Self-Soothe boxes go by several different names - crisis boxes, emergency boxes, hope boxes, happy boxes. You can call your self-soothe box whatever you feel comfortable with – the idea is that you fill your box with things that help you when you’re struggling with your mental health.

Some people find that when they’re feeling upset, anxious, or experiencing low mood, the contents of their box is helpful, in offering ways to feel more grounded, relaxed, or distracted from distressing thoughts.

What to put in your box

Your self-soothe box is entirely personal to you, so fill the box with whatever you think will be helpful – this might be:

Fun, helpful or comforting things (for example, tactile things like fluffy socks, nice soothing smells from an essential oil),

Distracting things (such as a puzzle book or Mandala colouring book, plus pens and colour pencils)

Special memory items or little trinkets (such as photos of an important day, concert or train tickets, gifts or notes from friends or family)

Reminders for yourself, that you can deal with how you’re currently feeling (for example, you could write a card to yourself, reminding yourself that you can get through this).

Details of people / helplines you can contact for support.

If you’re thinking about creating a self-soothe box, it might help to think about the contents using the following categories: touch, smell, memories, music, activity.


Making the box

You can buy a box that suits just fine – or you can decorate a plain box with images that mean something to you. And it doesn’t have to be a box – it can be a bag, or you can use a small cupboard or drawer – some people make a travel version as well, so they can carry it with them when they go out.