9.10.2017

A Safe Place in a Box

As a sufferer of multiple mental health illnesses, I have tried many coping mechanisms and distractions. I personally think that what works the best for me might not work in the same way for you, but in the chance that it does, I want to share with you how to make your own Self Soothe Box.

A Self Soothe Box is something that I was uncertain of at first. It was described to me as a 'safe place' that contained things to help me cope with staying safe and positive. At the time I thought that nothing helped me so I would practically have an empty box. Though with time and as I thought more about it, there were a lot of things that had the potential to help me, and I learnt that I was worthy of helping myself and using this as a way of coping when I am feeling negatively.

I bought my box from a local art and crafts shop for £2.50 and over time began to fill it with small items that helped me in different emotional states. One year on, my box is overflowing and I have a limitless amount of support made by and for myself.

Here are some of the things that you could put in your own Self Soothe Box:

Sight: 
  • Photographs
  • Favourite Quotes
  • Notes from a Friend or Family Member
  • Felt Tip Pen
  • Loom Bands
  • Glitter Jar
  • Mini Mindful Colouring Pad
  • Small Writing Pad
  • Post-it Notes
  • Bath Bombs
Touch:
  • Amethyst Stones
  • Hand Cream
  • Stress Ball
  • Seashell
  • Ribbon and Textiles
  • Fidget Cube
  • Putty
  • Guatemalan Worry Doll
  • Feather or Soft Brush
  • Bubbles
Sound:
  • Fun Snaps
  • Ipod
Smell:
  • Scented Candles
  • Body Spray
  • Face Mask
  • Lip Balm
  • Aromatherapy Oils
  • Incense Sticks
  • A Small Jar of Spices
  • Scratch and Sniff Stickers
Taste:
  • Hot Chocolate Sachet
  • Hard Sweets
  • Gum and Mints
  • Rescue Remedy





It is important to cater for the majority of emotions that you feel; therefore your box can help you in multiple situations. By including at least one item that appeals to each of the senses, it is likely that you are covered!
Most of the items in my box are small and transportable. Therefore I can always keep the box with me and have the safety of having things close to me that I know help in tricky situations. If you can't bring your box with you then you can still take a couple of things from it that will support you in your day.

In 2016 I was kindly gifted with a 'Little Box Of Distractions'. The Little Box Of Distractions is a project made by Kerry and Shelley Elliot. Since 2015, they have been making boxes filled with items to help sufferers of mental health and very kindly sending them for free. When I received one of their boxes it really motivated me to begin to help myself when I felt that I was underserving of recovery. I got the chance to talk to Kerry about The Little Box Of Distractions.

Casey: Hi Kerry! Who or what would you say has had the biggest influence on you to create such a kind project?

Kerry: I have tried so many different therapies that have been flung at me. I was willing to do anything to make me better. Most services suggested I make a "self-care box". I realised that when phoning the crisis team they would always say "take a bath, read a book, make a hot drink" etc. so I decided to make up a box that people could try before phoning the crisis team, so that they can say they had already tried their suggestions. I decided to use my own benefit money to make 10 boxes to start with. I thought "if I help 10 people that would be amazing" when those boxes were gone people started donating and I made 10 more. Before I knew it I had helped 50 people and I was getting regular donations from my local council and participation budgets. 2 years down the road, we are a registered charity and have helped over 700 people. 

Casey: I really respect your determination to get better and recover! Well done for being so strong. It must be such a wonderful feeling to know that you have helped so many individuals. What are you hoping for The Little Box Of Distractions to achieve in the next 2 years?

Kerry: I am hoping to continue to help people. Hold good fundraisers and to do talks on self harm etc. within schools and workplaces. We want to provide as many charities, organisations and schools with boxes which they can allocate to people who may need them. 

Casey: That's wonderful! I wish you the best of luck with your fundraising! Is there any advice that you would give to anyone that is struggling right now in terms of their mental health?

Kerry: If you can't manage one day at a time, try one hour at a time or a minute at a time. It's one more minute you have got through it.



Do you have a Self Soothe Box? Let me know in the comments what is in yours!
Love Casey x



96 comments

  1. Thank you for involving me in this Casey. What a lovely post.
    Kerry x

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    1. Thank you for being a part of it Kerry! x

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  2. This is such a great idea! Lovely post! X

    Kate// itskaterose.com

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  3. I just love this idea; I think it could actually be really useful for me during the occasions where uni gets a bit too much. I have a friend for whom this might also really make a difference so I'll be sure to pass on your link! Thanks for such a lovely post, and such beautiful pictures, too!
    Lx | Lightly We Go

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    1. Thank you very much, that is very kind of you. I hope that this post can help you and your friend!

