Sometimes when you are feeling low, the last thing you want to do is go work really hard at finding ideas for how to take care of yourself. So why not prepare a go-to “self-care kit” ahead of time? That way, when you are having a rough day, you will have the tools to take care of yourself right at your fingertips!
You Will Need:
Comforting items (books, stuffed animals, cozy clothes, journals, etc.)
A container (shoebox, cute tote bag, basket)
Art supplies (wrapping paper, stickers, markers, etc.)
There are so many different ways to make a self-care kit because we all have different things that make us feel good. I decided to make my OWN self-care kit (because let’s be real, I don’t want to just fling un-tested ideas at y’all) and document the process in photos to share it with my readers. So, here goes!
Step One: Gather supplies.
Step Two: Make choices about what to include in the kit! (Tip: Use this acronym to choose things — you want objects that will help you be CALM — Comfort, Activities, Love, and Mind. More on this later.)
Step Three: Add a note with non-box-able items & ideas.
Step Four: Decorate box.
Step Five: Place items neatly in box and put it in a convenient place!
(Click on the photo to link to the IDS coverage of this year’s Take Back the Night march)
Hopefully soon I will figure out how to embed an events calendar into our blog, but for now you just get an old-school text post. There is a lot going on this week!
Monday 10/7: The Indiana Campus Sexual Assault Primary Prevention Project (INCSAPPP) regional networking meeting is being held in Indianapolis from 10 am to 3 pm. Our doctoral intern, Cass, and I (Laura) will be attending this, hoping to meet some interesting people and get some ideas to bring back to IU. Tonight at 7:30 pm is the first Safe Sisters meeting of the year. Safe Sisters is an organization for sorority women at IU which educates and empowers sorority women to help end sexual assault.
Tuesday 10/8: Tuesday night is Take Back the Night, a rally and march against domestic violence and sexual assault. It will begin at 6 pm in Dunn Meadow. PLEASE come, it is an amazing and powerful event and it means so much to survivors to see support from their fellow community members & peers. More information can be found here.
Wednesday 10/9: the 41st Annual IU Health Fair will be held in the IMU Alumni Hall (near Starbucks) from 10 am to 2 pm. Come by to snag some free condoms and free SNACKS, get a flu shot, enjoy some fun activities, and learn about the services the health center offers. I will be there for at least a bit in between my classes!
Thursday 10/10: As part of the 8th Annual Art of Mental Health week (sponsored by NAMI of the Greater Bloomington Area and MHA of Monroe County), there will be free screenings for depression and anxiety from 10 to noon and 1 to 5 pm held at the IU Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic. To learn more about the Art of Mental Health week please visit www.mha-monroe.com.
If you know of other things going on this week please let me know and I’ll be happy to post them! Have a safe and healthy week, everyone!
This is the first post in a new series, Self-Care Sunday. Every week (er, hopefully), I’ll be posting different ideas about what you can do to take care of yourself. Since this is the blog of SACS, many of these ideas are survivor-focused — things that survivors of sexual violence can do to take care of themselves. But self-care is an important skill for everyone and many of our ideas will apply no matter what your situation is.
This week I’m focusing on using technology for self care — specifically using your laptop or smartphone. The internet provides us with so many resources, but sometimes it’s hard to find what you are looking for because there are so many different options out there. I’ve combed through a lot of websites to bring you what I think are the top 5 websites and top 5 apps for self-care, although please add more ideas in the comments — I’m sure I’ve barely seen 1% of the options!
Top 5 Websites For Self-Care
- The Quiet Place Project has a variety of different “rooms” you can visit. My favorite is the thoughts room, where you can type out everything that’s bothering you and watch as the words burst into bits and fall away. It’s great when you’re frustrated or sad about a situation and don’t know how to express it.
- Calm.com has a variety of different backgrounds and sounds, such as a beach at sunset, a rainy day under a tree, or snow falling. They also provide guided relaxation exercises ranging from 2 to 20 minutes — perfect to fit a mini-vacation into your busy schedule!
