25 Things to Put in Your Self-Care Kit
Editor’s Note: We hope the products below help you or a loved one in your health journeys. Just so you know, The Mighty may collect a share of sales from the Amazon links on this page.
When you live with a health condition like a mental or chronic illness, self-care is a must. Fighting symptoms of these conditions can be exhausting, and it can be helpful to have a self-care kit on hand.
While many choose to carry a self-care kit with them in a purse or backpack, others may prefer to have a box at home — or even just have a few calming objects stashed in their car.
If this sounds like a cool idea to you, but you don’t know where to start, look no further. We asked our Mighty community to share one item they keep in their own self-care kit. We compiled their answers below — and added a few suggestions of our own.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. Journal and Pens
“My bullet journal is a must-have for my self-care kit. I have a safety plan for when I’m feeling suicidal, and I have a page on which I track my triggers for my anxiety and depression. Plus, it’s great for when I need to write out my thoughts and feelings when I’m going through something difficult.” — Jessyca C.
“My journal. It helps to put down all those negative thoughts on paper. Because sometimes you may doubt the validity of what you’re going through. But having a visual to quantify and give your emotions existence helps with coping. Since you no longer feel like you’re alone with your thoughts.” — Donald W.
2. Stuffed Animal
“I always carry a small stuffed animal. When I’m super up and down or my anxiety skyrockets, I get fidgety and can’t focus, cope or work well… If I don’t have something to keep my hands occupied then I end up rubbing my legs, tapping my feet, talking excessively/way too fast or I clam up and shut down completely. I am a huge textile person and fabrics are soothing/comforting. Currently I take with me a small elephant that is made with alpaca wool. Some spots are soft others coarse so I can fixate on that instead of feeling like I’m drowning.” — Bailey L.
“I carry my noise-cancelling headphones in my purse which has made a huge difference in staving off panic attacks in public.” — Caitlin L.
“Headphones to plug into my phone. I need music to distract me from anxiety!” — Sabrina H.
4. Acupressure Ring
“My favorite item in my kit is an acupressure massage ring. I can put it on any time throughout the day, it looks like a normal piece of jewelry and it helps calm me down.” — Stephanie Q.
Our pick: Acupressure Ring Pack ($10)
5. Favorite DVDs
“A set of “iCarly” DVDs all episodes and “Girl Meets World” [and] “Boy Meets World” DVDs, every episode ever.” — Donna W.
6. Essential Oils
“Lavender spray I found it in the health aisle at the grocery store. I spray it on my sheets and my pillow and use lavender in my car. The scent helps me relax and keep calm.” — Martha F.
“I’d put lavender and orange essential oils in it. The orange is uplifting and the lavender is calming. I found them helpful with depression and anxiety.” — Aqeel H.
“Always my essential oils. I take them with me everywhere and use them daily. They calm me right down.” — Helena B.
7. Yoga Mat
“Yoga mat. [For me] 15 minutes a day keeps the blues away.” — Laural B.
“My yoga mat. It always helps me when I’m struggling with intense anxiety.” — Rachel C.
8. Weighted Blanket
“A heavy blanket (heavy, warm things help when i’m really panicking, and I can’t get into a hot shower).” — Allie M.
“Blanket because I need the extra weight and warmth… and I can wrap up in it for comfort.” — Donna H.
9. Nail Care Items
“Nail polish. When I’m down or stressed out, I will always repaint my nails, no matter how fresh or amazing they looked. The small yet precise strokes help me keep grounded. It got to a point where my best friend would notice my ever-changing nail colors and just hug me.” — Lexi W.
“Nail clippers. When I’m manic and feel like there are bugs crawling all over me, I scratch. I’ve dug deep before because I didn’t cut my nails.” — Ami J.
10. Calming Jar
“A jar of pinto beans. The sensation is really soothing and dropping a handful back in slowly sounds like rain. Perfect when I’m feeling emotionally raw and off-center. A previous therapist introduced me to the idea. I have a big tub at home and a smaller jar that I can still fit my hand in for travel.” — Caitlin L.
