I have only experienced one anxiety-induced panic attack in my life so far, and I’m so grateful that I haven’t had more. But general anxiety is something I deal with a lot. Mostly, it’s travel anxiety. It’s the thought of going far away on holiday, or an impromptu holiday where anything can happen, that triggers it.
But I also experience a lot of anxiety in the evenings. There’s rarely a trigger that I can identify for this kind of anxiety and it’s therefore so much harder to work through.
That’s where my anxiety relief box steps in.
In this article, I’ll cover what the box is, how I made my own, what you can put in yours, and a few places you can buy pre-made ones online.
What is an Anxiety Relief Box?
In its simplest form, an anxiety relief box is a box that relieves your anxiety. This works for a number of reasons:
- The box is contained – I know exactly what is in it and what I will spend the next hour doing once the box is opened. This type of certainty and control helps me also feel in control of my anxiety too.
- It’s filled with reassuring items – the exact items you put in your box are down to personal choice. Whatever goes in the box must be something that you know will ground you. For me, a lot of anxiety stems from the “what ifs” that seem so much worse in my head. The items in my box remind me to stay grounded in reality, like photos of holidays that went well, and messages from friends/family.
- The more you use the box, the better – this won’t be the same for everyone, but personally, I find that the more I associate my box with calming down, reducing anxiety, and feeling secure, the quicker it works for me. The power of conditioning.
Your box doesn’t have to be huge either. Mine is a bit larger than a shoebox. You can also make smaller ones for travelling.
What’s in My Box?
My box contains a handmade quilt that I really love. It has that comforting feel that reminds me of home, plus I’ve sewn in various buttons and embroidery pieces that keep my fingers occupied.
Underneath the Quilt
Bath salts – I find these super relaxing. The scent of lavender and jasmine is enough to calm my nerves, while the valerian and magnesium helps me feel snoozy when I soak in it. If there isn’t time for a bath, I just add a handful of salts to a bowl and soak my feet instead.
Book – Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes by Cory O’Brien is a book that never fails to make me laugh and see the brighter side of life. It’s great for reducing tension and won’t keep me up all night, like watching a TV show will.
Crystal – holding this crystal while I do an anti-anxiety meditation helps me to stop fidgeting.
Rescue Remedy – a few drops of the Rescue Remedy Comfort & Reassure blend sometimes helps. It’s not as effective on me as it is on other people. You can add a few drops to your tea if you don’t like the taste of it.
Herbal tea – Pukka Night Time Tea is my anxiety tea of choice. It’s the blend that I find the most calming. There are plenty of other anti-anxiety tea blends though. Check out Twinings Superblends Moment of Calm, or Tiesta Tea Lavender Chamomile.
Incense – I prefer the slightly smoky scent of incense to candles. Any incense that’s made with scents for meditation is a good choice. Unlike a candle, it will go out quickly and safely by itself, if you happen to fall asleep.
Spare headphones – I keep a spare set in my box because when I need to put on my anti-anxiety meditation, I don’t want to spend hours finding and untangling my daily pair.
I also include some personal and private notes and photos in my box that aren’t photographed.
Once I’m all set up, I either listen to Stephen Fry’s sleep story to soothe anxiety and get me to sleep at the same time, or I do Yoga with Adriene’s video:
Other Things to Put in Your Anxiety Relief Box
Here are some ideas of what to put in your own anxiety relief box:
- Calming room spray or linen spray for your bed,
- Bath bombs, soaps, and Radox bubble bath,
- Adult colouring books and pens/pencils,
- CBD products (gummies, oils, tablets, etc.)
- Essential oils and wax melts,
- Fidget toys,
- Chocolate and sweet treats,
- Massage bars and moisturising body butters,
- Hot water bottle or microwavable buckwheat pillow.
If you want to add some natural skincare items (creating a nightly skincare routine is a great way to unwind) read my Guide to Buying Homemade and Small Business Skincare.
Not Got Time to Make Your Own?
Making your own anxiety relief box is a great way to make it personal and super effective at soothing your anxiety. But sometimes, I know that being taken care of by someone else can do a lot for your anxiety. So, buying a pre-made anxiety relief box is a good way to pamper yourself without doing all the work.
ThreeBearsEmporium has an anxiety relief care package containing essential oils, bath salts, bath bombs and fizzers. If taking a bath is your favourite way to reduce anxiety, this is a good box to select.
TheCalmingClub is on Etsy and has some really lovely things to help you soothe your anxiety. The calming care package contains Himalayan bath salts, an A5 colouring page, luxury dark chocolate, Teapigs Calm teabags, a motivational print, room spray, and 12 ‘Calming Cards’ that remind you of great anxiety relief techniques.