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Here's How to Create Your Own Mental Health Self-Care Kit

Need relief from anxiety or panic? Learn the benefits of having a self-care kit, and see just how easy it is to create your own.

An illustration of a box containing a candle, with candles, other boxes and a pair of headphones surrounding it

Looking after your own mental wellbeing is a goal that many of us share. However, it's not always easy to know where to start. One simple thing you can do is to create your own mental health self-care kit. Having this handy means that you have a source of comfort and relief when facing difficult situations. Best of all, there are no rules! You decide what goes into your kit: tailor it to your needs and include whatever brings you joy, calmness or relief.

If you're looking for a few pointers, you've come to the right place. In this guide, we'll explore some options for what you can put into your mental health self-care kit. We'll also show you how you can make a digital self-care kit that you can add to your phone and carry with you wherever you go. Let's get started!

Why do you need a mental health self-care kit?

If you've never considered creating a self-care kit before, you might not be familiar with the benefits of doing so. Here are some key reasons why it's great to have a mental health self-care kit ready:

Getting started

An illustration of a notebook surrounded by coloured pencils

Before getting together the contents of your mental health self-care kit, it's good to have an idea of where you're going to put them all. The good news is (and this will be a recurring theme!): it's totally up to you. It can be something as simple as a shoe box or an old rucksack or tote bag. However, if you want your kit's container to be more elaborate or decorative, then go for it! Why not try something colourful to brighten your mood, or wrap it up like a gift you're giving to yourself?

Whatever the outside of your kit looks like, think carefully about where to store it. If your kit is shoved to the back of a cupboard or hidden away in a hard-to-reach spot, then it won't be on hand when you really need it. So, while you don't have to have your self-care kit out on display, be sure to store it somewhere that's easy to remember and easy for you to get to.

What goes into your mental health self-care kit?

It's time to start putting together your self-care kit! It should go without saying, but the contents of your kit will be personal to you, and no two will look exactly alike. Nevertheless, if you're struggling to know where to start, here are some tips on what you could include:

Don't forget that this list is just the tip of the iceberg! Your kit really could include anything, from running shoes so that you can exercise through to a weighted blanket to relieve anxiety. Your kit is yours, so make it personal to you!

Why not just buy a self-care kit?

You don't have to search high and low to find dozens of ready-made self-care kits available to buy online. We're not here to say that you shouldn't buy one of them! They'll likely contain plenty of useful goodies, and they require virtually no effort on your part.

That being said, there are good reasons why making your own kit is still the best choice. First off, there's cost. If you see a ready-made kit online, then it's quite likely that you could simply buy all of the contents yourself for less.

There's also the issue of personalisation. This kit is, after all, meant for you, and it'll be most effective if it's tailored to the things that help you out in a crisis. Ready-made kits can come close, but they're unlikely to be just right.

You'll also need to be mindful that some of the items in your self-care kit may be perishable or single-use. This means they'll need to be replaced at some point anyway. Since you'll need to add to the kit over time, why not start by building it from scratch?

On-the-go self-care kits

Our advice above covers a mental health self-care kit that you can keep at home. However, we all know that mental health problems can happen anywhere. So, what can you do if you need some relief while you're out and about?

The answer is to make yourself an on-the-go self-care kit. Think of this as a miniature version of your main kit that you can pick up and take with you. While you won't be able to include everything, it's easy to carry a few basics.

Your on-the-go kit could be as simple as an essential oil roll-on, a pack of gum, and a fidget toy. Just don't forget your phone: we're about to cover how it can help you out!

Digital self-care kits

An illustration of a mobile phone with a photo of a smiling person popping out of it, surrounded by coloured blobs

As we've mentioned above, your smartphone can be a vital part of looking after your mental wellbeing, especially when you're away from home. That's because you can use it to create your own digital self-care kit.

Think of a digital self-care kit as a virtual counterpart to the kit that lives in your house. Instead of physical objects, create a folder on your phone that includes photos, videos, music and other sounds that you like. You can also save any messages that help you get through difficult times.

Meanwhile, some aspects of your digital kit won't have any analogue in the physical world. For example, you can bookmark any websites that can help you to relax, or even group together self-help apps, such as those that focus on meditation and mindfulness.

While you can't replicate every part of a mental health self-care kit on your phone, it can prove invaluable when you need instant relief from stress, anxiety or panic.

Further resources

If you're looking to learn more about all things mental health, you're in the right place. The ManageMinds Blog is updated regularly with advice on a variety of topics, including more self-help tips that can boost your wellbeing.

Want more than just self-help? ManageMinds' network of therapists is here to assist you. Visit our services page to learn more about our therapy sessions and bespoke programmes and see how you could get help from a professional as soon as tomorrow.

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