Tuesday, 30 May 2017

DIY self-care box

A self-soothe box, a happy box, a mental health box; call it what you like, these boxes have one purpose and that purpose is to cheer you up when you’re in a down and out slump. It’s an “I love you” to yourself – Something for you to create with the knowledge that it’s going to help you one day. This is such a great resource for you to have at your fingertips and it’s SO easy for you to make.
Let’s face it, we all have our down days and we all need cheering up; this is a great way for you to be your own bestfriend and look after yourself in those moments.

To help you, I decided to put this post together which includes the ‘top eight must haves’ for your self-soothe box. Now, before we start on what’s going in your box, you need to actually have a box. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere (promise). I’ll just pop and make a coffee whilst you go and find the box that you’re going to use, this can be a shoe box, a gift box; Literally anything. Go get creative.

1.       The first thing that you want to see when you open your ‘Self-Soothe Box’ is a ‘Self-Care List’. Why? You might ask. Well, having something that’s quick and easy to read when you’re not feeling too good is probably the most efficient way to lifting your emotions back up again. Having a list that has quick bullet point ideas for you to scan through and pick an idea from is not only quick but, you’re going to be more inclined to actually do one of your ideas. Some of the things that you could include are: Have a bubble bath, go on a walk, experiment with make-up, have a DIY spa night etc.. The best thing is that you can doodle all over your list and make it look pretty, any excuse to get creative, right? Right.

2.       Who doesn’t love play-doh? My feelings are going to be seriously hurt if you don’t because it’s one of the best inventions EVER. Sometimes, when I’m sad, I get very restless and agitated – I just can’t sit still. So, having something to play with in my hands gives me something to do and distracts my mind from the issue at hand. We all know that stress balls have this same effect and to me, play-doh is much better as you can fiddle with it as well as sculpting something creative. If you can, I’d recommend having blue play-doh as blue is a very calming colour. The colour itself represents the mind and is very soothing. Perfect for a self-soothe box.

3.       The next thing you’re going to need is to throw in some of your favourite memories, the purpose of this is to remind you of the good times that you’ve had and that you’ve still got plenty of good times to come. It kind of reminds you that the sadness you’re feeling isn’t permanent and that things do get better (trust me, they really do). Some of the memories that I have in my box are: Photos, concert tickets and a letter from my boyfriend. There are so many different things you can use to remind you of your good times such as: Plane tickets, receipts, awards, certificates, an item of clothing… The list is endless. Memories are personal to you and only you know what will work best for this idea.

4.       I have letters and notes to myself in my box as well as empty envelops for me to write even more letters to myself. I love having letters to myself, especially when I’m in a really sad place as I can read helpful little notes that I’ve wrote for my future self, coming from a point of happiness. Some of the letters I have are “Read me when you hit rock bottom”, “Read me when your heart feels like it’s breaking”, “Read me when nothing is going right”, “Read me when you feel like a failure”. This tip is a very important one as I find its most helpful for me. If you’ve not got any letters to put in your box then you’ve got all the more reason to get writing and get helping yourself.

5.       I know that not everyone reading this will have this book but, you don’t need this particular book. However, what you do need is a self-help book or something along the lines. Having a self-help book will give you something to read through and take notes from. It gives you another person’s perspective and it’s kind of like having a little guardian angel in your box to help you through this hard time. The book that I have is called “The Balance Book”, it’s by Hannah Snowdon and Anastasia Tasou; I love this book. It’s filled with lots of little tips and tricks on how to give and receive love to others and to yourself. It’s all about the positive energy that you can put out into the universe which is very motivating for my not so happy times.

6.       A reading book. The book of my choice is “The Perks of being a Wallflower” but of course, you can have any choice of book. The reason I’m putting this down on my list is because a book ignites imagination and is the best form of escapism. Sometimes, when you feel really sad you’re not quite ready to face up to those issues so, instead you can read a book and have the life of another character going on in your head – Giving you an alternative to think about.

7.       In my box I have an embroidery kit and some activity sheets. The reason for the embroidery kit is quite like that of the play-doh, it gives you something to do with your hands as well as giving you a source of creativity. There’s many self-hateful and self-destructive things we can do to ourselves when we’re sad so, why not channel that energy into something creative? I really advise having activity sheets in your box as they’re quick and easy to do and give your mind a five minute break. Activity sheets could be anything from writing a list to planning your future. I've gathered some activity sheets for you here, here and here.

8.       The final thing that you need to include in your self-soothe box is a colouring book with your preference of what you want to use to colour, that could be: crayons, pencils, paint, pens etc.. Colouring is a great thing to do to calm the thoughts rushing around your head and again, channel your emotions into creativity. It’s been found that colouring helps with boredom, lack of structure and stress. As well as this, it can really help you if you suffer from PTSD or/and anxiety. It also utilises the area of your brain that enhances concentration. If they’re not enough reason to prove to you that colouring is the perfect soothing activity then you definitely need to try it.

That’s it for my list of things that you can include in your self-soothe box. Of course, you don’t have to use them all and you can add your own ideas of which I would love to hear in the comments because, I want to make my box the best and happiest it can be. I’d love to hear how you get on.
Thank you so much for reading, make sure to check out my blog next Tuesday for a new post.

Chloe x



  1. I love this idea of a self-care box :D
    I have two and they are really helpful during the hard days!


    1. Thank you :) I agree, they are good to turn to on those days, even if it lifts your mood by a little bit xx

  2. Fantastic idea and so interesting post!
    Have a beautiful weekend ... xoxo!

    1. Thank you so much, it honestly is a really useful thing to have!! xx