Thinking of making a self care kit to get through emotionally & mentally challenging times? These 43 self care package ideas will help you build one that actually works.
What if you could have a “break in case of emotional or mental emergency” box (similar to how they label fire extinguishers)?
Well, you can because that is basically what a self care kit is.
When life has already become overwhelming, overly stressful and you find it hard to function, that is not the ideal time to start putting together a healthy coping plan.
It is a great idea for everyone to know how to cope with moments of crisis ahead of time.
One way to be proactive about your ongoing and future wellbeing is by putting together a box of things that you are confident will ground you, boost your mood and remind you to slow down and process what you are going through.
This is called a self care package and you can fill it with any effective tools that will take care of you in the middle of extreme stress or emotional strain.
Not only can you make one for yourself, you can DIY a self care box as a gift to other people! And here is how….
What Is a Self Care Kit & Why Is It Important?
A self care kit is a care package filled with things that soothe you and make you feel safe. It is also known as a comfort box.
When you feel overwhelmed, overly stressed or anxious, your self care box for mental health should contain multiple healthy coping mechanisms that you can trust to “snap you out of it”.
A self care kit is an effective part of a long-term stress management plan and prevents you from relying on negative coping strategies.
Who Should I Send Homemade Self Care Packages To?
Send a self care package to anyone that needs to take a break and/or destress.
This can include new moms that are burnt out, a girlfriend with a chronic disease like endometriosis or going through fertility treatments like IVF, friends with demanding jobs….basically anyone who is burning their candle from both ends so to speak.
Some examples of ideal recipients are….
Self care boxes for friends are a given. You know when your friends are stressed out or dealing with negative emotions like helplessness or failure. Sending them a self care package is a creative way to be a good friend.
Students (Especially College Students)
Students often struggle with feelings of overwhelm and frustration. Along with sending them general care packages, how about mailing them a self care themed care package that they can break open whenever they need emotional support.
Giving gifts in the workplace can be a complicated subject. But, there are definitely situations where self care kits for employees or colleagues would be appropriate. If you have workmates that are facing difficult times like grieving a loved one or struggling with health issues, send them a self care package to show that their wellbeing is important to you.
Moms & Dads
Moms (and dads!) do so much for us and a lot of the time, their burnout goes completely unnoticed. This is why self care kits for moms and dads are important. Make a self care basket for your parents and encourage them to dig in whenever they feel overwhelmed or neglected.
Girlfriend/Boyfriend or Spouses
In sickness and in health, they say. There are many occasions in which a self care package would be an appropriate gift for your partner. Just to name a few, you can add it to a care package you’re making for a difficult period or a care package after they get their wisdom teeth out or maybe a care package for them to use whenever their anxiety spikes. The possibilities are nearly endless.
pro tip : one of the best self care package ideas for him or her is to write Open When Letters with topics like “Open When You are Feeling Overwhelmed”.
Those in Quarantine or Self Isolation
Self isolation care packages should definitely include self care gifts. Think of senior citizens in nursing homes or those that are bedridden, items that comfort them and relax them will bring them so much joy.
Oh and by the way, there’s no shame at all if you want to create your own self care kit.
43 Self Care Package Ideas to Put in Your DIY Gift Baskets
Below, you will find many self care basket ideas, organized by category. One of my biggest tips for creating a self care kit is to pick things that work for you or the person using it.
If there are unconventional items that have given you a sense of relief in the past, put it in the box!
Finally, make sure to re-evaluate your picks from time to time. Are they still working for you? Do you need to change it up? You want to make sure this kit does the trick whenever you need it.
Gifts for Self Awareness
A big part of self care is to process the emotions and events that are triggering unwanted feelings. To do this, it’s a good idea to add gifts that promote self-discovery. These items can also offer you positivity, hope and strength. Here are some examples:
- Themed Journal (don’t forget to add pens!)
- An Inspiring Book
- A Mindful Meditation App
*bonus*…. The Gift of THERAPY
There is a feeling of woosah that I get whenever I hug a pillow with my husbands scent on it. It is extremely reassuring and even helps me to sleep better.
