Self-Care Kit On a Budget- Anxiety
You might be wondering what you can do to help reduce your anxiety if you are on a budget. You might not have money on hand to put down on fancy fidget items or spa days. If this is true for you, you are definitely not alone! Thankfully you don't need to spend a lot of money to help you reduce your anxiety!
If you have mild or infrequent anxiety you can often create a self-care kit that you can take with you and identify items that would likely be at friend's homes or out in public. First we are going to look at what you have at home. We will adapt this for outside of the home in the next blog post. But for now, you can begin by asking yourself what you remember about your five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
When you think about those senses, think about what you like (and dislike) about each. Are there senses you prefer over others? Are there particular things that jump out to you when you think about them? For example, does the smell of coffee or cookies baking make you sigh in comfort?
As you go through the line of the senses take note of all of those things that run through your mind. That will help guide you through identifying what you can include in your self-care kit. This kit can include items that you can put in a designated container, but likely it will also include items that cannot be.
Common choices include:
Sight- favorite photographs, paintings, nostalgic movies/tv, books, candles (counts as smells too!)
Sound- music, wind chimes, white noise, cat purrs
Smell- coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, lavender, peppermint
Taste- peppermints or other hard candy, gum
Touch- fuzzy rugs/bath mats, variety of fabrics, stuffed animals/pillows, favorite robe or blanket
If you are not sure what kinds of items bring you calm and peace (even brief moments are worthy) take a walk around your home and pay attention to what makes you smile or reach out when you see it. It may mean pulling out some out photo albums or CDs.
You can also build a self-care kit if you have moderate to severe anxiety, but it is often best built with the assistance of your therapist. They can help you better tune your kit to your individual needs and make sure that any items you choose won't unintentionally create you more distress in the long run.
After you have established what items you would like to have in your kit, begin to increase your use of them right when you begin to feel anxious. Have a friend over that is talking about something that makes you anxious? Excuse yourself to the bathroom and have a short sit digging your toes into your fuzzy bath mat and make a small bubbly puddle of your good smelling lavender soap in the sink. After a short respite in your calm place, you are more likely to feel ready to lend that supporting ear.
Remember if it doesn't quickly bring you peace or respite than it doesn't get included in the self-care kit. It may take some time to build an effective kit, but it will be worth it as you are able to identify quick and easy was to reduce your anxiety without having to add financial anxiety to the mix!