Simple Self-Care - take time for you
This is such a brilliant idea to remind you to build a little time into your busy life for some simple self care practices and rituals - a self care box. Even though I do a lot of yoga and meditation each week, which to me is definitely self care, I also need other practices and rituals to help me have time and space just for me. So I have a 'self care box' at home containing the things that uplift me when I need to have that little slice of me-time and well just feel better and more nourished.
It includes my trusty eye pillow, some essential oils, a book or two (currently poetry that I rarely have time to read, but so love), music, art supplies, pens and notebook, some delicious chocolate, relaxing herbal tea, facial oil for a massage, nail varnish and so on. I find it useful to have these items always at the ready in one place - like a “ritual in a box” if you like. It really helps me practice self care on a more regular basis. I just dip into it and see what feels right in that moment.
Read on for my tips to create your own self care box. Everyone's will be different, and of course you change it over time, its definitely not rigid and fixed. But here's some great ideas to consider:
What beauty do you have around you? Can you implement some emergency beauty? Perhaps you can pop out to a woodland or park. Maybe you live by the sea, which never fails to offer that idea of infinity from the vast horizon. As does simply gazing up at the sky wherever you are - the changing lights, the drifting clouds. But you don’t need to be outside to get a fix of visual beauty - you can put it in the box. Just take a favourite photograph or image, print it out and keep it in the box. There might be pictures or postcards that float your boat. If they make you feel good, nourished and calm, pop them in.
I´m tactile like a friendly cat and find touch so very soothing. Get creative - look around your home for things that give you pleasure from touch. Maybe soft duvet feelings, or tactile wooden things or other textures you are drawn to and find soothing.
It may be smooth pebbles collected long ago from a beach, or shiny conkers that you gravitate towards. Or the smooth fur of a pet (but just don't keep that in a box!)
I'm really big on smells , and smell is a great way to shift your state as it can have a powerful effect on our mood. If you have been to my Slow Sunday monthly workshops or pregnancy yoga classes you'll know they play a big part in my sessions. I use essential oils and floral waters a lot in these yoga session and also in my home. Some of my favourites at the moment include some citrus - often Neroli or Grapefruit, and the deep scents of Vetiver and Cardamon too. And I love Rosemary to focus the mind and ease concentration. My self-care box always features essential oils, facial oils and candles for that scent fix.
I'm still rather old school when it comes to music. I like a physical CD over an online playlist or app, but that's just me. You may prefer digital, vinyl or CD - whatever floats your boat. So I always have a at least a couple of CD's in my self-care box. Currently Tom Petty (such sad news this week) and an old school classic from Beth Orton. For other people some ambient music, white noise or nature sounds work well. Or indeed some silence can really be golden.
Food never fails to bring a smile to my face. And experimenting with taste is a really interesting way to think about self care. You could have to hand your fave food snacks for a little fix (a bar of special chocolate is always a winner in my own self-care box). I also love a really yummy blended tea, so this can be a nice idea to pop in too and help you feel really grounded. It´s particularly comforting if are away from home or in transit (did I mention that you can have a portable version of a self-care box for travel too). If you’re home it can be so nice to create a tea ceremony for yourself. Really savouring the aromas and tastes of your chosen brew. Oh and add cake where appropriate.....
ESSENTIALLY THERE ARE SO MANY ITEMS THAT CAN WORK IN YOUR SELF-CARE BOX. HERE’S SOME MORE IDEAS:
Art supplies - coloured pencils, water colours, modelling clay, pens, whatever works for you
A great book
Precious stones or crystals
Beauty supplies - Facial oil or mask, bath oil, body creme
Photos of your fave things or people
Really good chocolate, mmmm
Some music or a soundscape that makes you smile
An eye pillow
Cards you’ve received
Anything sentimental that makes you feel good
Lists - of good people you can call if you feel like it, of movies that you adore, of great memories, achievements you’re proud of, places you want to go, things you want to eat…..etc.
You can also create “mini self care boxes” and place them in areas that you need. For example, by by your bed you could add a self care snooze-ease box, containing say an eye pillow, some lavender, chamomile or frankincense oil, magnesium in various forms (spray or epsom salts for the bath), some body lotion for a little self massage. Other places to keep mini self-care boxes might be at the office, or in the car.
There are so many ways to create a self care box - don´t be afraid to think *ahem* outside the box and bring some self care into your everyday environments as and when you need.
I hope this helps you feel inspired to create your own self-care box and use it as often as you can. Take care of you. Susan x