.me.uk

  30. Kelly K Yuen says:

    I love Rescue Remedy! I used to use that stuff and it would knock me out! It helped me get over an ex and it was the best product I have ever used for relaxing and sleeping. They also have the rescue remedy candy too! Kellyhttp://www.thiswayandthatway.com/2017/11/choosy-lip-mask-honey.html

    • Casey says:

      It works wonders! I didn’t know about any candies! I’ll have to have a look for some, thank you Kelly.

  31. Beth says:

    I love the idea of this! I think it’s so important to focus on the senses when you feel anxious and things xxhttp://www.pagesfrombeth.co.uk

  32. Astrid Kaniele says:

    This is such a wonderful idea! I love going through my memory box as it is and that's just full of gig tickets and the like, so adding some extra things to really uplift you is such a fantastic idea. Thanks so much for sharing! :)Astridwww.astridkaniele.com

  33. Alice Stockinger says:

    I love this post! This is such a lovely idea. I suffer with a number of different mental health issues and actually I feel like I need something like this – a go to when you are facing a challenge or just feeling low. In this day and age we all have so many things but they aren't all in one place and have zero motivation to find a distraction if it's all in one place then it would take that all away. Thank you for sharing!xo

  34. JumpingADream says:

    Absolutely loved this! Since my mental health is the reason I am taking a break right now I think I will definitely try this! It's such a lovely idea and I feel like everyone can put their own spins on it to make it unique to them. Thank you x

  35. Exclusory says:

    What a wonderful idea! I really like this, and your pictures are absolutely fabulous! I've actually always wanted to get a box such as one of these, and you have convinced me to do so now. ❤️- El

  36. Elvira Edison says:

    This is such a great post ❤ Definitely useful info for those who suffer from mental health illnesses! Thanks for sharing xxxElvirahttp://elviraedison.com/

  37. Mollie Westhead says:

    Loved this post, such a lovely idea and your photos are gorgeous! Rescue remedy is my saviour for my anxiety! X

  38. Marta says:

    such a great post. love the photos too!

  39. Girly Gabble says:

    Best post I’ve read this year! This is so so amazing Casey and so inspiring to me! What a thoughtful idea to help when your having a bad moment xo

  40. Alys George says:

    I also suffer with my mental health, and these were some really great ideas thank you. Bath bombs have become a particular favourite of mine to relax with (:Alys / alysgeorge.blogspot.co.uk

  41. Kristen Osborne says:

    I've done something like this for a long time. I have a box where i keep all of the things I've collected from different places I've been or experiences I've had. Just opening the box brings back memories of happy times. It's a great way to escape for a little while, to know that there will be good times again.

  42. Holly Gladwell says:

    This is such a great idea and a lovely post!www.holly-kate.com

  43. elizabeth says:

    Aw how lovely this sounds! I made a 'safe place' pinterest board whilst in the worst ongoing state of health anxiety, it's the only way I could try and come to terms with the hell I was in >< I'd love to try one of these! 😀 xxelizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara

  44. Nerds Numbers and Nonsensical Natterings says:

    This looks like such a great idea!

  45. G says:

    What an amazing post! This can actually be so helpful and needed for self-care days! Thanks for sharing. xGiuliahttp://thehighheeledpapergirl.wordpress.com

  46. Britney Joshua says:

    I love this post! This is such a great idea that hadn’t even crossed my mind I’m definitely going to make one of these!

  47. Tânia Sequinho says:

    Great idea! I never thought of that but I'm going to create one. And The Little Box of Distractions is an amazing initiative. Congratulations and thank you to Kerry for creating something so special. I'm going to share this post and initiative now. :)Best wishes,Tânia

  48. Tajinder Kaur says:

    I love this idea, the thought never occurred to me. Catering to all five senses covers all the bases, moods and situations. Thank you for sharing dear.The Little Box of Distractions is such a wonderful initative, first time I'm hearing about it, but it's definitely heartwarming and great for the community. Stay fabulous beauty! Tx.

    • Casey says:

      Hello Tajinder,Thank you so much! It is such a great project which makes a huge difference to communities.Love Casey x

  49. Tanya says:

    I do not have a box but I do have a list of things that help me when I’m feeling full of self doubt and need picking up. They are
    1. a4 card with 10 of my best qualities according to my daughter
    2. Lavender drops ….. the smell soothes
    3. A photo of my grandad who died over 5 years ago ….. my hero
    4. My first dogs ashes…..he will always be in my heart
    5. A lock of my daughters hair which she lost when getting cancer at 13 …..reminder of being greatful for what we have
    6. Drawing pad and pencil …… art is therapy
    7. Meduatation cushion…..to clear my mind for 15 mins
    8. Paper and pen …. write down what has pissed be off

    Life is an obstacle race …. full of hurdles, laughs, ups and downs x

    • casestreetx says:

      Hello Tanya,
      I am so glad that you have so many things to reach towards to help you in times of need! Wishing you lots of happiness!
      Love Casey x

  50. Emily says:

    I can’t believe I haven’t come across this method before! I love my home comforts and have a box full of all sorts of receipts, train tickets etc from the start of my partner and I’s relationship. Treasured possessions help to kick my worries down a notch, great post!

