Plenty of people have a first-aid kit stashed in their bathroom or car. But are you as prepared when it comes to your emotional and mental health? A stress relief kit is easy to put together and can be a real lifesaver on days when stress threatens to get the better of you. You wouldn’t just ignore a cut or burn, so why ignore stress? This kit will help put you on the path toward being happier, healthier, and more productive.
The wonderful thing about making your own stress relief kit is that you can adjust it to fit your unique needs and preferences. We all stress differently, so why should our stress relievers be the same? And there’s no limit to what you can put in your kit–treats, trinkets, toys, whatever you want! Here are a few things that I put in my stress relief kit.
Yes, I know, how very British! Sometimes the most important thing you can do when you’re stressed is take a break. Even if that means just taking 15 minutes to make and enjoy a cup of tea. You may want to skip the caffeinated stuff and stick with herbal tea. Some companies even sell special stress relief blends of tea. If you missed it, check out my post on my top 5 favorite stress relief teas.
Some studies have shown that eating dark chocolate may reduce perceived stress. Sounds good to me! When the tension starts to mount, take a break and spend a few minutes mindfully enjoying a square of dark chocolate. Focus on its nuanced flavor, how it melts in your mouth, and such. Think of it as chocolate meditation.
Studies have shown that essential oils can reduce stress levels by sending a message directly to your brain through the nerves that carry info about odors. Lavender and citrus oils are well-known for their uplifting qualities, but there are many other useful oils. My favorite essential oils are dōTerra’s proprietary blends, such as Citrus Bliss and Balance. Each has its own primary benefit and uses, like promoting feelings of contentment, peace, motivation, etc.
Essential oils can be intimidating. How much should you use? Does it need to be diluted? Is it safe for skin? Et cetra, et cetra. Aromatherapy lotions provide the benefits of essential oils without all the fuss. Bath & Body Works offers a great line of aromatherapy lotions that promote stress relief, energy, and sleep. They also offer aromatherapy body wash, hand soap, sugar scrub, bath soak, and much more.
Sometimes it helps to just close your eyes, maybe take a 10 or 20 minute nap. A weighted eye pillow blocks out light and applies a relaxing pressure around your eyes. Add some lavender or essential oil to the inside and you’ve got the added benefits of aromatherapy. You can find tons of tutorials on how to make aromatherapy eye pillows online. I used this template by Andrea Sabean. Throw your eye pillow in the freezer for 30 minutes for some cool relief or heat it up in the microwave for a minute for some relaxing warmth.
Ahh…The good, old-fashioned stress ball. Exercise might be the best way to release all that pent-up energy, but stress balls are great when you want or need to release some of that tension quietly. You can either buy one or use one of the hundreds of DIY tutorials online.
Motivational Quote Jar
When you find yourself in times of trouble, nothing’s better than some words of wisdom. Motivational quotes are a great way to bring some perspective to your situation. Gather you favorite quotes together, quotes that make you smile, laugh, or feel inspired. Write them down on slips of papers and put them in a jar. When you feel stress start to bubble up, pick out a quote to read. It’s like having a pep-talk in a jar.
Feeling overwhelmed? Hop in a time machine. Seriously, travel back in time to the best days of your life. The days that make you smile and laugh just thinking about them. Print off whatever photos you have from those happy memories. Gather those photos together and flip through them whenever you’re feeling stressed. Think about and relive those special moments and feel the stress melt away.
Bubble wrap has to be one of the greatest accidental achievements of mankind. Forget how useful it is for packaging. I’m talking about how so gosh-darn fun it is to play with. Seriously, who knew popping rows and rows of plastic bubbles could feel so satisfying. Look up “cathartic” in the dictionary, and you’ll find a picture of bubble wrap next to it.
Yep, a tennis ball. You can fork-out hundreds of dollars for fancy massagers, or you can buy a can of tennis ball. Roll a tennis ball under your bare feet for a relaxing foot massage. Got a muscle with a knot? Press against it with a tennis ball until you feel it start to loosen. And if all else fails, you can always throw it at the wall. Just try not to break anything.
Gum is great for those who get fidgety when they’re stressed. Think of it as a stress ball for your mouth. It’s also a great low-calorie treat that can satisfy that pesky sweet tooth that might pop-up when you’re stressed.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to put myself at the bottom of my priority list when I’m stressed. But like I said, taking a break to take care of yourself is one of the most important things to do when you’re stressed. Pamper yourself with thing that will make you feel better: lip balm, lip scrubs, face masks, nail polish (if you find that relaxing 😂), and such. Treat yourself to something nice, because you’re worth it!
Let me know if you would like me to do a part two of this post. There are so many other wonderful things that you can put in a stress relief kit, including technology and other fun gadgets.
What is your favorite stress reliever? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.