Calm Down Kits: A DIY to Make Mental Health Days a Whole Lot Happier

Mental health messages and stories were sprawled all over social media last month in support of Bell Let’s Talk Day. It has to be one of the most fantastic initiatives that shine light on an issue that so many people are deeply affected by. I for one have had my fair share of ups and downs while trying to understand, and improve, my mental health.

One of the most unique coping methods that I have introduced into my own life originated from day cares and parents with young children. These individuals decided that, rather than giving ‘time outs’ when children acted out profusely, they took the child into a quiet place and gave them a box or bag filled with little items to calm them; some are little toys, others may be a mason jar filled with glitter and water like a snow globe.

Don’t worry - it’s not quite what I use at home! However, it sure provided an awful lot of inspiration and I ran with the idea. We call them “Calm Down Kits” but you can rename them as you please. Allow me to show you how to make your own!

Step 1: Purchase a Cute Box

Start your little project off right and pick up a cute box. You can purchase them at Dollarama, or splurge like I did on a realistic-looking cardboard suitcase from Micheals. Make sure it has room for your little goodies!

Step 2: Comfort Snacks

The most important part of the kit is obviously what’s on the inside, so get brainstorming about what items or even foods make you feel better. You may have been told in the past to let go of those comfort foods because they probably aren’t that healthy, but this box doesn’t have any rules! My favourite feel-good food is microwave popcorn so I tucked in three pouches.

Step 3: Jump on the Tea Bandwagon! 

Right now, everyone seems to be raving about drinking tea, and that’s fantastic! It’s healthy, low in calories, and there are many caffeine-free flavours. Pick up your favourite tea and find a special spot in that box. It’s a great way to relax. For me, I make sure that I am stocked up on ‘sleep tea’ so that I can get a good night’s sleep before exams. I find that it also corrects regular nightmares or restlessness.

Step 4: Feel Good with Your Favourite Products 

When I am having a particularly difficult day, I find that looking my best can do wonders for my mood! In my special box, I have tucked in some glam nail polish colours and my favourite blemish blasting facial mask. Tuck in your favourite polish colour or even a lipstick that makes you feel sexy. Rock it girl!

Step 5: Inspire Yourself

Print off those favourite quotes or places you want to visit. Tape a photo that depicts a favourite calming memory on the inside of the lid or simply toss inside. Sometimes visual reminders help us to remember that we are important and everything is going to be okay! I have an old picture of me in the backyard with two friends and some inspirational quotes. I also remind myself of my travel goals by throwing in some gorgeous beach pics!

Step 6: Add a Little Sparkle

This is too much fun to leave out! Grab a mason jar or even a clean peanut butter jar and fill it with water. Add a drop of food colouring (I chose blue!) and shake. Top it off by adding a spoonful of glitter. Shaking a jar full of sparkles is fun, but by watching and focusing on each individual glitter speck fall to the bottom, you may find that you feel so calm after!

Step 7: Breathe in Tropical, Breathe out Problems

At Bath and Body Works, you can pick up three mini tropical candles for only twelve dollars! They smell fantastic and remind me so much of Hawaii or Jamaica. Smelling the beach can sure help to make you feel like you are on a beach!

Step 8: Fuzzy Socks Forever

Slipping off those gorgeous heels or uncomfortable boots can feel like such a relief, but if you pair it with fuzzy socks then you are golden! Fuzzy socks can be purchased at Walmart or even Dollarama and they sure help me to relax!

Step 9: Scents for Stress

This is a miniature hand sanitizer gel from Bath and Body Works. They go on sale frequently and cost $5 for three pocket sized gels. I love to stock up on eucalyptus scents because they are known to relax all those stressed out and tight muscles in your body. Try picking up a lotion and even the bubble bath next time your there!

So there you have it! We put together what will quite possibly become the favourite part of your bad days. Sometimes mental health issues will catch up with you, and you have to remember that your mental health is far more important than any class or work shift. Call in, ask for an extension, and focus on feeling better! What better way to feel good than to have all of your favourite goodies in one place?

Larissa’s Personal Calm Down Kit with Budget:

“Suitcase” Box: Michael’s ($20)

Inspirational quotes: printed on white paper and pasted onto Dollarama craft paper ($2)

Crispy Minis: Walmart ($2)

Sleep Tea: Walmart ($3)

Fuzzy Socks: Dollarama ($2)

Glimmer Jar: Sparkles and Mason Jar from Michael’s ($7),

Food dye from Zehr’s ($3)

Tea Tree Facial Scrub: The Body Shop ($12)

No Stress Bubble Bath: Bath and Body Works ($20)

Beanie Baby: Priceless

“Kwik Off”: Dollarama ($3)

Candles: Bath and Body Works (3 for $12)

Lighter: Walmart ($3)

Mint Tea: Walmart ($3)

Nail Polish: Walmart ($2.50 each)

No Stress Sanitizer: Bath and Body Works ($1)