If there’s one thing we could all use a little bit more of, it’s self-care. But for too many of us, that’s often easier said than done. With ‘self-care’ being one of the buzzwords of the moment, it’s difficult to know where to start and what to do.
That’s where a self-care toolkit comes in. Simply; a self-care toolkit is a collection of practices or things that can bring you joy and comfort, reduce anxiety and help you relax. Wondering how to go about making one? Read on.
Where to begin with your self-care toolkit
The first step is to consider what you want from your self-care toolkit. Is it something that will improve your well-being throughout the day, keeping you calm and relaxed? Or maybe it’s a collection of things you do or use to wind down at the end of the day. Brainstorm what you want your toolkit to achieve and jot down a few ideas. Use these to curate your kit. Here are a few general ideas that would work in most toolkits:
Try a Lifestyle app
There are some incredible mobile phone apps out there, all built to enrich our lives.
Need a little nudge in the better-habits direction? Some apps remind us to get up from our desk and move around, get to bed early, limit our social media usage, help us meditate and track our water intake.
Looking to get more exercise in? Fitness tracker apps offer tailored tips and let you track your progress, as well as encouraging you along the way. And then there are educational apps that will do everything from helping you learn a new musical instrument to mastering a foreign language. These are great for helping you make the most of your downtime. Needless to say; these little pocket pals can be powerful tools in our journey towards a healthier, happier, more balanced self.
Read a good book
Reading is an excellent way to unwind, so how about adding something positive and easy to read to your self-care toolkit? Perhaps something that helps you grow your self-care techniques, like a book on meditation or maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The next challenge is carving out time to actually do the reading. A practical tip is to ‘attach’ your reading to another event in the day, like going to bed. So, try aiming for one or two chapters of light reading before bed. Not only will this keep you from vegging on your phone – that blue light is a no-no for a good night’s sleep – but it will also act like a little before-bed ritual which can help you unwind.
It’s the small acts of self-care like this that can make your toolkit a powerful resource.
Create a calming playlist
Whether it’s drowning out the noise of a stressful commute, elevating your bubble bath experience or just helping you focus, music is one of the best tools you can have in your self-care kit.
Here’s a good starting formula for curating you relaxing playlist:
• Start with some calming classical pieces by classical composers.
• Mix in a few instrumental covers of some of your favorite songs.
• Finally, add three or four pieces that are composed around white noise and natural sounds like rain and the ocean. You could even find a few guided meditation tracks to add to the mix too.
Aim for something that has roughly an hour of playtime. That way you avoid repeating the same song over again, which could have an adverse effect.
Run a soothing bubble bath
To finish our toolkit, something that’s on every self-care to-do list: the bubble bath.
There’s a good reason this is such a favorite go-to. Warm, foamy baths are known to be calming and a great way to unwind and steal a little me-time at the end of the day. And while you’re at it, you might as well maximize on the relaxing benefits by choosing a bubble bath product that has calming scents like lavender. Why not go all-out and light some candles, press ‘play’ on your playlist and read a couple of chapters of your book? Before you know it, you will have taken a simple bubble bath and turned it into a soothing self-care treat.
The key to building a successful self-care toolkit is making sure what you’re doing is not too much work outside of your daily rhythms. There’s no point pursuing something that is causing your life more difficult. It’s about finding ways to tweak what you’re already doing to squeeze in a little self-care here and there, so it becomes something you’re able to do and use regularly.