Wendy Hawkins, LCSW

Empower! Educate! Evolve!

DIY Your Mental Health Toolbox into Life!

DIY Your Mental Health Toolbox into Life!

“Take good care of yourself.”

For many of us sometimes sprinting through the rat race of life, the statement rings exceptionally loud as it floats through conversations with colleagues, family members and healthcare practitioners. What does self-care mean for you? From a holistic practitioner standpoint, it means to identify the needs of your mind, body and soul and to take the steps necessary to meet them. Let’s look at one creative way to DIY your Mental Health Toolbox into life!

In a world where we can witness or access anything or anyone at any time thanks to the internet and social media, practicing self-care in the 24/7 world while buried in regular life stuff like work and family can pose a challenge. But it is possible and with a little bit of prioritized time investment, it can even be creatively fun!

In recent months, I’ve begun to build on the importance of this self-care way of life to encourage my clients to be the best versions of themselves as possible. A great supplement to the self-care routine that doubles as a creative catharsis project is your personal version of the Mental Health Toolbox. DIY your Mental Health Toolbox into life!

When I was doing community based services, I worked with young children as well as adolescents. For young people who are struggling with keeping it together at times, I would create a “coping skills bag” which is basically a portable Mental Health Toolbox. We would talk out what they liked to do and then I would fill their bag with those items. It could range from coloring books and crayons to legos or puzzles. The possibilities were endless! The point was they had immediate solutions at their fingertips of how to effectively manage their emotions and overall well-being.

As with the coping skills bag, the concept of the Mental Health Toolbox encourages you to have the proper tools necessary to empower yourself and take charge of your mental health journey at your fingertips. This toolbox will vary from person to person, and as your holistic therapist, I assist with helping you choose the tools that work best for your mental wellness.

Some of these tools can be the practice of better habits like adequate rest and nutrition, but some of them can be actual items that can be collected in your personal Mental Health Toolbox and need to be stored. The object is to have it within quick access when you are in need of self-care or relief from any of life’s day-to-day strains. These items can range from some of your favorite photos, a variety of journals, an uplifting book, scent oils or incense, bath bombs, healthy snacks, business cards for on-call massage therapists, your favorite teas, stress balls and anything under that sun that can act as a little friend to help get you through the day.

DIY Your Mental Health Toolbox into Life!

Because these items can go a long way in providing relief and relaxation, they most certainly deserve a good home!

I’ve found some of my favorite DIY self-care box ideas on Pinterest, posted below with an approximation on the cost of materials.

DIY Your Mental Health Toolbox into Life!

Profile “Beautiful You” on youtube.com

I absolutely loved this neutral eco-friendly box that essentially costs nothing and would look beautiful in any room. Here’s what you need:
– An old box suitable to fit your self-care items
– A roll of Jute
– A glue gun

Approximate cost – Under $10



DIY Your Mental Health Toolbox into Life!






When I came across this box, I immediately thought of the pile of magazines that I always keep handy for creative projects. This may be a little more time intensive but I can expect quiet, creative time in a well-lit room during the weekend could prove to be therapeutic. The love that you put into making this box will flow through to your self-care babies and glaze over you like warm sunlight on the days you need it most.

Approximate cost – under $5 for glue stick and clips


DIY Your Mental Health Toolbox into Life!




If you’re looking to express your self care in the form of de-cluttering, this DIY storage box is a perfect alternative home for old sweaters, leggings or flip-flops. My favorite things about this project is that I wouldn’t have to give up some of my favorite pieces because I have a great place to store them now.

Approximate cost – under $5 for glue sticks; under $10 if you don’t already own a glue gun.





Self-care should be as much prioritized as paying your monthly rent or mortgage, because it is essential for balance and personal success. But let’s face it–self-care has to be practical or we won’t follow through and do it! When you dedicate your self-love creatively with a calming project such as this, you reinforce your priority to yourself and your needs. Go ahead and DIY your Mental Health Toolbox. I’d love to see your toolbox photos!

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: