How To Make A Soothing DIY Self-Care Box

hot chocolate and candle on tray by window

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. This is at no extra cost to you. I only ever recommend products and services that I love and that I think you will love too.

Sharing is caring!

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately on the idea of having a self-care box or kit to delve into when you need it the most.

I LOVE this idea, so I’ve looked further into what a self-care box is and how you can go about making your very own DIY version.   Here’s what I’ve found out.

Why Do You Need A Self-Care Box?

If you are feeling anxious, down, angry or fed up it can be hard to pull yourself out of the mire.  Your brain has gone into primitive survival mode and rational thought has gone out of the window!

For many of us, we know what can help us to feel better, but it isn’t so easy to bring this to mind or to hand on a bad day.

(Note – If you are at the point where nothing you try is helping then please make sure you seek professional help).

What Is A Self-Care Box?

With a bit of pre-planning, you can put together a box or a kit of things and ideas to make you feel better and keep them all in one place.  Then when you are feeling bad, it doesn’t take much brainpower to reach for the box.

You can keep it for emergencies or dip into it daily.  It will be yours to use how you wish.

how to make a soothing self care box

How To Begin

The idea is to fill the box with things that make you feel calm and happy.  You can also add to it and refresh it over time.

First of all, I would suggest brainstorming ideas of things to include.

Self-care means different things to people.  Therefore what you include in your box may be entirely different from what I would include.

That said, there are some generic ‘themes’ that many people report to work.

For example, you could try including items that use all of your 5 senses (not necessarily all at once if you don’t want to risk becoming even more overwhelmed!)

You could also try including items that soothe different parts of yourself.

For example, your physical self might find a bubble bath releases tension, or your spiritual self may crave your favourite mindfulness meditation.

You can also include things that aren’t actually physical things.  For example, you could add a list of activities that soothe you (e.g. going for a walk, watching Netflix, taking a bath).  Then stick the list on the lid of your box.

Choose Your Container

Next, grab a box.

In fact, it doesn’t even need to be a box – you could use a bag, a drawer or you may want to keep certain items visible in your bedroom or on your desk so you can pick them up easily.

You could have more than one, a box at home and then perhaps a smaller bag with more portable items to dip into whenever you need a pick-me-up when you’re out and about.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on a fancy container either.  An old shoebox will do just fine (decorate it if you want to).

Don’t pressurise yourself into filling the box straight away.  You can add to it gradually, no-one said it has to be full immediately.  (In fact, no-one said it needs to be full at all!)

What To Include In Your Self-Care Box

As I’ve said, the contents of the box will be personal to you depending on what you find helps to soothe you on bad days.  Here are some lovely things I’ve found around the internet to give you some inspiration.

Inspirational quotes

There are many, many inspirational quotes out there!  Choose a few that speak to you, print them off or write them onto some pretty paper or card and pop them in your box.

Here are 41 Inspirational Quotes To Remind You Life Is Beautiful to get you started.

Positive affirmations

Along similar lines to quotes, positive affirmations can be a powerful way to lift your spirits.

I love this ready-made set from Louise Hay.

Love Yourself Affirmation Cards Louise Hay

Letters or cards from friends and family

Include some special messages from friends and family you have received over the years.


These could be photos of loved ones, happy times, furry friends, lovely landscapes or anything else that lifts your mood!

Favourite book

Add that dog-eared book that you’ve read many times.  Or if you don’t have a dog-eared favourite then check out The Book Depository for inspiration.  They ship worldwide.

Essential oils

The fragrance of essential oils can have a powerful effect on your mood.

My personal favourite is lavender which is known to have relaxing properties.

This set of 6 essential oils from the renowned Plant Therapy covers all bases.

Favourite bath bomb

Sometimes a soak in the bath is just what you need!

Here is a pretty selection of bath bombs to add a spot of luxury to your bath.

brubaker bath bombs


Add a colourful or scented candle to your box.  Switch off all the lights and soak up the atmosphere that only candlelight can provide!

Negativity Blocker Candle – Etsy


Whether it’s a bit of dark chocolate or a mug of hot chocolate, sometimes a chocolatey hit is just what you need!

