Teen Breathe

Create a self-care kit

In need of a little pampering? Everyone likes to feel good, but when life’s busy you can easily overlook the importance of giving yourself some tender loving care. By having your own self-care kit, filled with items that nurture, inspire and uplift you, you’re taking responsibility for your happiness and wellbeing. You’ll have instant access to a special kit that will brighten your spirit, even on the most challenging of days. It’s like a big hug to yourself to help you de-stress and restore your emotional harmony.

# A beautiful notebook and pen 

Write or doodle. Fill your notebook with whatever you wish to express in words or pictures. It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect. Aim to finish with a few good words or a doodle that will make you smile and feel at ease.

# Meditation audio

Alison Sellers, on Twitter @AlisonWokingham, is a Relax Kids Coach who helps young people to find their inner calm and be their best self. She says: ‘An audio meditation that cultivates self-compassion can be very uplifting, especially when you focus on the mantra “Breathe in happiness, breathe out a smile”.’ Just by smiling, it automatically boosts your mood and can trick your brain to release happy hormones so that you feel good instantly.

# Mini-spa set

Include a few bodycare items in your kit, such as a small bottle of aromatic bubble bath, foot lotion, skin treat or hand cream with wonderful fragrances to tantalise your senses. Treat yourself and relax.

# Inspirational quotes

Dr Andrea Pennington, international best-selling author of I Love You, Me!, suggests: ‘On a day you’re feeling great, make some cute little colourful cards with inspirational quotes, which you’ll be happy to read later. You can also write inspiring messages to yourself about what you love about you, and what makes YOU unique and special.’

# Tea 

Include a sachet selection of delicious teas, such as lemon and ginger, blackcurrant and blueberry, mint and lemon, or strawberry and vanilla. Take some time to treat yourself to a reviving tea, indulging your senses in the taste and aroma. Sit still for a while, sip your tea and let your mind be free for a moment – enjoy a daydream.

# A favourite verse

Do you have a favourite poem that is light of heart? Write it out and add it to your self-care kit. You can then recite it whenever you need to hear those uplifting words. There’s lots of poetry inspiration at poetryfoundation.org.

# Feel-good pictures

Include in your kit a selection of the photos or postcards that are meaningful to you – ones that make you smile or you find inspiring. These can be photos that evoke happy memories of good times with family and friends or shots of places you’ve visited or have yet to explore. 

# Music and film

What are your favourite feel-good songs and movies? Add a couple of them to your kit. For an instant pick-me-up, listen to one of those songs. Or if you have more time to spare, watch the movie. Then let all your cares drift away.

# Love notes

Ask a few close friends to write about your three best qualities. You can then read these notes whenever you need a reminder that you are loved and appreciated (or you could pop one in a time capsule – see page 30).

# Extra essentials

Every kit should include a new pair of soft-touch socks, a luscious lip balm, a paperback novel, a lucky charm, exotic perfume, the latest issue of Teen Breathe, of course, and something that reminds you of just how amazing you are.

Words: Carol Anne Strange

Illustrations: shutterstock.com