- This I Believe is a project of personal stories shared via public radio, the internet, and published books. You are never too old to enjoy a story. Visit this site to listen to 3-minute-long audio clips of people sharing their personal beliefs and stories.
- Orsinal games by Ferry Halim. These free online games have adorable graphics and gentle background music. They are a great way to have a bit of mindless fun for free online. My favorite is Winterbells.
- WeaveSilk is a site that lets you create beautiful drawings on a plain black background while relaxing music plays.
Runners-Up: Calming Manatee and RainyMood.Com
Top 5 Smartphone Apps for Self-Care
- RelaxMelodies: This awesome app allows you to combine different sounds into your own mix of ideal relaxation music. You can also overlay it with music from your personal collection, as well as binaural beats created to help you sleep, relax, or concentrate. It has timers and alarms so you can use it for a nap or even a full night’s sleep. There is a free version or the premium is $2.99. (Personal note: This is my favorite app ever. I use it to take naps, sleep, tune out ambient noise when working on campus, or create a soothing atmosphere when I am at home reading or journaling.)
- Moody Me: A cute mood tracker app that is easy to use. You can include symptoms (such as fatigue), photos of what makes you happy or sad, and events that may effect your mood (such as getting your period or breaking up with a significant other). It automatically creates graphs so you can see how your mood has changed over time.
- Take A Break!: I used this app all the time when I had a sometimes very stressful job back in New York. It includes two guided meditations, one seven minutes, and one thirteen minutes long. You can overlay nature sounds as well as music, depending on your preference. The 7-minute one is specifically designed to be a work break so you can do it anywhere (no lying on the floor, etc.). Taking a ten-minute break for a meditation and healthy snack is a great way to cope with stresses of school and life — in a short enough time frame to fit into your busy IU schedule! It is 100% free. 🙂
- FlowerGarden: This fun, relaxing game lets you cultivate your own flower garden. There are gentle nature sounds, mini-challenges to keep it interesting, and the option to create and email/text bouquets to your friends and family! A sweet, relaxing, and totally addictive game. Free or paid version $2.99. (There are in-app purchases but you can definitely get by without them.)
- POETRY: If you have a few minutes and want to read a little something, this is the perfect app. You can search poems by mood, subject, or title/first line. You can also shake your phone for a random poem. Even for those who don’t know a lot about poetry, it’s super easy to plug in “sad” and find a poem that is sympathetic and comforting, or “happy” for days when you want to share your joy. The app makes sharing easy, with options to Facebook, Tweet, or email your poetry finds. Totally free…and totally awesome.
Runners-Up: Fig and Think A Good Thought
One last thing: I wanted to take some time to highlight the amazing app Circle of Six. This app is an amazing way for you and your friends to keep each other safe. Program in your “Circle of 6” — up to six people you can count on to be there for you when you really need it. The app then offers several buttons: Come Get Me, Call Me, I Need Some Advice, and Danger. They automatically send texts to the people in your circles asking for help — a safe ride home or an easy excuse to duck out of a situation. I Need Some Advice connects you to information about healthy relationships. The Danger icon calls hotlines or a pre-programmed emergency number that you select. Learn more at www.circleof6app.com.
Remember to take care of yourself this week, Hoosiers! Don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, thoughts, or suggestions for what you’d like to see on the blog.
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Tagged calm, college, college students, dorm life, dorm living, dorms, indiana, indiana university, IU, IUB, relax, relaxation, self-care, self-care sunday
Next week is a very important event in the world of sexual violence prevention and activism here at IUB. Put on by the IU Women’s Student Association is the annual march and rally, Take Back the Night. It starts next Tuesday, October 8th at 6:30 pm at Dunn Meadow. We’ll be there! To learn more about the Take Back the Night movement visit www.takebackthenight.org.