How do you take care of yourself?
This is something I struggle with for a number of reasons. One of them is I just stress out way too much so I do not know how to even get myself to a point where I can even begin to take care of myself. Another is if the thing I want to do costs money—I tend to feel very guilty about things like that. For instance, right now I am trying to figure out how to exercise more, beyond doing a workout video a few times a week. I thought about going the simple route and going for a jog on a regular basis. This happens to be my plan for tomorrow morning. However, I thought well, how am I going to track my progress both on individual runs as well as over time? So I have been toying with idea of buying a FitBit, but the problem with that is these devices are expensive and I happen to know someone who believes they are not all too accurate. Granted, I think they are probably good enough for the average person, though professional athletes likely need something different for accurate metrics.
The expense, however, is a prime block here for treating myself. It is not just in this case either. Another example is how they are publishing illustrated editions of the Harry Potter novels and I really want copies, but I also already own all the books. Being that I am not made of money, I often become concerned whenever I spend a lot of it. I can even get concerned about my groceries if they exceed my aim for the week by even a little.
Even with these difficulties, I understand the importance of taking time to make sure you take care of yourself and not just other people. With that in mind, I have been working on a special project over the last little while. My self care box:
The idea of a self care box is not mine—I have seen it around before. For those who might not know, the goal is to fill the box with things to comfort you and make you happy. Then you store this somewhere in your home and reach for it when you really need a pick-me-up.
While the idea is not my own, the design of my box is every bit from my mind. It is possible someone else applied similar ideas to their design and such, but I am not aware of them. But moving forward…
Any Harry Potter fan will know the words Expecto Patronum and their meaning. Summoning a Patronus requires your happiest memory. Now on a bad day I would not be able to do this, but that is what this box is for! The things inside it, which you will learn about in a second, are designed to remind me of happy memories and maybe bring me out of whatever funk I am in enough to keep moving forward. This is why I chose to paint the words on the lid of my self care box.
Now logically the animal artwork should be my Patronus. According to Pottermore, this is a fox terrier. I happen to disagree somewhat, in that if my Patronus would be a dog, it would absolutely be an American Cocker Spaniel, because I (my family) have one and I love him so much it is unbelievable.
However, I decided to paint a phoenix on the lid of my box. Why? Phoenixes are known for rising from the ashes, something I find amazing and strong. If I am feeling down I am, in essence, ashes. So I have to rise, do I not?
I cannot say my self care box is 100% complete. I think I will add things as I feel they need to go in. However, this is what is currently inside my self care box:
- A mason jar of Easter jelly beans
- Camino Dark Chocolate Raspberry bar
- Buddha’s Blend tea bags from DavidsTea
- A scented cookie dough candle
- Two postcards (one from my brother and the other from a close friend)
- Blank postcards I have collected from my overseas adventures
- A copy of the first Harry Potter book
The treats and tea are meant to bring comfort in the form of sweetness and hot beverages. Scented candles are intended to be calming, and I picked the cookie dough one because I used to bake a lot of cookies and it was a great way to unwind.
The Harry Potter book, I imagine, is self-explanatory at this point. The books in this series are my go-to reads if I need comfort.
Anyone who knows me knows I carry tassels around. I believe I even wrote about it here at one time. But just in case you did not remember or read that particular post, I will share the story again. I carry them around because the feeling of the tassels can work wonders if I am about to panic. Sometimes its an unconscious thing, but I still like to have them. Frankly, even if I am not using them I always need to know where they are lest I trigger a panic attack. So I have decided to put extra tassels in here so I always know I have some if something happens.
The blank postcards are to remind me of the fantastic places I have seen and the memories I have made there. I imagine I will also print some pictures to go in with them, as I do not have postcards of everything. For now they are all from one long trip, but I will add to them as I continue to travel.
The last items are the postcards from my brother and a close friend. They are, believe it or not, the only postcards I have ever gotten. I put them in this self care box as an attempt to remind me of the people I care about and who (I would think) care about me. I honestly would love to have even short letters from my friends and loved ones for this box, but it is also something I seem to have trouble actually asking for, as if it detracts from the legitimacy of it.
For now my comfort is going to sit in my closet, closed. I can only hope it will pull through for me when I need it. In the meantime, I will try to keep pulling myself up. With this in mind, I would like to know what you do for self care! Do you have an actual self care box, or do you just have a set routine? Let me know! I think there are so many people who really need to understand self care, get ideas, and I really think this could generate a good discussion.