How to Make a Self-Care Box for Anxiety + What to Include/ Gifts for People With Anxiety
When you’re overwhelmed, it can be difficult to think clearly.
And when you’re having a panic attack, you’re typically not in a condition to round up all the things you need to calm yourself down!
That’s why it’s essential to make a self-care box for anxiety and have it ready to go.
Monthly self-care subscription boxes can be expensive. Plus, they don’t always contain all the things you would like or actually use.
So, why not create your own DIY self-care kit?
Open it when you’re struggling with anxiety or feeling depressed.
Here are some ideas for what to include. Mix and match to make your own DIY anxiety self-care box!
(These also make great gift ideas for people with anxiety).
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DIY Anxiety Self-Care Box
Keeping an anxiety journal is a great way to relieve stress.
Journaling can also uncover any limiting beliefs you may have that are holding you back.
And it helps with engaging in everyday mindfulness and expressing gratitude – two effective stress management techniques.
This 160-page, lined anxiety journal contains 70 anxiety-reducing quotes and guided journal prompts to help you work through your worries.
Another option for your anxiety self-care box is dark chocolate (yay!).
Dark chocolate has been proven to lower cortisol and blood pressure levels, reduce inflammation and improve mood.
The higher the concentration of cacao, the better. =
And these Bark Thins treats pack an additional stress-reducing benefit thanks to the pumpkin seeds! Pumpkin seeds are one of the best foods for anxiety because they contain tryptophan (also found in turkey and bananas), an amino acid building block for serotonin.
Mindfulness Cards & Power Thought Cards
Stress, anxiety, and overwhelm have a lot to do with your state of mind.
Tapping into your subconscious by repeating affirmations can help you change your limiting beliefs and keep you in a positive mindset.
And sometimes you just need some motivation and encouragement when you’re feeling down.
That’s why these beautiful cards will make a wonderful addition to your anxiety self-care box!
Sleep is so important for our mental and physical health.
But when you’re stressed out, it can be difficult to fall and stay asleep.
Weighted blankets not only help reduce insomnia, but also chronic pain and anxiety. Which is why it’s a great item to include in your anxiety self-care box!
The pressure of the blanket is comforting – it creates a grounding effect and a feeling of safety.
Maybe because it feels like a hug, a weighted blanket actually causes oxytocin levels to rise (the “love hormone”), which in turn lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
Stress balls are used to release stress and tension.
Not only do they stimulate your nerves and engage your muscles, which helps you to relax, but they also serve as a distraction device.
Distraction is a technique commonly used to alleviate anxiety.
When you’re having anxiety or a panic attack, it typically stems from obsessive thoughts about the past or the future.
You can interrupt these negative thought patterns by directing your attention to something else – like squeezing a stress ball.
Self-care box DIY idea: I’ve seen some pretty cool DIY stress balls too (like the tutorial below), so you could try making those instead!
*You could also do this with SLIME (Is anyone else obsessed with watching slime-making videos on Instagram?!)
Essential oils are a great addition to any self-care box, especially relaxing scents like lavender.
You can use essential oils in your bath (salts, bath bomb), in a room/linen spray, an aromatherapy roll-on, or in candles.
A helpful exercise for when you're stressed out is the “name 5 things” exercise.
Look around you and name 1 thing you can see, 1 things you can hear, 1 thing you can taste, 1 thing you can smell, and 1 thing you can feel.
When it comes to the thing you can smell, aromatherapy is the best!
Essential oils help alleviate stress and have an instantaneous effect on our mood and our emotions. And they are an essential thing to include in your anxiety self-care kit.
Lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint are some of the best essential oils for stress, anxiety and headaches.
Listening to music decreases the psychobiological stress response.
It also reduces chronic and postoperative pain, relieves depression, and elevates mood.
I am a huge fan of classical music, especially Vivaldi. Listen to whatever type of music helps you.
It doesn’t even have to be music – it could be nature sounds or healing frequencies.
There’s nothing like tea for bringing your attention to the present.
The ritual of making and drinking tea is calming in and of itself.
Tea also contains compounds that boost dopamine in the brain and increase alpha-wave activity – helping you to relax.
My personal go-to is Yogi Kava Stress Relief tea. It instantly reduces my anxiety levels and it tastes so good!
Colored Pencils & Coloring Book
This next item for your anxiety self-care box will help to take your mind off whatever you’re stressing about.
There are lots of adult coloring books to choose from. I have several from Johanna Basford and love them all!
Coloring allows you to escape into a world of color and whimsy. It can also serve as the “thing you can see” in the name 5 things exercise.
Aromatherapy Bath Bombs
Hydrotherapy (which involves the use of water for health purposes) is an effective form of stress relief.
And it’s so convenient – you can take a shower or a bath at home whenever you are feeling stressed out.
I like to do a short meditation, during which I envision all my worries washing away, down the drain.
Showering or bathing has been proven to decrease cortisol levels, balance serotonin, and relax muscles and organs.
Why not enhance the relaxing effect by dropping in a bath bomb?
With the extra benefits of aromatherapy and skin moisturizers, bath bombs make a perfect addition to your anxiety self-care box and to your self care Sunday routine!
Just make sure it's not one of the "big name" commercial bath bombs that contain artificial dyes, chemical fragrances and other toxic ingredients.
Worry Beads (Komboloi)/ Worry Stone
Komboloi, or worry beads, is a string of beads (usually with a tassel).
In Greek tradition, people fidget with them to pass time or keep their hands busy when they are feeling stressed.
Holding komboloi has a grounding and distracting effect, much like the stress balls. Plus, they have the added benefit of being made of gemstones, which have their own metaphysical properties and meanings.
So, I’d recommend choosing a soothing, calming gemstone like amethyst or hematite.
Or, you could include a worry stone in your self-care kit – they come in different shapes and sizes with carved indents especially for your thumb.
The worry jar is a technique used mostly with children, but it’s also effective for adults with anxiety.
Here’s how it works:
Write your worries down on slips of paper and place them into the jar.
Then, after some time has passed – say a few days or weeks – come back to the jar and read them.
You’ll probably find that a lot of your worries either: were resolved, are things you now realize you didn’t need to be worrying about to begin with, or actually did come to pass but you survived.
You can decorate the jar any way you like and of course, they come in different sizes. I like this one because it’s large enough to fit your hand in.
*BONUS ITEM: Beeswax Candles have many surprising health benefits, including stress relief. Light a beeswax candle during a bath or meditation session for the ultimate self care evening.
Over to you … what’s your favorite self-care activity or item? Leave a comment!
Share this & help someone else!