Mind Your Mind: How to make a self-soothing kit in a jar

For Christmas, my friend and I decided to create a self-soothing kit in a mason jar to give to our mutual friend. The idea is that this friend will be able to bring their self-soothing to work, and hopefully, it will help them during a stressful day.

What’s great about a mason jar is that you can leave it on your desk, beside your computer or on an office shelf.

For this project, we included many items, and I hope that by sharing this experience, you might feel inspired to create one yourself!

An extra charger: We bought a charger because it’s easy to forget your charger at home when you’re rushing on your way to work because you accidentally slept in.

Lip balm: We knew that my friend liked lip balm, so we tried to find a cool flavour. We ended up with a tropical flavour, and thankfully, our mutual friend liked it!

Mints: I love having mints (or chewing gum, Tic Tacs, Icebreakers) in my bag, because not only does it taste good, but it makes my day a little easier when I’m sitting in class trying to resist biting my nails due to anxiety.

Chocolate: I can’t tell you how much I love chocolate, so we bought our friend a little Santa-shaped chocolate filled with peanut butter. So delicious!

Mandalas and coloured pencils: We printed off mandalas, rolled them and inserted them in the mason jar. We bought some coloured pencils at Muji (they fit in the jar, thankfully) and now my friend can take a colouring break anytime they feel like they need to!

Lavender sanitizer: Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer is important to keep germs away! Lavender smells way better than alcohol and feels softer than hospital hand sanitizer.

All self-soothing kits contain different items, depending on the needs of the person. You can include items like:

  • Tea bags
  • Candy
  • A fidget toy
  • Pictures of loved ones/animals
  • Essential oils
  • A stuffed animal
  • Medication (e.g. Advil or Tylenol in case you need it)
  • A cool and smooth stone (it helps with grounding yourself)
  • A stress ball
  • Hand cream
  • Earbuds
  • Nail polish
  • A small notepad
  • An ice pack (it can also help with grounding if you feel overwhelmed)

Finally, don’t feel obligated to fit all those items in a mason jar! My personal self-soothing kit items are kept in a box beside my night table. If you’re running out of ideas of gifts for your friends, consider creating a self-soothing kit for them. And create one for yourself in the process!

The authors of this column are not mental health professionals. If you need additional support, please contact Student Health Services, Sexual Assault Support Centre and/or the Wellness Centre. In case of an emergency, call 911.