What’s in My Bag: Self Soothe Edition
Written By Chaleigh Craft
What is a Self Soothe Bag?
Self Soothe Bags, as their name implies, are small kits you can easily carry with you, with items designed to ease distress, regulate overwhelming emotions, and ground you. I learned about the concept of self soothe kits in an intensive outpatient program on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and loved creating and using mine so much, I shared the concept with loved ones. Simultaneously, I continued to refine and refresh my own kit, perfecting and tailoring it to my changing needs. Whether DBT resonates with you or not, the self soothe bag is an easy (and fun!) way to create a portable toolkit aimed at helping you better cope and navigate life’s daily challenges.
Self Soothe Bags should include at least two items from each of your five senses: Vision, Sound, Smell, Taste, & Touch.
Because we are complex humans, with unique preferences, what we include in our personal bags will vary widely (for instance, the sound of a clicking pen might be soothing for some, while unbearable for others). Their commonality and defining feature lies in their ability to lighten the intensity of our emotions, ease our reactions to distressing situations or feelings, and ground ourselves.
While our self soothe bags will look different, sharing what we are using can be fun and inspire our own kits! So here is mine.
(You can see the list at end for more product info on each item)
The Touch items in my bag include a gold vintage tactile locket, a rubbery ant, a glittery silicone beauty sponge, and a carved cicada . Each is incredibly tactile and soothing.
The Vision items in my bag include a rainbowy moonstone, and a few photos that make me happy including one of me and my partner hugging on a trip, and several of our dogs.
But, I also have this extremely fun light manipulator. You hold it to your eye, and light sources break into spectrums of color. It’s fucking joyous, to be honest.
See what I mean?
I’m not always the best with the sound category. Music typically heightens my emotions, rather than serving to help me relax. So, for sound, my main tool is these beautiful ear plugs. I mean, they are so pretty they should probably be categorized under visual as well.
I love a good scent! But, please be mindful about using them when you’re out in public. The first two seen here, I find relaxing and grounding, while the Relieve from WELLSCENT is more energizing; I use them according to my needs at the time. When you put the Relieve on your skin, it has the added bonus of creating a tingly sensation, which can additionally help draw you back to your senses.
I have freeze dried fruits, tea, a CBD vape, and mint gum. I like to have several tastes available, so that I can use the one most appropriate for the situation (not going to be vaping CBD at the Dr.’s office). If you’re not into CBD, alternative suggestions are listed at the end of this article!
Whats in your Self Soothe Bag?
We want to see your tools! We want to hear what works for you! Send us photos, send us links!
Did you enjoy this article? Are you interested in seeing more self soothe objects? Let us know! We love hearing from you!
- Carved Cicada (My carved cicada was a gift, but you can find similar ones, like this pretty pink one, on Etsy.)
- Moonstone (Similar pieces, like this, can be found on Etsy)
- Polaroid Photos (Polaroid)
- Light Manipulator (Mine was bought at Terra Toys, but there are so many online options available! You can search for light diffractors, or check out this awesome pendant style one or these fireworks diffraction glasses
- Loop Ear Plugs (Loop)
- Maison Louis Marie No.4 (At $57 for .5OZ, Maison Louis Marie No.4 is pretty pricey. But, if you plan on wearing it, a very little goes a long way. Still, it’s likely out of many people’s budgets, so find what works for you.)
- PF Candle Co. Room Spray in Teakwood and Tobacco (PF Candle Co. is amazing. I am not a fragrance person, and especially not a room spray person. But PF Candle Co manages to completely transform traditional room sprays. Their Teakwood and Tobacco Spray is a classic.
- Relieve by Well Scent (I use Relieve by Well Scent multiple times a day. It not only has a wonderful energizing scent, but helps manage pain symptoms as well!)
- Karen’s Naturals Freeze Dried Fruits (I love the texture of Karen’s Naturals Freeze Dried Fruits
- Pukka Tea in Love (PukKa Tea)
- CBD Vape (I use an Ooze Vape Pen with a CBD cartridge. If you’re looking for something without CBD, MONQ makes portable aromatherapy “diffusers” tailored to specific needs.)
- Gum (I use a high quality Nicotine Gum, from Lucy’s for reasons I don’t feel qualified to explain here, but obviously whatever gum you enjoy will work!)