Back in the days of being chin deep in soap, lotion and toiletries production, I had this little tiny product called the “Take-A-Break” kit. I sooooo wish I had thought to take a picture of it but looking through my files I couldn’t find one.
It started as a fun little thing to draw attention to my craft show booth and as a conversation starter with potential customers. For awhile it became one of my best sellers. That caught me by surprise and I ended up scrambling for resources to keep making them in bulk.
The small package came in a clear cellophane packet filled with a tea-light, a couple of bath beads and some yummy chocolate. It was tied with twine and a little tag that was stamped with an old fashioned “Out of Order” sign and a recipe card that said something like – “Take 15 minutes and add: 1 hot bath, 2 bath beads, light one candle and enjoy some chocolate. It’s time to take a break.”
I really wish I had that saved, it was years ago and several computers ago , who knew I would be blogging about it years later.
That little package was a fun, out-of-the box idea that captured my customers fancy. It was small, affordable and made a great quick gift to give someone. I also think that a key component of its popularity was that a) it was packaged in a cute way and b) it was an achievable idea.
What Should Be In A Take-A-Break Kit?
As I have worked on this blog , the idea of a different kind of take-a-break kit has been on my mind. I’ve wondered how I could take this simple idea and grow it from a little idea to a big one that you and I could both use. This is the start of creating something bigger than that original $1.50 package!
Let’s set some parameters here. A break is short, not an all-day or weekend retreat, so it needs to be quick, easy to grab, be fun and/or relaxing, and inspirational is also great.
This would be a kit you could create for yourself or maybe even create and give as a gift to someone else. Hmmm, maybe a new Pinterest Board idea huh?
Step 1 – Find an awesome container
Funky & Fun, Pretty and Stylish, Simple and Functional – whatever floats your boat, and make it portable if possible. The most important thing is that you have something you look forward to grabbing and picking something out of.
Step 2 – Keep a list
Start a list of what is in your take-a-break kit, especially if it has items that will be used up and need to be replaced. Plus a list like this will eliminate having to make your ole’ rememberer work when it might not be. The object is to have a quick stash of ideas that are fun, and not to stress you out trying to remember what your options are. Hey and use pretty or inspirational paper! Have some fun with this. Stamp it, paint it, tangle it, something to make you smile when you look at it.
Step 3 – Start stocking your kit
Here are some ideas for both of us to get started thinking about. Concentrate on soul-filling and joy brining ideas.
- Knitting or Crocheting – Knitting is one that I would have handy, it is portable, but with the blanket I am working on it would not fit in my main bag. It would definitely make it on my the list though. I could get a couple of long rows done I think in a 15-20 minute break. If you turn on some nice music or a good audiobook as you work, you are set.
- Puzzle Books – Do you get lost in word search, crossword, or Sodoku puzzles? These are small, usually inexpensive and fun. Make sure to use a great pen or pencil too.
- Letter Writing – Maybe it’s time to focus on someone else for awhile. What if you had a stack of cards, a quote book, favorite writing pen and some stamps together so that you could send someone who has been on your mind an encouraging word or note. How cool would that be to make a positive impact in the life of someone who needs it.
- Journaling – Same here, have a journal with some luxurious paper, a great writing pen, and a deadline. You could write a lot in a short amount of time. I could easily become a journal and pen addict, I am always looking at new journals in the store and checking out the pen section.
- Silence – Sometimes what you need is to just stop, completely and utterly. Stop what you are doing, light a yummy smelling candle or diffuse some essential oils and breath deep
- Doodling – Through Pinterest I discovered the idea of Tangles from Zentanles to Zenspirations. The idea of this type of art is to quiet and focus your mind, try something new and have fun. There are days this fits the bill perfectly when my brain is on overdrive. My mind goes quiet, I get calmer and sometimes I even come out with something pretty!
There are always ideas to add to this list and I intend to keep developing and adding. Would love to hear your thoughts and what you would add to this list.
P.S. The little guy in the pic above is my Mom’s dog Oliver. We both brought out doggies home from the dog shelter the same day and the same car. He is just so cute! And here he was taking a break next to me when I was up last visiting my Mom.
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her buddy Bailey. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books including her newest, “Choosing Gratitude: A Daily Quiet Time Journal”.