How To Create A Self Care Toolbox For Coping With Stress

What is a Self Care Toolbox?

A Self Care Toolbox is a set of predetermined tools you can draw on whenever you feel you’re not coping. Each person’s toolbox will look different, but some examples are: writing in a journal, using a mindfulness or relaxation app, spending time in nature, exercising or calling a friend.

The first step is to become aware of what kinds of tools and activities assist in soothing, calming and focusing us. The next step is to choose the ones that work best for you – a good way to do this, is to go with what interests you the most. Try out a few simple activities and see if they work for you. Finally, make a list (either on paper or in your head) of what tools you can turn to when you feel stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, depleted or depressed.

Some people create their Toolbox as an actual, physical box or bag, filled with a journal, a happy photo, essential oils or inspiring quotes. Other people have a list of activities that they know work for them.

Creating your own Self Care Toolbox can be a very empowering and affective means of transforming your state of mind.

To get you started, here is a list of tools and activities that can be useful for calming and de-stressing:

• Go for a walk or run.
• Stretch or do some yoga.
• Lie flat on the floor and observe your thoughts, without judgement, for 10 minutes (you could imagine your thoughts as floating past you in a stream or as clouds in the sky).
• Immerse yourself in water – swim, soak in the bath, have a shower or go to a spa & sauna.
• Get out into nature.
• Learn some simple breathing techniques and practice one whenever you need to.  Here and here are some examples.
• Download a mindfulness, guided meditation or relaxation app and start using it daily.  This one is good, and this one too.
• Listen to relaxing music.
• Have a massage.
• Call a supportive friend.
• Read a book.
• Dance to loud music in your lounge room.
• Eat something super healthy.
• Do something creative you enjoy, just because (gardening, drawing, sewing, painting…).
• Spend 5 minutes moving slowly and breathing deeply.
• Close your eyes and breath in for a count of three, hold, and breath out for a count of four, hold, then repeat five times.

I also think it’s important to mention that creating a Self Care Toolbox is not just about supporting yourself when stressed, but also about preventing yourself from becoming stressed as easily, through practicing some of your Toolbox activities everyday.

Stay tuned for a Self Care Toolbox challenge!

Toni (:

For information about becoming more aware of your stress signals, see How To Recognise Your Early Warning Signs Of Stress

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