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Self-Care and How to make a Self-Care Kit?

Think of the last time you were going through a phase where your mind was just not cooperating. Too much was going on, maybe in your personal life, maybe in your professional life, maybe in both. You were at your wits end. What is the thing that you required the most at this moment?


Guidance? Support? Love? Time? A break?


Chances are, that probably, the thing you required the most is a break. Just a moment, to escape, to breathe, to stop and to process. This is where self-care comes in.


While the social media today is obsessed by the theory of self-care, most of the posts do not define the need of it and the process of it. Neither do they highlight how to move to the idea of self-care when we are not feeling our best or when the world around us is chaotic (ironically, these are also the times that we need this practice the most). Today we are going to address some of these problems that make self-care confusing and learn one quick way to make it super accessible to us in times of need! We will learn how to commit to self-care.





What is Self-Care?

Self-care includes any and all the actions that we deliberately do for the purpose of our well-being. Well-being here includes both physical and mental health. It is ensuring that our needs are met and we live in a manner which brings us closer to a healthier and holistic lifestyle.


Now, as is evident, the term is broad and can include a wide range of activities. But what is important to note is that it is a process as well. Thus, it will include much more than treating oneself to spa days once a fortnight, or indulging in chocolates. It is a routine, a practice, and a gradual movement towards finding that which makes us feel good and whole.

It can be as simple as practicing yoga for 10 minutes a day, or taking a walk or as complex as spending a few hours each week in pottery classes. What is important is, each person has a different practice that suits them.


Finally, notice the word “deliberate”. A very important component of self-care is doing this process mindfully and deliberately, instead of just adding it in the routine. Usually, self-care practices make you feel calmer and more in control than just being in an autopilot mode.


Why is self-care important and when to practice it?

If we ask the question of “why” we can also ask, why is nutrition important or maintaining hygiene important? The answer is evident: it is important for it helps us to live a better and happier life.


In a world as demanding as the one we live in today, it is extremely easy to ignore the signs of our own distress as well as our own social, emotional, and physical needs. It is during our self-care practice that we get a chance to “pause”. Needless to say there exists a number of evidence on the benefits of self-care practices such as yoga, journaling, meditation, walking etc. These practices eventually become a way to cope with stressors of life in a healthy manner and obtain a better mental health.


However, one of the most interesting feature (and my favorite thing) of self-care is, you can practice it at any time. It works as per your convenience. Even 5 minutes a day makes a difference in the long run. And once, it has become a practice, a habit, it will become easier to go to these coping strategies when the “phases” we talked about come.

Now all of this sounds promising (right?). But is there a way to ensure you stick to this practice? Yes, yes there is.


Making a self-care kit

If you have not already noticed, I’ve used the words “practice” and “process” a number of times in this post. I have also tried to make it clear that self-care is not a one-night stand. It is a relationship that you built (get it? Lol). And one of the easiest things I have come across which not only ensures that I am able to stick to my routine but also ensures that I can quickly go to my coping practice is making a self-care kit.


A self-care kit is collection of all the items that you may require when you practice. So if your practice involves journaling, it will have a diary and different colored pens. Usually, people have more than one thing that is present in their self-care routine and mostly these are activities that help them relax, ground, process their emotions, and catch a break.


A few pointers on how to make a self-care kit:

  • It is advisable to get the kit ready on days on which you are working well. Thinking about a kit on a hard day defeats the purpose of the activity.

  • To identify what comes under self-care for you, think of all the activities that you currently do when you are not having a good time. These can also include things that you indulge in (collect the materials required and put it in a drawer)

  • Then think of the things you like to do daily or activities that make you feel good and relaxed. (Collect the materials required and put it in a drawer)

  • One important part of self-care is expressing your emotions. Think of the ways you like to express, it can be painting or writing or dancing, anything. (Collect the materials required and put it in a drawer)

  • Now try to discover things that help you practice mindfulness or allow you to ground. (Collect the materials required and put it in a drawer)

  • You can also try new things in your daily life, if they work, keep adding them to your kit. Remember, as you evolve, your kit would too.

As you slowly discover and add your items, your kit will be ready. The only thing left to do now is to make a routine (even if it is for 5 minutes a day) and begin practicing your mindful self-care. And the next time you feel “down in the dumps” take out your kit and spend as much time as you want with it.


 

I recently made a video of the things my self-care kit has. You can watch the video here.

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