My book How To Stay Sane In A Crazy World was released recently and people have been posting comments and sightings using the hashtag #howtostaysaneinacrazyworld all over the web. Lovely people in countries as far afield as Korea, New Zealand and England have bought copies and sent me notes via my blog teamgloria.com. It’s sad to see how many people are on medical leave after a surgery and illness, or have close friends and family members who are. But glorious to hear how the book has helped them. The piece that resonates most with many readers, so far, has been the Kindness Kit.
Here’s an excerpt from the book which talks about what a Kindness Kit is, why I made one – and a recipe to make your own. I hope you do. It is one of the things that changed my life.
In the weeks leading up to my surgery, I started to collect all the items I would need in my house. Because, once I was on medical leave, I would be too sick to go out for a while. I took a bento box and painted it and started to pop nice things into it, like tea lights and a yo-yo (nope, I’ve still not mastered it) and lovely rose- scented soap, lavender oil, and a notepad and pencils from the posh hotels I’d stayed in on business trips.
About halfway through, I realized what I’d done—I had made a kindness kit for myself. And for the first time since the diagnosis, I sat down on the sofa and wept. Being kind to myself was a foreign concept. If you can relate to that sentence, let’s make a kindness kit for you. Here’s how I made mine.
Because I would not be able to go out to the shops, I collected sweet objects to have around me that would allow me to get through sleepless nights, long days, and the bits in between. I also wanted everything to be beautiful, so I threw out boring soaps and bought little guest soaps with gorgeous scents. I bought a hand fan from a Chinese store that made me feel like a princess. Lavender sachets made tearful nights easier when slipped under the pillow. I knew I would write, so I collected pencils from glorious hotels and little notepads to have by the bed. Going to the post office would not be an option, so to stay in touch and say thank you for the flowers I received, I pre-stamped pretty postcards that friends could drop in the mailbox for me. The yo-yo might be frustrating. My friend Maria says it is. Try bubbles instead to make you smile.
A Recipe For Making Your Own Kindness Kit:
A nice china teacup and saucer; creams for face, hands, and feet; tea lights for candlelit baths; essential oil burner; crisp cotton pillowcases; soft socks; soothing blue brushed-cotton robe; piles of clean white T-shirts; comfy knickers; bubble bath and oils and Epsom salts; cashmere scarf (I carried mine around like a blanket from room to room); lots of boxes of tissues (for tears and sniffles, and good with lavender oil drops to put over your eyes while napping); tea—English breakfast, afternoon Earl Grey, late-night herbal types; art supplies—canvas, paints, brushes, Mod Podge decoupage glaze, stick-on pearls, lots of magazines, scissors, glue, sticky tape; lots of playlist CDs; books-books-books; movies that make you smile, movies that make you weep, foreign films that make you want to travel; lots of notebooks and pencils………….
There’s nothing to be lost by stepping back and taking to your bed. Gather up beautiful items for your kindness kit and then sink back against those soft pillows and dream. It’s time to rest, rejuvenate, and appreciate just how glorious life really is. For more tips for soothing your soul, see my book, How To Stay Sane in a Crazy World.
“It’s time to rest, rejuvenate, and appreciate just how glorious life really is.” –Sophia Stuart
Sophia Stuart grew up in England and moved to the US to build a big career in digital media. But while working in Manhattan she was told she had three tumors in her throat, needing five hours of surgery and a month of medical leave to recover.