When I was a student completing my A-Levels, I came home one day to find a gift from a friend of mine on my desk. It was a little blue box with a post-it on top saying ‘Stress Kit’. A little puzzled, I opened it up to it full of goodies; a chocolate bar, a small notebook, a stress ball, some quote cards, and a few other little bits. This kit proved so useful to me during my studies; I kept replenishing it with chocolate and even took it to university with me!
Nowadays, I manage my stress levels (or at least try to, whoops) by making sure I have self-care in my life. This comes in many forms, from having a hot bath to working out, and from reading for twenty minutes to decluttering my house. Sometimes, my stress levels peak or my anxiety flares up, and I don’t have the energy to actively make time for self-care. So, I’ve introduced a more grown up version of that Stress Kit into my life; my Self-Care Box! Let me show you what I have in this box, how easy it is to maintain, and why it’s so important to me.
If there’s one thing that I reach for when I feel a little frazzled, it’s a cup of tea. Making tea is a nice little ritual that helps break up moments in the day. For my box, I’ve gone for sealed bags that can last a while, and I’ve chosen for zero caffeine options. That means I can relax at all points of the day, whether it’s during a study day or in the middle of the night. Because I’m a boujee bitch and couldn’t just settle for normal chamomile tea or similar, I currently have bags of M&S’ Bursting Blueberry, Pomegranate & Acai Berry tea in my box. It’s sweet, zero caffeine, and the tea bags can be used again for another cup. Win-win!
What would a relaxing day be without a book? Well, it wouldn’t be a relaxing day. I’ve chosen a book that I’ve read hundreds of times; one that I know well, know won’t trigger anything, and just sparks joy. That book, of course, is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I have had this book since I was a child, so the cover is battered, the pages and ripped, and it just seeps with being well-loved.
“There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” It’s time to put a pound in the ‘Rosie Mentions The Bell Jar Jar’, but this quote from The Bell Jar really rings true. If I’m in pain, feeling low, or just needing a pamper, a hot and bubbly bath is just what I need. So, it makes sense to put a nice bath product in my self-care box. Right now, I have this Radox bath oil in lavender and ylang ylang. Ohh it’s just so dreamy, and perfect to use before bed.
After a hot bath, I normally like to take care of my skin. That’s so ingrained as part of my everyday self-care routine, that I haven’t put anything in this box about that. However, I always neglect my hands. They work hard, always typing or writing, and I tend to pick my skin or nails when I get anxious. So, I need to take extra care of them, which is why I’ve put in a little hand cream. I’m currently using this Vanilla-Cranberry hand lotion I got in my stocking at Christmas. It’s so luxurious to give yourself a small hand massage when rubbing in the product, taking in the scent, and just knowing you are looking after yourself.
The next item in my box is a little bit homemade and rather personal to me. I love quotes, and have become so attached to certain ones. They always lift me when I need them. So, I’ve taken some of my favourite quotes and made them into motivational cards (complete with nice handwriting that took me an age to do). Some of the quotes I’ve included are ‘creativity takes courage’, ‘sometimes bravery is just getting out of bed’, and ‘you are a goddess and don’t forget it’.
Finally, you gal has a sweet tooth so it’s only fair that I put something sugary in my self-care box! Percy Pigs are my my go to sweets when I need a pick me up; a little bit more expensive that your normal supermarket sweets, but they are just so lovely! They also come in various flavours, and you can get vegan versions, so they really are great for everyone.
I like to keep this box in my bedroom, as my bedroom is really my safe space if I feel stressed or anxious. It stays under my bedside table, within easy grabbing reach and not in sunlight or near heating. If I use one of the products, like the tea or sweets I make sure to pop it on my shopping list, so I am always stocked up.
Having a box full of self-care joy has proved more important to me that I can really explain. To Anxious Rosie, it reinforces the idea that self-care is a priority. It also shows that Regular Rosie knows that she’ll get stressed out and that’s okay. It’s the perfect antidote to a stressful day. I’d thoroughly recommend having a personal Self-Care Box, full of things that bring you joy and calm. It’s so easy to make and maintain, and you’ll thank yourself for making one.