With the rise in mental health awareness and self-care, different practices to maintain a good and healthy wellbeing have come into the limelight.
Two years ago, I attended a wellbeing course run by specially trained therapists. Over the course of ten weeks, me and a group of women attended weekly sessions learning many different practices of self-care, ranging from mindfulness to combating negative thought patterns. One of these practices was the self-care box.
A self-care box is quite literally that. A box where in it, you put items that reinforce your own personal wellbeing or things that can help with anxiety and depression. Here’s why a self-care box can be good for you.
1. GETTING CREATIVE
Part of putting your self-care box together merges with art therapy: using your creative side to help calm you down and centre your concentration. On the course, we were given boxes we could decorate however we wanted. There was an assortment of wrapping, wall and tissue papers in an array of colours for us to get our hands on. I chose to decorate mine in a combination of vintage style wrapping and wallpaper in pinks, whites and purple pastels for the outside. I padded the interior with a deep purple tissue paper. The colours themselves along with actually creating something yourself can boost your self-esteem and help to ground your mind from spirals of anxiety, depression and worry.
2. THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS
Like with the decorating the box, you can put whatever you want/need inside that can make your feel better. That can be your favourite book, a nice smelling perfume that brings back good memories, favourite music, family pictures etc. Being a self-confessed bookworm, I have one of my favourite books, my favourite stones (rose quartz) along with some chocolate and lavender scents. On any day, be it good, bad or anything in between, seeing the things you love can really pick up your mood and make you feel better.
3. HELPING YOU THROUGH A BAD TIME
You can also use it to store important phone numbers, such as close family, friends, a support line etc. if you need to talk to someone. Getting your thoughts off your chest can really help if you’re having a particularly tough day. Also, many people who have used self-care boxes have used it to store emergency contact details such as for A&E and a mental health/crisis team to contact if they need help. If you’re feeling suicidal and have/or are thinking about harming yourself, please seek medical attention immediately.
4. HAVING SOME “YOU TIME”
With work, home life, money, kids etc. you’re bound to feel like life is snowing you under at times. Having this box can help you take some time out for yourself. With technology being a constant reminder of work and things to do, it can be hard to properly switch off from thinking and worrying about what task we need to do next. Relax, unwind and have a bit of “you time”. Take five minutes to be around what makes you feel good. If meditation music is your box, have a listen. If it’s a book, read a chapter. Look at the pictures of that unforgettable night out. Make that cup of peppermint tea. This little box can be a real safe haven from the stresses of modern life, as well as helping to ease feelings of anxiety and depression.
5. WELLBEING OVER THE LONG TERM
On the wellbeing course, the therapists recommended regular use of the self-care box. Like how many use the gym to train their muscles, the same goes for our minds. To maintain good wellbeing, it takes time and practice. Speaking for myself, just taking a few minutes out of my day to be around what makes me feel good, all in one place, has helped my wellbeing exponentially. Having said that everyone is different.
What works for one person may not work for another. But from my own experiences (and seeing others who find this method helpful), a self-care box is something I’d highly recommend.