The Self-Care Kit is a bag of tools to draw from when PMDD strikes (or whenever you need a little extra attention). You design it yourself, so it's filled with all the things that bring you comfort. It helps you remember what to do for yourself when everything stops working and the PMDD shit hits the fan. The great thing is, it's ready and waiting for you. All you have to do is remember to use it!
So what should go in your Self-Care Kit?
It's all about self-regulation, in other words, helping yourself to come back to equilibrium. So just ask yourself, "What would help me to do that?"
Maybe you're feeling the anxiety and your heart is pounding. Would using an essential oil like lavender feel good? Or maybe you are feeling the RAGE!! Can you put some tricks up your sleeve (or in your self-care kit) to help you cope with that? Maybe one of your biggest symptoms is suddenly hating your boyfriend or partner. Would it be helpful to see a note to yourself reminding you of all of his (or her) good qualities?
Consider what you need to feel "okay" when faced with the wide range of symptoms PMDD can bring on. These can be actual materials things or simply reminders to yourself of things to do differently. Do you need extra support to function emotionally, or as a parent, or in a relationship? Do you need a ready-made sign to hang on your bedroom door that warns the people you live with, for example? What can help you survive the day at school or work? Do you need to keep some special snacks in reserve in your desk? What do you need to help you relax (as much as is possible anyway)? What do you need to help you manage the demands on your energy when you have less to go around? What do you need to reduce your stress? The great thing about these kits is how unique and personal they are. It's an act of self-love just to make one. So go ahead! Show yourself you care!
Here's a nifty checklist to help you get started in creating your very own PMDD Self-Care Kit. Of course, you can be as creative as you want! This is just a starting place. Once you have your list, start collecting the goods. You can put everything in a basket if you like. Or maybe you just have the list hanging on the fridge for reference, whatever works for you. Just be sure you have these things on hand before you need them so they are in easy reach when you do.
For Body Comfort
- hot water bottle or heating pad
- yoga bolster and some yin yoga CD's or videos
- high quality chocolate
- essential oils that soothe, like lavender
- Bach's Rescue Remedy
- warm, cozy, fuzzy textures... blankets, sweaters, socks, robe
- Epsom salts or special treats for the bath
- big bottle of pain reliever
- teas or cocoa
- non-GMO cookiesand/or salty snacks
- extra sleep
- a gift certificate to yourself for a massage
- helpful supplements like an epilator (call it constructive self-harm!)
For Mind Comfort
- kundalini yoga workout for anger or self love (check out our videos lists on youtube)
- brain de-switching
- heart-math practices
- laugh yoga
- funny movies (or if you prefer, tear-jerkers)
- angry songlist
- sad songlist
- uplifting songlist
- coloring book and crayons or pencils
- a Pinterest board of inspirational sayings
- have a collection of used glass jars and bottles you can smash (be safe!)
- a collection of books or magazines
For Spirit Comfort
- gratitude practice
- meditation practice
- a big box of super-soft kleenex
- a PMDD buddy you can call and talk to or even sit with
- a list of things you excuse yourself from during PMDD (ie:
- don't stay out past 9 PM or don't beat myself up if I overeat)
- special prayers
- sound therapy (bells, gongs, etc.)
Got a great idea for a Self-Care Kit item? Share it over on our Facebook page!