    • casestreetx says:

      Hiya Emily,
      Thank you very much lovely! I do as well! It is so great to look back on those little things: polaroids, receipts, tickets… I’m really pleased that you have found this coping mechanism.

      Love Casey x

  51. Some great ideas here. I have had depression and I also have anxiety. I have a ‘happy place’ that I go to when I feel anxious. White noise helps me a lot too as does meditation and hypnotherapy.

    • casestreetx says:

      Hello Elisabeth,
      Thank you lovely! I’m really pleased that those things are helpful for you!
      Love Casey x

  52. Wow I have never heard of these things but I’m now glad you’ve shared this post with me because they’re so important. I never thought to have a self soothe box or a box of distractions when I was at my lowest because they would’ve been so much use to me, but I will definitely share the ideas with others I know will benefit from me. Best of luck with it all and I hope that these help out massively for you and others that have read this!
    Alex x

    • casestreetx says:

      Hiya Alex,
      I’m so glad that you found this post angel! Thank you so much lovely, I really appreciate that! Thank you so much!
      Love Casey x

  53. Andi Preston says:

    This is an amazing idea. Thank you for sharing!

  54. Kayla says:

    This is such an amazing idea Casey, spreading the word on things like this is SO important!

  55. Aaliyah says:

    I would have never thought about making a self soothe box but it’s actually a really lovely idea. Collecting items that mean something to you and help to relax you is such a lovely idea and doesn’t cost a lot of money either! Great post x

    • casestreetx says:

      Hiya Aaliyah,
      Thank you angel! I think that it really has the potential to benefit a lot of people! I’d love to hear how you get on if you make one for yourself!
      Love Casey x

  56. Arun Dahiya says:

    Great post. I struggle with mental illness too. And when I am having a bad day self care box comes very handy. I keep my art journal too in it. And lately using the journal to help me to relax.

    • casestreetx says:

      Hello Arun,
      Thank you very much. That’s a really good idea, art can be so calming and lovely to do! Thank you for leaving me a comment!
      Love Casey x

  57. Chantelle says:

    This is such a lovely idea! It sounds great, I think I might have to try make something like it to help me, so thank you for sharing this! 🙂

    • casestreetx says:

      Hiya Chantelle,
      Thank you! I’d love to hear how you get on, and I really hope that this works for you!
      Love Casey x

  58. Lucy says:

    I have never heard of a Self Soothe Box before reading this post! This is such a brilliant idea and way to give yourself that self-care we all need! xx

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    • casestreetx says:

      Hello Lucy,
      Thank you lovely! I really hope that it can prompt more people to take time for themselves!
      Love Casey x

  59. Lauren says:

    This is such a brilliant blog post! I’d never thought of doing this before and have never been recommended it before. I now need to get a box start gathering items. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • casestreetx says:

      Hello Lauren,
      Thank you very much! I really hope that it benefits you lovely! Thank you for leaving a comment too.
      Love Casey x

  60. Savannah says:

    This is such a special idea, and one that is completely personalized. So impactful! Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring me to take a little better care of myself.

    • casestreetx says:

      Hiya Savannah,
      Thank you angel! I really hope that creating a self soothe box benefits you.
      Love Casey x

  61. Nicki T says:

    This is such a great idea. I am definitely going to try it out. I once kept an empty packet of sweets in my desk drawer at work, whenever I felt on edge I would smell the bag which had the most amazing smell, it worked great for me. I must create a handbag version of this box.

    • casestreetx says:

      Hiya Nicki,
      Thank you lovely! I am so happy that it worked for you, that is exactly the idea of a self soothing item, having something which makes you feel calm, safe and happy! I take things from my box everyday and pop them in my bag. What I take depends on how I’m feeling that day.
      Love Casey x

  62. This a brilliant idea! I’m defiantly going to do this for myself! thanks for sharing this.

    • casestreetx says:

      Hello Arganise,
      Thank you very much angel! I hope that it works for you, I’d love to know how you get on!
      Love Casey x

  63. BestieTalks says:

    Such a lovely article! I am going to share this with my sister who suffers from mental illness and schizophrenia. I think something like this could be very beneficial for her when she is having a bad episode. I personally have an entire room in our house dedicated to relaxation and positivity. My “Zen” room. Nothing but candles, incense, salt rock lamps, fluffy pillows, books and things that make me happy🧡 thanks again for sharing !

