A DIY self-care box stocked and ready can be a lifesaver when your anxiety is high and you’re on the verge of a meltdown. Just a simple box full of carefully picked out goodies that you know you love can help lower your skyrocketing anxiety and bring you back into the present.
Ever have one of those days where everything, literally ev-ry-thing, tips you over the edge?
I know I do. As a matter of fact, I’ll sometimes get like this for days at a time. Ugh!
And I really do mean everything! Sounds – all of them. Movement – all of them (kids running around the house playing as normal kids do, other cars driving on the road, etc.). Having to get up and do basically anything. Someone using up the last of the toilet paper and then you walk in, do your thang, reach over to touch a cardboard empty roll of TP. LOSE IT!
Sometimes losing my sh*t can be in the form of a crying meltdown over the most minor things. Other times it can be a full-on rage fit, biting everyone’s face and head off who is in your vicinity.
Then I always feel guilty that I’m obviously a terror and a total shit show at the moment and not so pleasant to be around. Especially after I bark at my poor family for doing, you know, regular family things – such as making a mess, running and playing in the house (I have a 2 and a 4-year-old), and actually wanting to hang out with me (everyone just go awayyyy!).
When my anxiety (or hormones? PMS week sucks!) is this high, my mind can’t rationalize. Like, AT ALL. I can’t think of things that will make me feel better. When I’m at the tip top of my anxiety meter, all I can think about is overwhelm and that I need it all to stop. Everything! I need all the noise, and movement, and thoughts, and worries, and sensations, EVERYTHING to just stop and let me be!
So I decided to get proactive and be one or two steps ahead of my anxiety by putting together my own little DIY self-care box.
Having a self-care box stocked and ready is perfect when your anxiety is FUBAR and your irrational mind has taken over. You don’t even have to try and think of things that will make you feel better in the moment. Just grab your self-care box and there it all is! All in one place!
I call my DIY self-care box my “I’m About To Lose My Shit” box and it has all kinds of random things in it that I know will calm my anxiety. Things that, after trial and error, I know will make me feel good.
Here is what’s inside my DIY self-care box. Take away any ideas you’d like!
My DIY Self-Care Box …aka… “I’m About To Lose My Shit” Box!
It’s important to note that everyone’s DIY self-care box will look different. What I have in mine won’t necessarily be what you should have in yours, and vice versa. What you put inside yours should be things that make YOU feel good. And know that there is no right or wrong way to have a self-care box.
Adult fidget toy
This is my first go-to when I’m about to lose my shit! Seriously!
I bought this one off of Amazon.
It’s literally just two key rings with some rubber between them. It spins around itself in a continuous loop. It’s probably overpriced for such a simple design, but I didn’t care! I’d pay practically anything to relieve my anxiety! Especially when I’m on the verge of a total meltdown.
I actually use my flippy fidget all day every day. While watching a movie, while reading my emails, while flipping through Pinterest, while driving…always. I have anxiety always and somehow this little gadget redirects my mind onto it instead of my anxious thoughts.
Here’s me showing you how this little flippy gadget works! (Pay no attention to my chipped nail polish! lol!):
Not to mention, anyone else have an anxious compulsive habit or “tic?” When I’m anxious, I always, always twiddle my curls in my hair or bite my fingernails and the skin around them. I now reach for my fidget instead of messing up my hair and biting my nails and the skin around them until they bleed! (I recently learned that the latter is actually a disorder called Dermatophagia.)
There are lots of different adult fidget toys on the market. You can simply search “fidget toys for adults” on Amazon and you’ll see there are tons of different ones for stress/anxiety, ADHD, OCD, autism, sensory, etc.
I actually have my own 15 lbs full-sized weighted blanket that I use on my bed. But, – and you may find this kind of comical – in my DIY self-care box I have a little note written in there that says, “Go steal C’s weighted blanket!”
C is my 4-year-old. He has a 5 lb, 4-year-old-sized weighted blanket that is much easier to lug around than my 15 lb one. And when I’m on the verge of a meltdown, I go jack my kid’s weighted blanket off his bed and drape it over my shoulders to give me the “hug” feeling that weighted blankets do oh-so-well.
15 lbs over my shoulders is too much, plus it would probably make me even more anxious and pissed as I tried to get it up onto my shoulders anyway. My son’s 5 lb, travel-sized weighted blanket is quick and easy!