“A picture of my daughter to remember I have a purpose, a passion and someone who I love and to love me back, unconditionally who would be devestated if something ever happened to me. My daughter, who’s 2, means more to me than anything in this world. And I mean the world to her. Her picture alone can bring me through any rough time in my life.” — Mike M.
12. Fidget Toys or Grounding Objects
“I have a mini Rubik’s cube, fidget cube [and] small toys to play with to keep my hands busy. I carry it around in my bag for wherever I am.” — Ash W.
“Elastic bands for wrists! “ — Kathryn B.
“I like having a smooth rock I can fiddle with and rub my fingers over. It doesn’t need to have tension to squeeze and I can pass it between my hands.” — Tatauq H.
13. Silly Putty
“Silly putty.. It’s small enough to mold in one hand, but big enough to split for each hand. It gives me something to do with my hands which can be destructive and it helps calm me and get rid of anxious and hyper energy. It’s also sticky unlike play doh, so if I need it while driving or working I can stick it on whatever and grab it when I have a free hand in traffic or I’m done typing.” — Adah J.
“Definitely like a putty or slime or something so I can squish it or try to angrily rip it.” — Kay C.
14. Favorite Book
“A book. Books are what got me through high school.” — Amy R.
“My Harry Potter books/ movies. ‘Harry Potter’ has always been my favorite escape when I need it. #HogwartsIsMyHome” — Shannon M.
“Herbal teas. They’re so relaxing for me because they’re warm and the herbs (I typically drink teas with chamomile or lavender at night) calm my anxious brain down so I can possibly fall asleep.” — Madelyn D.
“Tea. It always helps me relax. It can even be helped to ground myself cause I can focus on trying to pick out the elements of the tea.” — Stephanie G.
16. Favorite Snack
“A can of Dr. Pepper would be a must-have. It sounds horrible, but five minutes alone and a Dr. Pepper make everything seem just a little easier.” — Devra R.
“Chocolate, Pepsi, potato chips [and] a small pillow I love to hold when I curl up and sleep for days.” — Jane W.
17. Coloring Book
“My adult coloring book and colored pencils. Coloring makes me focus, and keep my thoughts on coloring rather than what is affecting me in the world.” — Samantha H.
“Two things: A blanket to burrito myself away in and tissues. Because honestly, if I’m at the point of needing my kit, I’m already crying and need to mop up tears.” — Deanna V.
19. Eye Mask
“An eye mask I can put in the freezer or microwave. I get frequent migraines and they’re especially painful after a panic attack, so I use the mask to help ease the pain behind my eyes.” — Lauren H.
20. Fuzzy Socks
“A fuzzy blanket and a pair of fuzzy socks. Both will keep me warm and help me feel safe.” — Stephanie H.
“A tub of Lush Sleepy and a scented candle.” — Liv W.
“Lotion. Especially if it’s your favorite scent. It’s soothing to be able to smell and is an easy way to give yourself something nice.” — Mira K.
“I have a kit. The one thing I have in my kit is a container of bubbles I received at my friend’s funeral. Her nickname was ‘Bubbles’ and while having a conversation about my anxiety and depression, she asked me if I had ever tried blowing bubbles because you can practice breathing without feeling like it and it’s very hard to be mad while you are blowing bubbles.” — Rachel M.
23. ‘Boring’ Self-Care Items
“Sometimes, self-care is boring. In one kit I made for my ‘boring self care,’ I put a soft washcloth and some face soap in a scent I liked, some dry shampoo and Panera gift card to remind myself to eat even when it’s hard.” — Madison B.
“I would have to say my phone, so I could talk to my best friend. My best friend’s name is Levi. He has been my rock.” — Lynn M.
25. Positive Notes From Yourself or Others
“Positive notes I’ve written for myself. Every time I’m feeling good about myself, I write myself a positive note and save it. Then when I’m feeling depressed or stressed, I go back and read those notes to remind myself these negative feeing will pass and I love myself.” — Erin G.
“Screenshots of loving things my family friends and boyfriend have sent me over the years, things that remind me of how it felt to be cared about, to remind me I can forever reach out.” — Felix V.
What’s in your self-care kit?