    • casestreetx says:

      Hello lovely,
      Thank you very much! I really hope that she finds it helpful! Your Zen Room sounds dreamy, my goodness! That is amazing.
      Love Casey x

  64. I love the idea of a self-care box! I definitely need to try & create one as I’m sure it would help when I’m feeling particularly low!

    Tabitha 💗 http://www.latenightsandlattes.co.uk/?m=1

  65. Luke Heywood says:

    This is such a good idea.
    What a lovely post.

    Luke | http://www.lukeheywoodstyle.co.uk

  66. Robyn says:

    I’ve heard of a little box of distractions but I hadn’t heard of a self soothe box and I absolutely love this idea! I’ve had anxiety for what feels like all my life and it can sometimes be a really overwhelming feeling so I feel like this would be something I would really benefit from! Thank you so much for sharing
    Robyn // http://www.midnightandlace.co.uk

    • casestreetx says:

      Hiya Robyn,
      That is so great to hear! I really hope that a Self Soothe Box can benefit you! Thank you for your lovely comment.
      Love Casey x

  67. Jenny says:

    I absolutely LOVE the sound of a Self Soothe Box. What a lovely idea! There’s a shop near near that sells super cheap boxes of all sizes so that’d be a great place to start in getting a box!


    • casestreetx says:

      Hello Jenny,
      I really hope that you enjoy building your box! I’d love to hear how you get on!
      Love Casey x

  68. This is such a lovely idea that I never thought of doing before. I often want something can grab and just ha d so when I open it I know I will start to feel better. When you have a busy lifestyle it’s hard to be able to take hours out of your day for self care. Great post xo

  69. Lanae Bond says:

    This is an awesome idea! I knew about having a cozy corner for kids but I never thought of using that same tactic for adults! I think I am going to do this for my self.

  70. Charlotte says:

    What an incredible idea! Something so simple yet so effective – I really enjoyed reading this and am definitely going to try it out. Thank you!

    Charlotte | charlotterick.com x

  71. This is such a lovely, thoughtful concept! Thanks for sharing it – loved the interview x


  72. Hi Casey, I think a self soothe box is such an excellent idea. I don’t suffer from mental illness, but I know that there are times in my life when I may have dealt with profound sadness for whatever reason. During times like those a self soothe box would have been very helpful. Thank you for this post. Raheela

    • casestreetx says:

      Hello Raheela,
      Thank you for your lovely comment! I think that a self soothe box is something that everyone can benefit from, even if you don’t have a mental illness diagnosis!
      Love Casey x

  73. Amy says:

    This is a great idea! To have a box or a bag full of things that help us get through tough days.

    Thanks for sharing!


  74. Lindsey says:

    This isn’t something that I’ve come across before but I really love the concept of it. And I love the fact that it can be step one as a coping mechanism so you can try a few things out for yourself before reaching for further assistance if required. Lovely post.

    • casestreetx says:

      Hiya Lindsey,
      Thank you lovely! It can be the initial part of a support or crisis plan. It’s so great to prepare for these low times and to help yourself as much as you can!
      Love Casey x

  75. Sarah says:

    This is a beautifully simple and wonderful idea. I hadn’t ever heard of this but it sounds super useful! If I ever feel down or like I’m suffering with my mental health, this will be the first thing I return to! Thanks so much for sharing xxx

  76. Jessica says:

    “Little box of distractions!” That is so cute!! Love this post!! 💕💕 thanks for sharing!!

  77. I used to hoard the free samples that came in magazines in my box, and then try one out when I was feeling especially low.

  78. Sarah says:

    I REALLY like this idea! I think I’m going to start my own now. Thanks 🙂

  79. Clare says:

    Self-soothe boxes or as I call them comfort boxes are wonderful. The first time I was introduced to them was in a coping group for abuse survivors. Thank you for this lovely post and for sharing what your box is like.

  80. Rachael Hope says:

    This is such a lovely idea! It’s cost effective too so even those with tight budget restraints can get into this. Thank you for sharing, I have some food for thought now 😊

    Rach | https://rachaelhope.co.uk/

  81. Lisa says:

    Great article – I need to start my own and this article gives me some great starting points!

  82. Elena says:

    This is such a nice post! I’m definitely going to start trying some of these things! Xx💗

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I'm Casey, a 19 year old mental health, lifestyle and travel blogger living on the South coast of England. On my blog you'll find a mixture of mental heath and wellness advice, travel diaries, self-help tips and more.

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I’m Casey, a 19 year old lifestyle and mental health blogger from the sea-side town Bournemouth. I’m an aspiring Mental Health Nurse and I would like to help sufferers of mental illness in the way that I was helped myself. I want my blog to be a place for readers to turn to, for advice and support as they are on their own journeys with mental health. If I am able to help at least one person, it makes sharing my story and being vulnerable all worth it.