Favorite Essential Oil
I very recently just got into essential oils and am having fun learning all about how to use them and their benefits! There is a learning curve to using essential oils so be sure to educate yourself before attempting to use them.
Click “Learn How” below to see all the TONS of resources I got from credible experts in natural remedies that have given me the skills and confidence to use herbs & essential oils for staying healthy, supporting the body in illness, non-toxic cleaning, beauty & relaxation, etc. ↓↓
I chose Rocky Mountain Essential Oils to use because:
- I like that they are NOT a multi-level-marketing (MLM) company.
- They have FREE shipping with no minimum order amount.
- They have FREE returns! For a newbie like me, it doesn’t get any better than that!
Anyway, in my self-care box I have a this small Lavender Greece roll-on. Lavender is known for its calming abilities and can even encourage restful sleep. The lavender roll-on is already diluted with a carrier oil so it’s able to be applied directly to the skin. Perfect for me as I’m about to lose my shit! I just roll it on my neck and wrists and enjoy the calming aroma of lavender.
Using my Lavender Roll-on always reminds me to get up and go grab my regular bottle of pure Lavender Essential Oil and take a whiff or two to get a quick feeling of calm.
In your personal DIY self-care box you could also include or have a “note to self” to use your diffuser to diffuse your favorite oil. (PS…Rocky Moutain Oils sells some really pretty diffusers too!) Personally, when I’m on the verge of biting peoples heads off, I don’t even have it in me to take the 2 seconds it takes to set up my diffuser! So the Lavender Greece Roll-on works perfectly for me.
I have 2 different lotions in my DIY self-care box.
One is my favorite smelly-good lotion from Bath & Body Works. This one I use for obvious reasons – because I love the smell!
The other is a small unscented tube of lotion that I got from the $.99 cent baskets at Walmart.
For the latter I will squirt a small amount in my hand, then add to that 1-2 drops of either my Lavender Essential oil I mentioned above or my Ylang Ylang Complete Essential Oil. The Ylang Ylang is another EO that is known for its ability to relieve tension and stress (on days when I’m not about to lose my freaking mind, I love to diffuse this one!). I rub the lotion all over my hands and feet, giving my feet a much-needed massage.
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Small sketch pad & pencil
Ok, so I suck at art. Like, I’m pretty sure my 4-year-old can draw a better stick figure than I can. And he is just now learning how to hold a pencil correctly.
But I can doodle! Not really in a super awesome artist doodling sort of way. But in an I’m-just-going-to-put-my-pencil-on-this-paper-and-swirl-it-around kind of way.
What I mean is, sometimes just doodling on a piece of paper, even if it doesn’t look like an exquisite piece of art when you’re finished and more look like my 2-year-olds attempt to imitate big brother at drawing and writing, can just be a quick and easy way to take your mind off of whatever it is your anxiety is spiraling it into and instead putting it on paper. Even if it looks like a madman’s scribbles!
I usually will just make circles or squares or triangles or whatever other shape and just doodle them on top and around each other. It ends up looking like nothing in the end, but no matter. That’s not the point. The point is to just get your mind onto something else.
Adult coloring book & colored pencils
Adult coloring only sometimes works for my anxiety. And sometimes it doesn’t.
And that’s ok! Every single item in your DIY self-care box may or may not help. That’s why having multiple things in your box is a good idea so that when one thing isn’t helping you can put it down and try another.
I have a basic pocket-sized adult coloring book in my DIY self-care box because my box is only about the size of a shoebox so I couldn’t fit a standard sized adult coloring book in it.
But check out some of these beautiful, hilarious, and/or motivational adult coloring book options below!
Hint: a coloring book that has black backgrounds looks really cool once you’ve got all your colors on the page!
Ps…I made 6 Printable Adult Coloring Pages and they are FREE for you to download and print as many as you’d like! Click HERE to grab your FREE coloring pages.
Ideally, your favorite book. One that you could read over and over again and it never gets old!
I like mystery “whodunit” books so I usually have one of those in my DIY self-care box. I currently have Harlan Coben’s book “Fool Me Once” in there.
But, I just finished reading a really good self-help book called The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron and I think I’m going to switch out my books for the time being! I could seriously read Aron’s book over and over again because it was so insightful for me, being that I am an HSP as well as an Introvert.