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  4. I don't have a self soothe box but this has really made me consider getting one now or at least making use of my senses around me. I've already done smaller things like put up photographs and put fragrances in my room but I would quite like to get a fidget cube because they're so cool!

    Meg x the-writeblog.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Using your senses are really helpful and useful in grounding yourself and bringing you back to the here and now. The little things are sometimes the big things! x

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  5. This is a great idea. Definitely a unique little coping mechanism!

    Steph
    www.wanderlustpulse.com

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  6. This is such a neat idea and I love the fact that it incorporates all the senses! I'm glad that you were able to fill up your box, at first thought I too wonder what I could possibly put inside a box but it's definitely something to try out. Thank you for sharing, I can see this benefiting many people!

    theglamouradvocate.com

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  7. aw this is such a lovely idea! sometimes its the little things that can get you out of a mental health wobble, and this is definitely something i'm going to look into creating for myself. i'm pretty sure my box will just be full of candles and chocolate and pictures of channing tatum...

    katie. xx lacoconoire.com

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    1. Thank you very much Katie! I hope that you find it helpful! xx

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  8. I love the idea of this! I actually might put together one for my self, thank you for the inspiration. I'm happy to hear it helps you :-)

    ~ Jasmin N
    // littlethingswithjassy.com

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    1. You are more than welcome Jasmin!

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  9. This is such a heartwarming and wholesome idea :) x

    Alice // The Rose Glow

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  10. This is such a lovely idea! You’ve given me something to put together for when I’m felling a little stressed or low, thank you

    Tasha x

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  11. This is such a great idea. I have anxiety, and sometimes I have to practice grounding so this seems like a great way to keep those things I need in one spot!

    Sorry for the rambly comment, but this was great!

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    1. Thank you Jessie, anxiety always passes. I hope this helps you!

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  12. I don't have a self sooth box but when I have high anxiety I do turn to rescue remedy. it's been my bestie for years.. I need a self sooth box though.. great idea and post

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  13. I've never heard of a self sooth box and honestly I think that it is a completely fab idea! I sometimes find it hard to calm myself down when my aniexty is getting at me and think I am going to try this. Thank you for writing this post! xx

    acupofwonderland.wordpress.com

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    1. I hope you find it helpful Hannah! You're welcome!xx

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  14. I like this idea! I use rescue remedy too and the gum :)

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  15. This is a beautiful idea. I love collecting little bits that have meaning and which bring back memories, but I'd never have thought of doing something like this. I've bookmarked this post, and when i get some spare time, going to make one. Thank you!!

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    1. Thank you so much Aycan, that's such a lovely comment!

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  16. I love this idea! I've never heard of this before and is actually something that instantly appeals to me. Having something that when I don't know what it is I need to cheer me up or make me feel safe and settled when I'm having a bad day, I can turn to a box of sensory items and favourite things that at least one of the things will help. I have the perfect box for it and I'm going to start collecting this week. Can I ask, how to do you find the glitter jar works for you? And how have you found the rescue remedy?

    Such a usefull, inspiring post. Thank you for sharing

    Holly xx

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    1. Thank you so much Holly! I'm glad that this will be helpful for you! I'd love to see your box when it's all finished! The glitter jar in my box is one of my favourite things to help me on a bad day. Watching the coloured glitters spin inside and slowly fall is so calming, it reminds me of a snow globe but the glitter makes it so much more mesmerising and fun. It is something that can very easily bring me back to the present moment and it is really fun to make too. I have used the rescue remedy for about three years now. It is something that I find really helpful because it kicks in quite quickly and helps me to relax when my anxiety is high, I use it mostly when I do public speaking or have exams coming. Thank you for your lovely comment!xx

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  17. this sounds like such a great idea and I’m glad it’s helped you! Your photography is stunning

    Ellie
    www.headintheclouds.me.uk

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  18. That is such a lovely idea and concept. I love the idea of collecting things that mean a lot to you to help soothe, I have two magnets which I always grab in emotional times, I just sit with them in my hands! :)

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  19. This is such a gorgeous post, what a lovely idea! Rescue Remedy is my life saver! x

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  20. What a great idea! Rescue remedy is great stuff!

    Pinar | beautybakingbella.com

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  21. I love this idea, it's really great.. I've never seen anything like this before!

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  22. This is an excellent idea Casey. It’s so handy to have this little emergency box when you are feeling anxious and can’t think straight. The rescue remedy spray is so soothing. Lovely idea <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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  23. What a wonderful idea. As a sufferer from anxiety this is something I guarantee to find helpful in many ways. Thank you for sharing this lovely, I can’t wait to start filling my own little box.
    Zara xx

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  24. This is such a great idea! I especially love that it is multi-sensory. Definitely something that I have to try - and maybe adapt for my daughter.

