Building Your Own 'Self-Care Toolbox'

Everyone needs Self-Care.  In 1998 the World Health Organization defined it as, "Self-care in health refers to the activities individuals, families and communities undertake with the intention of enhancing health, preventing disease, limiting illness, and restoring health."

Health through self-care includes things we want and need to feel good to live life with vitality and exuberance.

Creating your own 'Self-Care Toolbox' is a simple and effective way to enhance your health, prevent disease, limit illness, and restore your health.  It will also allow you to reminisce, smile, find peace, slow down and breathe... and who couldn't use some of that in today's busy world?!

My Nurse Coach colleague, friend and mentor Kim Richards who is founder of the Self-Care Academy coined the term, 'Self-Care Toolbox'.  Today I will share what is inside my literal 'Self-Care Toolbox' in hopes to inspire you to create your own special container of Self-Care.  

Step One.  Find a Box.  (No need to cut a hole in the box lol!). 

Any box will do.  Mine is an old tea container my husband brought home from China.  I chose to decorate it with stickers that are pretty and remind me of the important work I do. 

Step Two.  Find 'Junk' to Put in Your Box.

I began with pictures.  Ones that help me recall fun times with my loved ones.  Pick photos that make you laugh, or help you think of a celebration or an exciting trip.  Photos help us remember noteworthy times.  They remind us who we are, and about the people we adore.  This helps us Care for Self.

Step Three.  Collect Other 'Junk' to Put in Your Box. 

These are some silly reminders of the beauty and bliss of flowers and bees and the work they do to make our world beautiful. 

A dragonfly applique from a wonderful friend and fellow Nurse Coach, Lynn. Alongside it, a handwritten note from her telling me that I mustn't be afraid of my own power.  Self-care.

I taped poetry verses to my box, because there is beauty in words.  It also holds notes from past patients and friends as a reminder that I am significant and loved by others.  Self-care.

Pieces of nature bring me back to earth and ground me.  The textures of all these different things, create a shift in emotion and sensation when gently rubbed between fingers.  Self-care.

The playfulness of these toys tells me to not take life too seriously.  I mean... have you played with a slinky or a bounced a ball lately?  It'll gently lift the corners of your lips- I promise!  :)

A fun 'guy' who makes me smile... a mouse to remind me of my cat's playfulness, and when held, I become mindful of how soft and fragile we are.  The 'Holy Moley!' note is from a conference I was at with a dear colleague- on the back is her reply to me, which cracks me up every time I read it.  Self-Care.

And of course, precious Soap-Baby, the topic of one of my blogs.  She is a symbol of forgiveness and love.  Again, Self-Care.




A vial of SPARKLE, because every day becomes better with a sprinkle of brilliant dust!  :)




A lock of fur from my little Skinny-Cat, who has passed on to a better life.  Notice her paw print- she only had three toes- a celebration that we are perfectly imperfect.  Self-Care.

This 'Junk' is a touch point for how unique the people around me are and how life is precious.  The box itself, is a safe space to collect the special 'junk' that expresses deep meaning.  The combination of it all, is a sacred space to come to when you need it- and even when you don't.  Self-care.

Step 4:  Open your box often.

My hope, is that my sharing what's in my Self-Care Toolbox might inspire you create your very own literal Self-Care Toolbox. 

What kinds of items would you like to place in your Self-Care Toolbox?  Do you already have one?  Please make a comment to share your ideas.