a letterpress photograph box filled with polaroid pictures of people smiling for World Mental Health Day

You, our lovely Object Story readers, share the little ways you're kinder to yourself, from hot chocolate rituals to time in nature and more.

To celebrate World Mental Health Day this week, we recently asked you about the small, daily acts of kindness you show yourselves on a daily basis. The type of little things that might fly under the radar day-to-day; yet, over time, they make an important difference to your mood and outlook. 

Because the truth is, many of us put our own needs on the backburner without even thinking about it in life. We side-line what our bodies tell us about being tired and overloaded, and take on more than we can manage; then beat ourselves up for "failing" to meet our own, unrealistic standards. 

Object Story pick: Organic neroli and petitgrain body cream

Maybe, then, this week is a cue for us to change tack; to make a conscious and creative effort to be kinder to ourselves, and seal that commitment within a series of small daily gestures. Things like taking time to make yourself a proper breakfast, or lighting a candle at the end of the day. Over time, these acts will hopefully build an energy of their own, leading to a more rooted and instinctive form of self-kindness. 

Not sure where to start? Here are eight of our favourite suggestions from our brilliant Object Story community over on Instagram

A stool in the garden with a Haw's watering can and letterpress seed box.

  1. Power of dance

    From debbiesmyth

    "Putting on some favourite tunes and singing & dancing like no one is watching. Also whistling while I work is a good grounding technique I use."

  2. Chocolate ritual

    From @immortalpassado

    "Taking the time to make something ordinary a thoughtful ritual. Today it was spending a good 10 minutes crafting a smashing hot chocolate. I lit a candle, put some music on, heated the milk gently in my favourite little pan, used my best mug, and made it feel a bit sacred." 

    Object Story pick: Organic bean to bar hot chocolate

  3. Mirror smile

    From @vdk.may

    "Smiling at myself whenever I see myself in the mirror. We often smile at others, but don't always extend this small gesture to ourselves."

    A botanical candle company candle being lit for World Mental Health Day

  4. Sleep of dreams

    From @coxystreats

    "Falling asleep to a great book or a mindfulness recording. Even better with fresh sheets, a silk pillowcase, silk eye mask and a spritz of sleep spray!" 

  5. Great Outdoors

    From @velvetbarnacle

    "For me the best self care is getting outside every day. Whether it's a short walk or sitting under a tree for a few minutes or getting my hands in the soil in the garden. Recently I've started sea swimming more regularly and that is wonderful medicine." 

    Object Story pick: Letterpress archive seed box

  6. Time alone

    From @dee_nise1

    "I encourage my husband to take our son to rugby so that I can have the house to myself for an hour. Peace and quiet." 

  7. Coffee cure

    From @chai.bear

    "Definitely my morning coffee ritual. I take my time, using an aeropress and my favourite hand-made mug and sit outside or look out the window as I drink it. That way I feel connected to the outside world and the weather even if I'm going to spend the rest of the day inside at a desk."

    A Chemex coffee maker and a Leach Pottery mug ready to serve coffee

  8. Leaving work behind

    From @sarahruthstanfordjewellery

    "I pour myself a drink (sometimes a little wine, sometimes something soft or hot) while I’m cooking tea for my kids and I, to help me leave my work day behind for a few hours (I’m self employed so never fully ‘off’, but I’m working on that!) and be really present with my kiddos for a while. A little ritual to put a line under one part of my workday, and I always look forward to it."

    Object Story pick: Parisian hand-blown wine glass

October 10, 2022 — Anna Brech