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How to create a writer’s self-care kit

As writers, we don’t always make the effort to look after ourselves, especially when it comes in the way of writing. By creating a writer’s self-care kit, we can set aside comfort items to prepare for when we need them.

Self-care is something we all do, even if we don’t always know it. A self-care kit is a collection of comforting possessions that can help us intentionally care for ourselves.

You don’t have to buy anything to make a writer’s self-care kit – just collect what you already have and add to it as needed.

An example of a self-care kit, with a pillow, some books, a candle, and a mug topped with whipped cream set on a windowsill.
Image by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

What is a self-care kit?

A self-care kit is a collection of things that provide you with comfort. Also called a self-care box or a self-care package, they contain the tools to help you calm down and relax when you’re experiencing negative emotions or otherwise struggling.

Writers can benefit from having a self-care kit when they struggle with:

Everything you put in the kit is there to provide relief from anxiety and stress. It’s there when you need it and it encourages you to look after yourself.

A self-care kit doesn’t have to be a box of goodies. It can be a tote bag, a drawer, a shoebox. Some people decorate the container, but others just want everything easily on hand.

Either way, make sure to store it somewhere you can access easily. If you have a dedicated writing space, your self-care kit should be nearby.

What should be in a self-care kit?

What you put in your self-care kit is up to you. It can include games, toys, fidget tools, or even clothes.

Try to cover all five senses, so you can immerse yourself in comfort. Look at what already comforts you. Is there a particular scent you like? Do you feel cosiest in an oversized hoodie? Do you like fiddling with a necklace?

Here are some ideas for what to include in your self-care kit:

  • Touch – slime, fidget tools, fleece blanket
  • Taste – mints, chocolate, lip balm
  • Smell – hand cream, candles, diffuser
  • Sound – musical instrument, marbles, beanbag
  • Sight – lights, colouring book, liquid timer

Your kit can be as portable as you need it to be. You could have all your main comfort items in one place and then pick out a few to put in your bag or pocket when you leave home.

You might be able to find clothes and jewellery that work well outside of home, like a rattling bracelet or a smooth stone pendant necklace. There are all kinds of fidget jewellery, such as spinning rings, chewable necklaces, and more.

More ways to look after yourself

Other things that you use for self-care, but aren’t as easily stored in a self-care box, include:

  • Music or podcasts
  • Pillows
  • Pets
  • Snacks
  • Photos
  • Books
  • Art supplies

Finally, if you’re worried that you might be caught up in self-care for too long, you can include a sand or liquid timer. Simply set it down and either use it to time how long you spend on self-care or use it to give yourself a few minutes to transition from self-care to your next activity.

Self-care writing activities

It’s a writer’s self-care kit, so let’s talk about writing.

There are all kinds of gentle, simple writing activities we can do to keep ourselves calm. Like using a colouring book, writing activities can take our mind off of worrying thoughts and onto the page.

Keep a notebook just for writing activities. You don’t need to do any complicated writing exercises, and you’re not planning a novel. Instead, use it to just write simple, or repetitive, or calming pages.

Here are some self-care writing activities to calm yourself down:

  • Write lists of everything you can touch, taste, smell, hear, and see
  • Describe what’s happening outside your home
  • Write what you’re grateful for right now
  • Fill a whole page with a writing affirmation
  • List things you love in the world
  • Let yourself daydream and write what you think about

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