For the second post in The Passion Project series here is my good friend Kaitlyn to talk about her passion: self care. In this post join Kaitlyn and make your own DIY self care kit!
Did you know that 1 in 4 people have a mental illness? And that doesn’t account for the un-diagnosed! With psychological disorders on the rise, more and more people are finding it harder to focus on themselves and their mental health. Self-care is important to everyone whether you have a mental illness or not. It allows you to calm yourself down in a healthy way and take some time to focus on YOU.
Whether you are just having a bad day, or have a severe mental health attack, practicing self-care can change the outcome of your day.
Self-care is the act of doing things for yourself that can help lift your mood and make you happier. There are a variety of different forms of self-care: physical, psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual. All aspects of self-care are extremely important to your overall being, however, we will be focusing on psychological and emotional self-care.
Psychological and emotional self-care can go hand-in-hand. The majority of the time, our psychological status can affect our emotional status and vice versa. We all get stressed out about something, whether it be a grade in a class or a fight with a friend or significant other. Sometimes, especially during a mental health attack or when we are too stressed to think clearly, we just don’t know what will make us feel better and we may choose to resort to unhealthy coping options. Having a list (actually write it down or type it up on your phone) of positive coping tools is a necessity so when you are feeling stressed, you don’t need to search for something you can do, you can just pick something from your list!
I personally have a list of positive coping skills and one of my favorites was actually suggested by a mentor of mine. She had suggested that I make a self-care kit and gave me so many ideas about how to create it. I thought it was an amazing idea, so I took to it!
Here is what I keep in my self-care kit and what you can gather together to make your own:
Find something to put all your stuff in! My mentor Cathie had suggested that I use a bag because that way, if you wanted to leave your location, or maybe that location is the place that is causing you all the stress, you can remove yourself from the situation and just grab your bag and go! You can also use a box, crate, or some other method of holding your stuff. I chose to use a bag and got mine at Target, but you can get a reuseable bag anywhere. You can choose a solid color, a print, or even a character! I chose Olaf from Frozen as my bag, but you can use whatever you have or whatever color, print, or character bag that makes you happy.
Find things to put in your bag! Choose things that make you happy to put in your self-care kit. Some places that I found things to put in it was at Michaels, Target, The Dollar Tree, and Amazon.
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- A puzzle
- A notebook
- Colorful pencils, markers, or crayons
- Coloring book pages
- Stress ball
- Pens and pencils
- Blank paper to draw on
- Tissues (just in case of tears)
- Silly putty
- A deck of cards
- Positive affirmation notes
- A stuffed animal
- Craft supplies (like stickers, pipe cleaners, scissors, glue, etc.)
(Optional): Keep a fresh snack handy! Since you never know when you will need to use your self-care kit or how long, you may want to have a snack and a water bottle when you leave. You don’t have to keep this in your bag, you may just want to grab your snack on the way out.
Use your self-care kit when needed! It’s there for a reason, you made it, don’t be afraid to utilize it. You want to use your self-care kit, keeping it somewhat organized and always filled with things to do! Go to your favorite place, maybe outside, in your room, or wherever you feel comfortable. One of my favorite places is the gazebo we have on campus.
However you choose how to make your self-care kit, make it stuff that you like and that soothes you. Embrace the self-care Queen (or King) that you are! <3
Download the Checklist
Interested in making your own self-care kit, but unsure of what you include in it? Here’s a list of ideas for what you can include!
Kaitlyn Sloniker is a college student from California who loves helping others in any way possible. One of the things she is extremely passionate about is ending the stigma around mental illnesses. You can follow her on twitter (@removestigma) for more about self-care and ways to remove the stigma around mental health.