Emergency self-care toolkit – How to practice self-care on bad days

Emergency self-care toolkit - How to practise self-care on bad days.

Have you ever had a bad day? One where sleep didn’t cut it? I have! It is so easy to continue with life as normal, cooking meals; cleaning; doing some work, and organizing play dates while hoping that at some point you will snap out of it. However, the unpleasant emotions remain and you begin to snap at the kids and give your partner silent treatment. You become easily irritable because you haven’t done anything to make yourself feel better. Sounds familiar? Practicing self-love and self-care as a mom is not easy, especially on bad days. Nonetheless, you can do something about it. So if you have been asking yourself: what can I do to love and care for myself on a bad day? What systems can I put in place for a comeback? Well, you can create an emergency self-care toolkit to teach yourself how to practice self-care on bad days. Let’s get into it.

What is an emergency self-care toolkit?

Let’s first look at what the emergency self-care tool kit is. An emergency self-care tool kit is a collection of items or an action plan with a list of things that help you feel more like yourself and bring you joy. It is a collection of things that you enjoy, things that comfort and calm you; bring you peace and help you to relax. Creating it is simple. All that you need to do is to remember what makes you feel great. An emergency self-care tool kit is a preset way in which you can fill your cup back up again.

Emergency self-care toolkit - How to practice self-care on bad days.

Why do I need an emergency self-care kit?

 As a mom, you know and expect that your kids will get hurt in one way or the other. That is why you have a first aid kit at home. It is the same with stressful days, they will come and you need a way to be kinder to yourself on such days, that is where the emergency self-care tool kit will come in handy. Moreover, it will serve as a reminder that you need to care for yourself. The saying “out of sight, out of mind” holds with this too. You are more likely to practice self-care on hard days if you have planned for it.

What should I put in my self-care tool kit?

Whether you are making a list or an actual box, you need to consider holistic self-care and then think of things that make you feel good. However, it is important to keep your self-care tool kit items minimal to avoid overwhelming yourself on days when you are stressed. Let’s get started:

Practical Self-care

First things first, the biggest reason why we fail to practice self-care as moms is “there’s no one to look after my kids”. That is why it is important to know now who can take care of the kids while you take a few minutes to practice self-care. 

  • Will a loved one do it?
  • Are the kids big enough to watch cartoons?
  • Or will you wait for them to go to bed? 

This will help create a calming and soothing environment for you, one with minimal distractions on your emergency self-care day.

Professional Self-care

Mommy, you need to consider a passion of yours. If you are a YouTuber or blogger or podcaster and enjoy what you do; you can look at it as self-care not to work. And if you are a person who cannot function when your work is not done then that could be a part of self-care for you. It can be helpful to just complete that task.

Emergency self-care toolkit - How to practice self-care on bad days.5 reasons why reasons you should pursue your dreams as a mom

Spiritual self-care

Well this will depend on your belief for me as a believer in Jesus Christ this is where I play worship music because sometimes on bad days it can even be hard to get yourself to open your Bible first so I will listen to worship music first for me to first is down and come back and be able to bring myself to a point where I can read the word and to be honest, sometimes I don’t get to read the word.  

Social self-care

Can I be honest here on bad days I don’t normally want people next to me, those are the days where I want time for myself together with my thoughts and be able to just process what has happened. So depending on what kind of person you are, think of whether you want to be alone at that point and process your thoughts or if you prefer to have someone; think of the person that you can call write the person’s name down.

Mental self-care

Here you need to think of things that help put your mind at ease. Things like listening to soothing music or listening to music that can make you dance. You can create a playlist of your favorite jams that you can listen to lift your mood. I have a few lists.

Emotional Self-care

This is a big one on my list for stressful days because we need to feel what we feel and we need to process our emotions healthily. We need to heal from whatever had made us feel stressed or hurt in the first place. It won’t be enough to have somebody else take care of the kids and have space and time to yourself and listen to music if you don’t process what was making you feel emotional and stressed in the very first place. You need to process your emotions so that you can heal. This can include writing in your journal.

Emergency self-care toolkit - How to practice self-care on bad days.

Physical Self-care

Getting yourself to relax is important. The first thing that I’ll do is to take a hot shower because that immediately just relaxes me and puts me in a state where I feel better than I was feeling.

Once you have considered the possible activities that you can do as a pick-me-up on your stressful day, it is important now to write a statement to yourself as an instruction on what you need to do to take care of yourself. Remember that you don’t need to include everything that you have written above that is under each self-care category.

Mine would be: When I’m having a stressful day I will put my daughter’s favorite cartoon for her to watch and I will tell my husband that I need time to myself because I’ve had a horrible day. I will take a shower with scented candles lit, lights dimmed and music playing. I’ll change my clothes and go to the room and I will take out my journal and begin to write down my feelings. Thereafter, I’ll write out all the things that I’m grateful for to remind myself that in even though I had a bad day I still have things to be grateful for and then I’ll take out my list of my wins which I have already prepared and read the things that I have achieved to remind myself that I am doing my best.

This is how you create an emergency self-care toolkit so that you can know how to practice self-care on bad days. Nonetheless, I would love to hear what you do on bad days to take care of yourself, mama? 

Photography: Unsplash

4 thoughts on “Emergency self-care toolkit – How to practice self-care on bad days”


    I am here for the information, never thought that far of preparing for bad days. The spiritual self care resonated with me a lot.

  2. Aquinar Tebatso Malatji

    Hi Busie,

    Wow, this is your true calling because you dissect mommy issues deeper than I could have imagined. Your self-care points are practical and using a tool-box analogy was very smart – it makes the entire post relatable and easy to grasp. Thank you for the information and continue empowering us with the skills/tools.

    We appreciate it.

    1. Thank you Aquinar for your kind words❤️. I truly believe that self-care makes us efficient in all that we do as Moms. It gives us that power.

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