I did a podcast recently with Caroline from Being Carefull (you can listen to it here; we talked about self-care and the law of attraction, specifically the magic of a morning self-care routine), and she asked me a question I had never thought about before: what’s in your self-care toolkit?
For me, being so hugely into self-care, it was a big question and I know I didn’t answer it thoroughly enough when she asked. So I wanted to share here in this blog post everything I consider something I have in my “self-care toolkit.”
For me, it depends on the time of day (morning versus evening) and what kind of mood I’m in. If I’m feeling really good, the things I pull out of my self-care toolkit are going to be different than if I’m feeling frustrated, burnt out, or some other low-vibe energy. But there a few things I use every single day, no matter what.
I’m in no way affiliated or sponsored by any of the products mentioned below; these are just items I love and use daily.
1. The Basics // Scent
It’s all called aromatherapy for a reason; scents can destress us and make our spaces feel more relaxed. It’s such a small thing that makes a big difference. In the mornings, I light a candle or incense cones and I do the same in the evenings. Anytime is a good time for a space that smells cozy or relaxed. It instantly transforms the feel of a space.
One of my favorite diffusers is this one from Young Living (I am not a seller, but I use this link from my friend who sells it to purchase it). My favorite essential oil scent is Peppermint, and my favorite place to keep this diffuser is actually in my bathroom because it emits the prettiest, blue-purple light. In my post about my nightly self-care routine, I talk about how I make the most out of my shower time every night. I always turn off the main lights and use a smaller light to dim the bathroom; I find this to be extremely effective in de-stimulating yourself after a long day.
2. The Basics // Comfy, pretty clothes
Some people might not realize how this could relate to self-care, but wearing clothes that feel good on the body and that also make you feel good are so important!
For much of my life, I didn’t spend much thought on pajamas or “house clothes” because no one saw me in them. When I had a baby and a toddler, I was wearing dingy yoga pants and old tops because they were just going to spit up on them anyway and no one saw us all day, but I didn’t realize how bad it was making me feel.
I love having a simple wardrobe of my favorite types of clothes, but speaking specifically about what’s in my self-care toolkit, I definitely consider comfy, pretty “at home” clothes a must-have.
They make me feel good physically and they enhance my mood. I don’t like the constrictive feeling of a bra while at home, but I don’t like going braless either, so I stock up on camis with the built in bras, and I match them with cute sweat pants, yoga pants, soft shorts, etc. During the winter I wear them under cute, soft long-sleeved tops.
So simple but such a mood-changer.
3. Morning self-care trio
My current morning self-care routine consists of these three items. I wake up, start the coffee, light a candle or incense, and then sit down with my Morning Worksheet, a journal, and the Simple Abundance daybook. I have two sons, 3 and 5, whom I homeschool, so this isn’t all peaceful and quiet by any means, but while they’re playing and watching a morning cartoon I take some time for self-care.
There’s a reason I make a morning worksheet with each of my products; it’s because I find them so extremely POWERFUL and transformative. They’re very simple but what I love most about them is that they keep me consistent with being intentional and grateful, otherwise I would likely forget. And when I’m intentional about how I want to feel and I’m grateful, MAGIC HAPPENS! I do not go a morning without at least filling out my morning worksheet.
I usually only journal when I have too many thoughts banging around in my head that need to get out onto paper. When I’m worried, confused, uninspired, irritated, etc; those are times I’m especially keen to journal because I get it all out and it stops haunting me as much.
I also journal when I want answers, because I’ll always find them when I journal.
I love this daybook because it’s just a page of reading that’s always inspiring and uplifting. It’s a really great way to start your day with some higher perspective.
Bella Grace magazine is also another item I would highly recommend keeping in your self-care toolkit. I sometimes read a few pages of this in the morning or in the evening. It’s a $20 magazine but there are no ads and it’s full of beautiful photography and quotes. It’s just one of the most beautiful and inspiring magazines I’ve ever read.
4. My passion
My passion; hobby, creative outlet, purpose, calling, mine…the thing that lights me up. We all have it, even if we haven’t really given it much thought to know what it is…but it’s there.
I consider writing self-care for me because it allows me to express myself and to be creative. This blog and the products I create are my passion, at least for right now. I know it will be continually evolving as I evolve and grow, but it’s the place where I can come and write and share and have something that’s just mine, separate from my other roles in life.
Self-care is taking care of yourself. It’s allowing yourself to be authentic and following the bliss of your heart. Doing things that light you up and get you excited should definitely be apart of your self-care toolkit.
5. Healing Books
I read a lot of amazing books, but there is a trio of Louise Hay books (one is not pictured) that I consider more valuable to me than any past therapy I’ve ever had.
