Creating a Self Care Basket

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been out speaking to different groups about self care.    Many of you know this is a topic that I am passionate about, but to be totally honest, I often struggle to “walk the walk” in this area.  I am really good at telling myself excuses that get in the way of prioritizing my own self care.   There are always so many other things to be doing!

During these last few weeks as I was speaking more about self care again, I was reminded of an idea that I had this summer to create a self care basket.   This idea originally came to me when a fellow therapist asked me about the coping box activity I do with children and what items I would include in a coping box for adults.

As with a child’s coping box, the idea behind a self care basket is to have a variety of tools that aid in one’s self care practices all in one accessible place.   Keeping our self care tools in a pre-determined place will eliminate some of the barriers to implementing self care practices.   We will no longer be able to tell ourselves that we can’t “do self care” because we can’t find what we need!

As, I’ve been thinking about this more, I realized that I probably need two or more self care baskets.   One will be in my bedroom, where I often unwind at the end of the day and already keep many helpful self care tools.   But, I realized I also need tools that are accessible to me in the main living spaces of my home where I am interacting with my children throughout the day.   Additionally, a small self care basket at my office would be perfect as it would be ideal to have self care tools that I could easily utilize between therapy sessions.

What tools would you place in your self care basket?  I’ve shared some ideas below, but self care is certainly an individualized routine or practice, so feel free to get creative.   As you brainstorm items to include in your personal basket, it may be helpful to revisit our definition of self care.  Self care is purposeful action that an individual takes to ensure their well-being.   Well-being can include; emotional health, mental health, physical health, and spiritual health.  Given this definition of self care, what items would you include that would help you nurture your wellbeing?

Possible “tools” for inclusion in a self care basket

  • Journal and pen
  • Calming music (through whatever device you use)
  • Drawing pad
  • Calming fragrances (essential oils, hand creams, etc)
  • Mandalas or other coloring pages
  • A book that inspires, motivates or calms you
  • Images of loved ones or places that are special to you
  • Pampering supplies (hand or  foot cream, a favorite nail polish, etc).
  • Encouraging messages, cards or letters from loved ones (or yourself!)
  • A book you are reading for pleasure

What else would you add to your self care basket?  Or suggest that a loved one add to theirs?   Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below.  If you are interested in reading more about self care, please click here to find other posts I have written on this subject.

Ready, Set, Take Care of YOU!


10 thoughts on “Creating a Self Care Basket

  1. What a great idea! I think it so important to make time to take care of ourselves too. I am going to start putting my basket together this week! Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  2. Brooke, thanks for commenting! I am excited to hear that you are inspired to put together a self care basket for yourself.

  3. Such a great idea. I really need to put one together for the weekends because by the end of the week, I am feeling pretty low on energy and need some “me” time 🙂 I would definitely put some bath/spa things in my cart, music, a journal to write in, and maybe even a tasty treat to eat (like chocolate or wine…if I wasn’t preggo ha!)…oh, and a Do Not Disturb sign to hang on my bedroom door. 🙂

  4. Linh, thanks so much for commenting. I love all of your ideas. The Do Not Disturb sign is perfect! I’ll need to make one of those for myself, too. 🙂

  5. Emily, thanks for commenting. It can definitely feel like there is no time for self care when we are moms! The idea behind having a small self care basket in the spaces where I interact with my kids is to encourage me to take small moments of self care even when there isn’t time for something “big.” It sounds like this would be great for you, too.

  6. Thanks for commenting, Kristy. I definitely like the idea of multiple baskets that could be used throughout the day. I know my daytime tools are likely very different than the tools that I would use at bedtime.

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