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    1. Thank you so much, I hope that you find it helpful!

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  25. I love this idea! I'm going to try and make one

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    1. Thank you! I hope that you find it helpful.

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  26. Such a good idea. Wishing you the best of luck with everything x

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  27. Oh what an amazing idea, I will definitely give this a go - I love that it includes so many of the senses. Great post!

    http://www.katelovesx.co.uk/

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  28. I am so happy that I came across this post. I have never heard about a self-soothe box, but it sounds delightful. I have tried so many things when it comes to my mental illnesses, and not all are helpful. I’m going to try making my own box. Thanks for sharing ❤️❤️

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    1. I hope that this is helpful Kymberlee, thank you!

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    2. I’m so glad that I was able I to read this again! It reminded me that I need to start my own box to help with my anxiety!

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    3. Thank you for your lovely comments Kymberlee!

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  29. This sounds like such a great idea! A stress ball is something I’m definitely in need of! Rescue remedy has literally been one of my life savers for such a long time

    Ellie
    www.headintheclouds.me.uk

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    1. I hope that it benefits you Ellie!

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  30. I love Rescue Remedy!
    I used to use that stuff and it would knock me out! It helped me get over an ex and it was the best product I have ever used for relaxing and sleeping.
    They also have the rescue remedy candy too!

    Kelly
    http://www.thiswayandthatway.com/2017/11/choosy-lip-mask-honey.html

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    1. It works wonders! I didn’t know about any candies! I’ll have to have a look for some, thank you Kelly.

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  31. I love the idea of this! I think it’s so important to focus on the senses when you feel anxious and things xx
    http://www.pagesfrombeth.co.uk

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  32. This is such a wonderful idea! I love going through my memory box as it is and that's just full of gig tickets and the like, so adding some extra things to really uplift you is such a fantastic idea. Thanks so much for sharing! :)
    Astrid
    www.astridkaniele.com

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  33. I love this post! This is such a lovely idea. I suffer with a number of different mental health issues and actually I feel like I need something like this - a go to when you are facing a challenge or just feeling low. In this day and age we all have so many things but they aren't all in one place and have zero motivation to find a distraction if it's all in one place then it would take that all away. Thank you for sharing!xo

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    1. Thank you Alice! I hope that you find this helpful, it's my go to everyday! xo

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  34. Absolutely loved this! Since my mental health is the reason I am taking a break right now I think I will definitely try this! It's such a lovely idea and I feel like everyone can put their own spins on it to make it unique to them. Thank you x

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    1. Thank you! Prioritise yourself and take some time to give yourself a little love! x

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  35. What a wonderful idea! I really like this, and your pictures are absolutely fabulous! I've actually always wanted to get a box such as one of these, and you have convinced me to do so now. ❤️

    - El

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope that you find this helpful El!

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  36. This is such a great post ❤ Definitely useful info for those who suffer from mental health illnesses! Thanks for sharing xxx

    Elvira
    http://elviraedison.com/

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  37. Loved this post, such a lovely idea and your photos are gorgeous! Rescue remedy is my saviour for my anxiety! X

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  38. such a great post. love the photos too!

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  39. Best post I’ve read this year! This is so so amazing Casey and so inspiring to me! What a thoughtful idea to help when your having a bad moment xo

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    1. Wow, thank you so much Gabbie. I’m glad you liked it xo

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  40. I also suffer with my mental health, and these were some really great ideas thank you.

    Bath bombs have become a particular favourite of mine to relax with (:

    Alys / alysgeorge.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. You’re welcome Alys, thank you for reading!

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  41. I've done something like this for a long time. I have a box where i keep all of the things I've collected from different places I've been or experiences I've had. Just opening the box brings back memories of happy times. It's a great way to escape for a little while, to know that there will be good times again.

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    1. Our negative feelings always pass, I’m really glad that you have made your own happy place Kristen!

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  42. This is such a great idea and a lovely post!

    www.holly-kate.com

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  43. Aw how lovely this sounds! I made a 'safe place' pinterest board whilst in the worst ongoing state of health anxiety, it's the only way I could try and come to terms with the hell I was in >< I'd love to try one of these! :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth! You are very strong.

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  44. What an amazing post! This can actually be so helpful and needed for self-care days! Thanks for sharing. x

    Giulia
    http://thehighheeledpapergirl.wordpress.com

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  45. I love this post! This is such a great idea that hadn’t even crossed my mind I’m definitely going to make one of these!

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  46. Great idea! I never thought of that but I'm going to create one. And The Little Box of Distractions is an amazing initiative. Congratulations and thank you to Kerry for creating something so special. I'm going to share this post and initiative now. :)
    Best wishes,
    Tânia

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    1. Thank you Tania! I hope that it helps you!

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