I read a few pages of this every night during my self-care time before going to sleep. After I finished it, I started the workbook, which I credit for seriously aiding me in my own self-healing. The workbook for me is something that I can do over and over again, and each time be healed some more.
This is a great little book to keep on hand. It gives all the metaphysical meanings behind illnesses and certain pains in the body. For me and the people close to me, it’s been amazingly accurate. Whenever I want to know why something is going on with me, say acne for example, I look through this book and can see a possible metaphysical meaning behind it.
I don’t believe any accident or illness is just “by chance”. Even a cold has meaning, which is usually a need for rest from being too overwhelmed and busy. We’re taught to be separate from our bodies and that we don’t have much control over what happens within them, but that’s not true. Our bodies will always send us messages that will tell us what we’re holding in emotionally.
6. Self-Care/Spiritual Worksheets
Again, I don’t create lots of worksheets for no reason; I love them and use them daily. I put my favorite worksheets of mine in the photo above. As you can see, I love to write out my dreams, visualize them, align or recenter, and hit the reset button when I’m feeling off.
I did so much of this in my journal, which was what originally prompted me to begin making worksheets that pertained to the law of attraction and self-care. I’ll fill out the Fresh Dreams and Visualization Guide and then re-read over them every night. I do this because it helps me keep my sights on my vision so that it doesn’t get lost in the every day hustle and bustle of life. For the Morning Worksheet and Nightly Re-Centering Worksheet, I’ll print out several at a time on 2-sided sheets and staple them together. I keep the nightly ones by my bed and I keep the morning ones tucked inside my Simple Abundance book.
Mostly, the worksheets help me in being mindful and focused in an easy, quick way.
7. Inspirational notes + quotes
When I was first learning about the law of attraction a few years ago, my mind was blown and I took a lot of notes from books I was reading and podcasts I was listening to. I was in a really difficult place financially, so there was a bunch of fear and uncertainty that was present in my reality.
I have kept these papers for the last several years because every time I read them, they remind me of how powerful I am and how magical our universe is. I highly suggest taking notes when you’re reading a book you love or listening to a very informative podcast where others are talking about inspiring, magical things, and then reading over these notes anytime you’re feeling scared, discouraged, or frustrated.
I don’t read over these notes all the time, but like I said, when I’m feeling like life is happening to me, I re-read these notes before I go to sleep at night. A really inspiring interview series will be happening this month (September 2016), which I highly recommend if you are into things like manifesting, law of attraction, and self-care. I listen to this interview series every year, it’s a great one…very similar to the one Hay House puts out once a year. It’s free as long as you listen to it during the week that they release the interviews.
8. Pinterest // Vision Board
One thing I do for a very easy pick-me-up before going to sleep some nights, is going through a vision board I’ve created on Pinterest. I LOVE Pinterest for all of the beautiful, amazing quotes and images.
I create a board and make it secret, and then I fill it up with anything that I’m currently dreaming about or with quotes and affirmations that currently speak to me. Sometimes I’ll scroll through new content and just pin it to my board, and other nights I’ll simply scroll through my vision board.
This is a great self-care tool for those nights when you’re just too beat to be any kind of intentional. When I was in that scary place a few years ago and was at financial rock-bottom, I would go through my quotes on Pinterest most nights to get me out of that scared-feeling place and just fill myself up with only positive things.
So simple and yet so powerful.
9. Guided Meditations
I wrote an entire post about my favorite guided meditations. My favorite is the one above, the 6 Phase Meditation. I do this one most often and I love it because the 6 phases really touch on everything that I personally want to be mindful about and that really just recenters me and gives me a chance to visualize so many things.
Meditation will seriously transform your life in so many ways. It has helped me to have more inner peace, more manifestations, a higher perspective, tension-released shoulders, and just full of such calm. I try to listen to a guided mediation every night.
10. A peaceful, sacred space
I wanted to quickly share that I believe creating a sacred space is part of my self-care toolkit. This goes along with #1 and how scent transforms a space; little-to-no clutter and soft lighting are really helpful for me.
I purchased a few sets of these LED lights off of Amazon and can’t recommend them enough. I have them around my bed and lamp bases and they create the softest, most beautiful glow. I hung the other set up in our homeschool/living room and also put some on top of my kitchen cabinets.
I also try to keep my space decluttered and simplistic. Energy can move and flow better when there isn’t clutter, and we can feel that energy becoming unstuck when a space is cleared. You feel like you can just breathe better, as well as do everything else better that you do within your space.
Two other things I use daily to make my space more peaceful is a free app called Relax Melodies, which I use for nature sounds and the binaural beats to relax or fall asleep, and I also love me a relaxing playlist. This is my current playlist:
What do you keep in your “self-care toolkit”? I’d love to hear from you!