An already-written list of things that make you happy
When you’re in the middle of an anxious spiral, it’s damn near impossible to think of anything positive, let alone think of things that make you happy.
So, write out a list of things you enjoy – that put a smile on your face – and put it in your DIY self-care box long before you’re in the dreadful quicksand of an anxiety spiral!
Be sure to write out things that aren’t the obvious – family, kids, etc. Put some real thought into it. 😉
You can read my list of random things that make me happy HERE if you need some ideas.
Your Journal and/or your Gratitude Journal
I like to journal. In my nightstand, I have 2 different journals – my regular write-whatever-I-want journal and my gratitude journal.
I also have a little mini-sized notebook in my DIY self-care box that serves as another gratitude journal. When I feel on the verge of shit-losing, I will try and write out things that I am thankful for in order to pry my anxious mind away from all things sucky.
It’s also nice, too, to flip back through this mini gratitude journal and read the things I’ve written in the past. So it serves as a ‘lil book of positivity!
If looking at a journal of blank pages feels overwhelming and you feel like, “Um, what the heck am I supposed to write about?!” that’s ok. Journaling for anxiety relief takes practice. In the meantime, get a guided journal!
I bought this guided journal off Amazon called “Zen as F*ck: A Journal For Practicing The Mindful Art Of Not Giving A Sh*t.” It. Is. Hilarious! I have my Zen as F*ck journal sitting on my desk (I’m staring at it am I’m typing this post!) and I reach for it when I am in need of some motivation to quit caring about allllll the things!
This was my first guided journal purchase and the author has me hooked. I’m totally going to purchase all of her journals in the “Zen as F*ck” series!
Furthermore, I created a printable guided “My Daily Gratitude” sheet that is FREE for you to download and print as many as you want! Print out a few and put them in your DIY Self-care box! Grab yours below ↓↓
Why is it, that staring at a flame of fire is so mesmerizing! I totally lose myself into a weird trance when I stare at a candle flame!
Bonus if you get a smelly-good candle, too.
Rocks? Um, WTF?!
Sounds weird, I know. But hear me out…
I first heard of this calming technique while reading Lisa Grace Byrn’s book Replenish: Experience Radiant Calm and True Vitality in Your Everyday Life of which I got as part of my Ultimate Productivity Bundle that I purchased earlier this year – An AMAZING and ridiculously CHEAP bundle by the way! It has seriously helped me learn how to organize my chaos of a life that I am attempting to live lol.
The Ultimate Productivity Bundle comes with:
- 5 eBooks
- 14 eCourses
- 26 Printables!
- Daily Planners
- Goal Planners
- Goal Setting Courses
- Home Management Courses & eBook
- Home Management Planners & Printables
- Mindset and Self-Care eCourses, eBook, Planner, & Workbook
- Productivity at Work eCourses, Summit, Workbook, & Planner
- Time Management eBooks, eCourse, & Video
Read more on the CHEAP Ultimate Productivity Bundle HERE.
Anyway, one thing that Byrn does when she is feeling overwhelmed and in need of some calm is organize and arrange rocks!
She has a stash of random rocks in her DIY self-care box and she will take them out and simply just organize them in various ways. Largest to smallest. By color. By weight. Anything! Over and over again. She even invited her kids to join her in her “quiet time” to help organize rocks.
I actually paint and hide rocks for my hobby so I just so happened to have an entire 10-gallon bucket of rocks sitting in my garage lol. So I decided to try this odd, but intriguing idea out. I put some random rocks in my DIY self-care box, ready to go when I’m about to lose my shit.
Surprisingly, the weight and coolness of a rock in my hand actually feels kind of good! I sat on the floor and moved my rocks around while grounding myself using my senses:
- Sense of touch – feeling the different textures of each rock – some are smooth, some are rough, some are jaggedy, etc.
- Sense of sight – I analyzed each rock, noting the divets and holes and colors and swirls and whatever else I could notice about it – grounding using my sense of sight.
- Sense of smell – have you ever smelt a rock?! It smells of the earth (obviously) but I kinda like it!
I talk a little more on grounding using your senses in my post that gives 6 ways to stop an anxiety/panic attack HERE.
There you have it! These are all the things I have in my DIY Self-care box.
What’s in your “I’m about to lose my shit” DIY self-care box? I’d love to hear of more ideas (that I can maybe steal and add to my own self-care box! 😉 ) Comment below!
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