Whittards of Chelsea has a FANTASTIC range of hot chocolate –  I want them all!

Cosy socks

Whilst you are sipping on your hot chocolate, why not wrap your feet up in some cosy socks as well!

Kill two birds with one stone with these ‘Bring Me Chocolate’ socks!


Add a playlist of uplifting and/or relaxing tunes to your box.  Even better, buy a small Mp3 player and add your playlist to it for easy access.

You could also download and add some guided meditations.  (Try Palousemindfulness for some recordings you can download for free).

Don’t forget to keep some earphones in your kit too!

MP3 players – Amazon

These Betron noise-cancelling earphones go with me everywhere!

Something tactile

Whether it’s a fidget cube or spinner, some silly putty or a smooth stone (or a rough one if you prefer) having something to fiddle with can be very soothing!

Don’t think that you are ever too old for a cuddly toy either, I have several 🙂


gemstone hearts from Buddha Groove

I love these Gemstone Hearts from Buddha Groove

Vive Therapy Putty


Let’s face it, you might well need some tissues when you are at your lowest ebb.  Sometimes a good cry is exactly what’s needed.

Better keep some painkillers to hand also (I don’t know about you but although I love a good cry, it always gives me a headache!)

Notebook and pen

Journalling your thoughts and feelings is a proven way of letting go and getting things off your chest.

I like to write down some positive things as well.  Try jotting down some things you are grateful for, or 3 good things which have happened despite you not having the best of days.

A5 Flexi Peony Notebook Paperchase

A5 Flexi Peony Notebook – Paperchase

List of things that calm you

For example, a list that reminds you to go for a walk, go to the gym, take a bath or meditate

Phone numbers of people you can talk to

Sometimes having a good natter to someone who you can be yourself with is all you need.

Give A Self-Care Box As A Gift

DIY gifts are fantastic, they show you have put thought in and made the gift individual for the person.

Opening a box with lots of little items in is even better, think of it like Christmas and opening a stocking!

Although it’s more difficult to include all the personal things someone would put into their own box, you can still give a self-care box as a gift.

Decorate a shoebox (or buy a fancy box if you prefer) and add some basics such as tissues, chocolate, tea, essential oils, a journal and pen plus some positive quotes or affirmations.


English Rose Loose Tea – Whittards

You could also include a sheet about the concept of a self-care box, how to add to it and then some blank sheets for the person to write their own list of things that make them feel good.

Creating Your Self-Care Box – Summing Up

Let’s recap.

A self-care box is an excellent way to plan ahead and to make sure you have all the things that soothe you on a bad day in one place.  Then when the bad day hits, you won’t have to worry where your favourite playlist or your tissues are.  Simply grab your box and you are set!

What you include in your box is personal to you.  Start by brainstorming the things that help YOU.  Try to include things that will appeal to all 5 of your senses.

You can include things that aren’t actually ‘things’ in the form of a list.

Your box doesn’t have to be fancy, an old shoebox will do fine.

Keep your self-care box updated, change things, take items out and add new ones.

A self-care box makes a fantastic DIY gift for a loved one.

I’d love to hear what you think about the idea of a self-care box.  Do you have one?  Are you inspired to make one?  Or have you given one as a gift before?  Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Sharing is caring!

  1. Marie

    Great idea. There’s something about having a separate MP3 player and not just having music on your phone. I miss my iPod!

  2. Geraldine

    Sounds really lovely! A self care box is what everyone needs. I would definitely have cozy socks and candles in it! And some tea and a good film to watch 🙂 Thanks for sharing Alison!

  3. Chloe Chats

    I love this idea! The idea of having a box or a draw of things that make me feel happy and relaxed would be perfect when I’m having a bad day. I usually give myself self care days here and there, but I’ve never thought about having some items or memories in a box that I can go to whenever I’m not feeling fab and with it being all in one place would make it a lot easier too. Great idea, thank you for sharing <3

    Chloe xx

  4. Sandra Spencer

    Thanks for your great idea. There’s are lot of people who needs this self care treatment box. Thanks for all your ideas. I’m going to make a lot of them. Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.