Back in the days of being neck-deep in soap and lotion making, 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, it became a great conversation starter with potential customers. At several of my craft shows, this small package ended up being one of my best sellers. That caught me by surprise, and I ended up scrambling for resources to keep making them in bulk.
It was packaged in a clear cellophane bag and filled with a tea-light, a couple of bath beads, and some yummy chocolate.
I added a hand-stamped tag that said “Out of Order,” along with a recipe card that said, “Take 15 minutes and add 1 hot bath, 2 bath beads, light one candle and eat chocolate. It’s time to take a break.”
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. Part of its popularity was that it was little, cute, and an easy type of break to take.
That where the idea of a Take-A-Break kit was born.
What Should Be In A Take-A-Break Kit?
First, a break is a short 15-30 minute span of time, not a long-weekend or all-day affair. That means a take-a-break kit needs to include activities that you can quickly grab and are fun and relaxing. They should not require intense concentration or require a lot of tools or supplies.
This kit is something you can create for yourself or maybe give as a fun gift. I’ve started a Pinterest Board with more ideas.
Step 1 – Find an awesome container
Make it portable and something that you can quickly grab. It can be quirky, simple, or pretty, just make sure that it is something you look forward to grabbing and picking something out of.
Step 2 – Keep a list
Make 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. A list will eliminate having to make your ole’ rememberer work when it might not be. The object is to have a short list of easy to grab activities to choose from. Pull out some pretty or inspirational paper! Have some fun with this. Stamp it, paint it, tangle it, something that will make you smile when you look at it.
Step 3 – Start stocking your kit
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Knitting or Crocheting – Knitting is one that I would include since it is usually portable. My current knitting project is a blanket, so it gets its own bag, but it would still be included on my list since I could complete a row or two in a short 15-20 minute break. Turn on some relaxing music or a good audiobook as you work, and you are set.
- Puzzle Books – Do you get lost in a word search, crossword, or Sodoku puzzles? These are small, usually inexpensive, and fun. Make sure to have a great pen or pencil on hand too.
- Letter Writing – 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 on 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 have become a journal and pen collector. If I am by the stationery aisle at the store, it’s hard for me not to stop and look at the journals and pen sections.
- Silence – Sometimes, what you need is just to stop, completely and utterly. Stop what you are doing, light a yummy smelling candle or diffuse some essential oils, and breathe deep.
- Doodling – Through Pinterest, I discovered the idea of Tangles from Zentanles to Zenspirations. The idea behind 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!
- Coloring Books: Pull out a coloring book with simple designs that you can color and complete in a short amount of time. Check out these easy coloring books!
What would you add to your Take-A-Break kit?
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, “Confident Hope: A Daily Quiet Time Journal”. Start your own daily gratitude practice with our, “7 Days of Gratitude Challenge – A Gratitude Journal Starter Kit”.