Make Your Own Self Soothing Desk Kit

As an Artist, Facilitator and Active Listener, I am at my desk A LOT more than… well before 2020. Can you relate?

When I was the in-person Active Listener at events I would bring a bag of items to support someone who wants to ground themselves after feeling emotional discomfort. Now that we are online, I need to modify how I connect with others and that includes how I take care of myself. I realized that the bag I brought to in-person events was something I could recreate for myself, so I created my Self Soothing Desk Kit.

This kit lives on my desk in a box that used to hold white button mushrooms. You can use anything to help contain the objects. The key to my kit is having tangible, soothing items options to keep me present before logging into a meeting.

Image Description: On a wooden table sits an orange box containing affirmation cards and slips, two glass bottles 1/3 filled with glitter, small perfume and essential oil bottles, a lip balm, lip gloss, two rocks that say Hope, hand sanitizer and breath spray with green cap.

Here are are the items in my kit: 

  • Glitter in a bottle – I put glitter into tiny bottles so that I can move them slowly. This helps me slow down my thoughts as I watch how the light bounces off the glitter.
  • Scents (perfume/essential oil) – Scent can be really powerful for some folks. It can be nostalgic and calming. Be mindful if you have someone in your space that is sensitive to scent.
  • Lotion – for dry hands. Those free sample mini bottles are great.
  • Hand sanitizer – to dry my sweaty anxious palms.
  • A rock or any tactile object – My best object! I love holding it, feeling the weight, the edges and ridges.
  • Lip balm for those dry lips and gloss when I want my lips to sparkle. Who doesn’t love to sparkle?
  • Positive affirmations – when I need a confidence boost, a reminder to myself to not take things too seriously and be reminded of self kindness and compassion for those moments I am not feeling it.
  • Breath spray/mint – helps with dry mouth from my nerves.

Want to see an Instagram Reel that includes all of these items? CLICK HERE.

Some other suggestions to get yourself settled: lighting a candle, burning sage, lay a blanket on your lap or wrap around you, warm socks, a pillow for your seat and very important, staying hydrated.

Since our needs are so unique, here are some questions to consider when making your own.

  1. When I don’t feel grounded, what makes me feel present and back in my body?
  2. Am I a word person and need affirmations?Are there quotes or sayings that lift me up or can I ask a trusted friend to write me a note to add to the box?
  3. Is there anything that I can add to this kit?

Feel free to share your thoughts about this with me. I would love to hear what you would put in your kit.  You can find me on Instagram at @AmandaLederle and if I am at your next event, please say hello.

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    About the Author: lederle.amanda

    Amanda Lederle (they/them) is a Toronto-based artist and facilitator. Amanda is influenced by their lived experience as a queer, person of colour with mental illness, and work towards personal growth. Their artistic work uses the form of illustrated maps and mixed media to explore identity and connection. Amanda is also the founder of CreateBeing, a company that focuses on creativity and mental health. Amanda has always been interested in storytelling and received their Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies.You may see Amanda at events and training programs as an Active Listener, and serving on the Lived Experience Committee at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Amanda’s art has been exhibited at Being Scene, Gallery 1313, Open Minds Quarterly and in the Very Much Alive: Stories of Resilience anthology. You can find more on and, and on Instagram @AmandaLederle and @CreateBeing.

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