A sunshine (or self-soothe) box is exactly what it sounds like.  It can be any container, large or small that contains things that are calming or supportive to you & your system.  You can use any strategy to organize your box that appeals to you…

  • Medicine Wheel
  • 5 Senses
  • Elements of Me

and for this one, I am organizing the experience in a way that is most comfortable for me, a medicine wheel.  The medicine wheel is a teaching tool common to North American First Nations and was originally intended as a way to help non-Indigenous people understand an Indigenous worldview.  It helps to frame the world as circular, balanced and inclusive.


Include some things that you can touch; this serves as a good distraction for your hands and textures play a big role in calming anxiety.  Also in the physical realm, and spectacular for grounding, is exercise.  Consider putting some small cards or notes that remind you to take a walk, ride a bike or start your own dance party.  Finally, our physical selves are not limited to touch, so don’t forget to add some small elements for your taste buds.

  • Hand cream
  • A feather
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Bubble wrap for popping
  • A piece of rawhide
  • Playdoh or Putty
  • Stress ball
  • Fidget toys
  • Lip balm
  • Gum
  • Mints
  • Chocolate
  • Breathing strategy cards
  • Walk
  • Exercise


Take care of yourself in the same way you would a cherished friend, a favourite child or an honoured Elder.  Love and compassion must start with ourselves so that we have the capacity to extend it to others.

  • Watch a favorite movie
  • Start a Journal
  • List your accomplishments
  • Love yourself- exactly the way you are right now

For the box…

  • Colouring book & pencils
  • Paintbrush & paints
  • Photographs of special people or places
  • Cards with affirmations written on them


Take care of yourself Mentally as you would a precious apprentice.  Keep yourself challenged and interested.  Choose activities that stimulate and refresh.

  • Read
  • Put together a puzzle
  • Play a mental game such as Chess, Scrabble, or Risk
  • Do a Crossword, Fill In, Logic, or Wordfind Puzzle
  • Visit a museum
  • Organize your environment to make it more comfortable and functional

For the box…

  • Puzzles, crosswords, sudoku
  • Organizational challenges printed on small cards (desk drawer, linen closet, car trunk etc.)
  • a small bag of rocks or brightly coloured buttons that you can organize
  • Challenge or philosophy cards
  • A favourite book


Spiritual care does not have to mean religion.  For many of us it is our connection to a power bigger than ourselves, and for others it is the belief in the power of themselves.  Spiritual strength can come from finding your own inner strength.  Regardless of your belief system, take care of your own spirit because it is the most valuable core of who you are.

  • Contemplation
  • Spend time in nature
  • Check your judgement
  • Engage in acts of compassion
  • Practice Gratitude
  • Listen to uplifting music
  • Practice meditation

For the box….

  • Meditation Card
  • Reminder to watch a funny video (make a list of your favorite funny videos)
  • Take what you need Rocks (a set of rocks with meditative words on them such as strength, calm, and hope)
  • Chocolate for a mindful break
  • Notes of gratitude and thanks from others
  • affirmation notes to read
  • copies of cherished certificates and reminders of accomplishments
  • Sage/Sweetgrass/Cedar/Tobacco

Do you have favourite “sunshine Box” got-to’s?  standard things that relax and refresh you?  Check in and let me know!