Finding a Moment of Peace: The Self-Soothe Box

Dorothy Hunt, Ending the Search: From Spiritual Ambition to the Heart of Awareness

  • Smell: your favourite cream, essential oil, room spray, fabric infused with perfume.
  • Taste: strong flavoured gum, favourite tea, something sour or spicy.
  • Sight: picture of your favourite place, person, pet. Something that brings good memories and warm, fuzzy feelings. (A postcard, card or letter from a loved one?)
  • Sound: Note down a favourite song that makes you feel relaxed – this is to bring the song to your mind, or you might actually put it on. (Other ideas: earplugs if noise overwhelms you, or a voice recording of you or someone important to you who talks calmly.)
  • Touch: something soft like a piece of fabric, a stress ball, fidget toys, some plasticine or blue tack.

How to use your self-soothe box

It’s important to have your self-soothe box somewhere accessible – for example, on your desk or nightstand or even in your handbag if it fits inside – so that you can easily reach for it. The beauty of the self-soothe box is that it can travel with you – making it a great tool for global nomads.

Go to your box when you are feeling distressed or overwhelmed. Start by simply gazing at the box before choosing which item(s) you’d like to engage with, whether you’re touching or smelling or holding or tasting (or listening to a song). Give yourself some time to let this experience settle, to find comfort, to feel grounded.  

Remember: The self-soothe box is a tool for you to use when you feel distressed. It’s not a substitute for therapy. If you feel that you are struggling, speak to a mental health practitioner. (You can reach out to us at any point.) There’s always a way.