That is the feeling that you want to achieve with your soothing items. The goal is for them to calm you and dissipate any nervous energy.
Some good options are:
- Worry Stone / Comfort Stone
- Stress Balls (Try a Worry Pet in your pocket)
- Scented Candles
- Beaded Fiddle Rings
- Warm Quilt
- Anti-Stress Coloring Book
Ideas to Improve Their Mood
When your mood has gone south, include items in the kit that will bring a pep back into your step. Think about things that make you happy when you see, smell, hear or feel them. Some popular favorites are:
- White Noise Machine
- Words of Affirmation Cards (or print these & put them in the box to recite when you need them)
- Cheerful / Meaningful Musical Playlist
- Feel Good Movies
Self-Care Spa Items to Encourage Relaxation
In this crazy busy society, it’s common to feel burnt out, tired and overworked. This is why relaxation and pamper focused gifts are popular go-tos for self care. Here, you will find ideas of things that will get rid of tension and help you unwind.
- Gold Under-Eye Masks
- Bath Bombs
- Face Masks
- Essential Oils (like this on-theme portable essential oil roller)
- Heating Pad
- Shower Steamers
While it’s not healthy to turn to food every time you feel off, the term “comfort food” was created for a reason. Sometimes, it just does the trick!
Over time and for each of us, certain foods become associated with feelings of care, connection and familiarity. So, when things are going crazy, your favorite comfort food can give you a micro-dose of these comforting emotions. It can definitely help to add a few of these to your self care package. Just don’t overdo it!
- Tea (or Coffee)
- Ice Cream
- Special Hot Chocolate
- Homemade Baked Treats
psst… if you (or they) are gluten-free, check out these gluten-free care package options
Wellness Gifts That Keep on Giving: Subscriptions!
Want to be extra proactive about self-care? Sign up for a subscription box to arrive every month. They are so popular these days that you can find a budget friendly subscription box for nearly every type of person and hobby! Here are just a few examples:
- TheraBox Self Care Subscription Box Monthly Deliveries
- Master Class Subscription
- YOGA Class
- Gym Membership
- A Subscription App for Sleep Sounds, Focus & Motivational Videos
Cheap & Easy Self Care Ideas
Neglecting everyday hygiene and forgetting to take care of yourself is one of the negative effects of being overly stressed and overwhelmed. The worst thing is that it turns around and makes the problem even worse because if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have the fuel you need to get back on track.
Putting the following items in your self care box is the perfect reminder for you to give yourself the attention that you need to bounce back.
- Water Bottles
- Lip Balm
- Body Butter
- Body Wash
- Personalized Mugs
- Nail Polish
- Therapy Play dough
- Stuffed Toys
- Mani-Pedi Gift Set
- Gift Cards – for food and essentials when you just can’t with meal prep
related posts :
+ How to DIY a SUNSHINE BOX (+ Printables)
+ The Secret Sauce To The Best Self Care Day You’ve Ever Had
+ How To Make HOMELESS CARE PACKAGES that ACTUALLY make a difference
+ Unique Care Package Ideas that are super-thoughtful
Some final pointers when it comes to this self care plan / kit
1. Learn to determine when the stress in your life is approaching dehabilitating levels by keeping track of the physical, psychological and behavioral signs.
- Physical signs – holding tension in your back and neck, feeling more tired than usual, poor sleeping habits
- Psychological & Emotional signs – feeling more anxious, out of control or negative
- Behavioral signs – your temper gets shorter and shorter, forgetting things more easily, procrastinating and complaining more
These can all be signs that it’s time for you to pull out your kit for some self care.
2. Make your self care kit portable (or make an additional portable version) so that you can have it accessible whenever you may need it.
3. Let your loved ones know about your self care kit so that they can know how to help you when needed.
4. Use your kit consistently and often! It doesn’t help anyone if it’s just collecting dust!
I hope this post has given you everything that you need to make your own effective self care kit or send a self care package.
What are you planning on putting in your DIY self care kit?
Feel free to tag me to a picture on Instagram! I’d love to see it!