Subscription Boxes Designed to Enhance Your Recovery
Self-care tools delivered to your door monthly? Sign me up!
The moment I heard about wellness subscription boxes for people in recovery, I was intrigued. I particularly like products that promote a holistic approach to wellness. My approach to recovery has to be about looking after
my whole self. I’ve learned that the hard way over the years — after being burned out numerous times. So when I heard about these subscription boxes, I was keen to find out how they could help you to potentially enhance your recovery.
WHY HOLISTIC WELLNESS IS IMPORTANT
Self-care and holistic wellness are especially important features of a recovering lifestyle. They promote sanity and help support the stressors we experience in everyday life: work stress, family demands, relationship difficulties, challenging friendships or even just everyday life in recovery. Let’s face it, when we were active in our addiction, we hardly coped with life — we positively avoided it. I used to drink four bottles of wine a day to numb my existence; that was hardly coping with life.
When I got sober in 2012, I awoke to a rather bright and loud reality. It was a shock to my senses, and I felt naked without a drug to dull my senses and avoid life. Recovery meant no anesthesia — I just faced life, head on. Those first few months were painful. I’d be lying if I said otherwise. People I met in recovery with a few more years’ experience told me about the importance of self-care. Frankly, I had little understanding of the concept of self-care — beyond showering every day.
Things change. I slowly began building up my self-care routine with journaling, meetings, coloring, meditation, yoga, exercise and eating well. My recovery benefited from it: I felt stronger, more energized, less drained, effectively restored and sane. I was sold on the benefits. Today, self-care is the bedrock of my overall wellness and, therefore, my ability to stay sober. The relief these rituals provided was just what I had been seeking in drugs and alcohol for so many years.
That said, I had no idea that you could buy a wellness subscription box with all of your favorite self-care tools bundled together in a monthly box!
Let’s take a look at the two that are available within the recovery community: Ekka and The Story Box.
EKKA SUBSCRIPTION BOXES
In 2015, the ladies at Ekka — Nuria Reed and Yvette Jacquez — reached out to me as an advocate of wellness at Liv’s Recovery Kitchen. We spoke about their campaign to bring the world’s first recovery subscription box to the sober community. The concept was simple: They would provide a holistic wellness service that helped people in recovery to build self-care rituals. For $44.95 a month, you’d receive four to five carefully selected inspirational and nourishing items to keep you motivated (worth $70), plus free access to unique wellness apps $10+ value and inspirational messages and live videos throughout the month.
Carefully paired together, the products that make up the boxes are designed to help to support healthy behaviors and build new routines. You can expect something that is for your body, like a superfood or supplement; something you can use on your skin, like a face mask or scrub; something you can use daily, like a journal or book; and something you can eat right away, like dark chocolate.
I loved the idea and immediately began telling my friends and peers about them in the hope their Indiegogo campaign would be a success. I’m happy to say that it was! When I moved to Portland, Oregon — where Jacquez is based — they sent a box to me as a gesture of goodwill for my support. This is just a small example of what incredible women they are. I adored it. The theme of this particular box was to help build the routine of making a nutritious morning drink. Included within the box was a recipe for lemonade, a bottle of chlorella to help detoxify the body, a gorgeous coloring book, probiotic supplements, chocolate, mint tea, a notebook and Himalayan pink salt.
I adored the box. I made the drink the next day and began taking the supplements. It is interesting they arrived when they did because I had just started working on improving my digestive health, which is key to making sure your body functions optimally and you have lots of energy required for a recovering lifestyle. I loved that they provided products to support the whole body — mind, body and spirit — with products that encouraged mindfulness (coloring book) and tea for taking time out.
Overall, I highly support their subscription boxes because they ground you, promote a sense of serenity and provide the energy you need to support a recovering lifestyle. With them arriving each month, you can’t help but be reminded of the importance of caring for yourself.
THE STORY BOX
Next up, I reviewed The Story Box. Founded by Lisa Schmidt — The Sober Hipster — this is another subscription box designed to support your recovery. Schmidt has designed two boxes:
The Story Box: This box is designed “for women wanting to approach their recovery creatively. By purchasing the Story Box, you receive an opportunity to start the journey of art therapy privately, easily and affordably.” Self-guided, you’re able to determine how you pace your experience.
The Body Box: This box — like the Story Box — is designed to “help women who want to approach loving their body and themselves in a creative way.” I received this box personally when Schmidt visited Portland recently. I even made a video reviewing it.
Each box contains custom-designed journals and story cards. The cards are used to prompt art therapy experiences, which guide you through a journey of creatively discovering and understanding your story. The box contains everything you need to create headphones, a journal, glue, pens, images and stickers. “Recovery is hard, but together we can do hard things,” Schmidt says. “Because the world needs your story.”
What I particularly liked is how Schmidt had considered the whole experience, from blocking out external stimulus with the headphones to providing prompts to help you work through your story. You could tell that everything in the box had been carefully picked to help guide your whole experience.
She is a genius.
What’s more, not only does Schmidt offer these boxes, but she also delivers them to rehab facilities in a Story Box workshop. “Working with Lisa and the Story Box have been inspirational to our clients,” says Isabel Rehak, CEO of The Refuge. “Lisa’s authenticity in sharing her experience helps the clients connect to her. The carefully crafted tools within the box serve as guides for clients who may not know how to begin the storytelling process in a fun and gentle manner. These [art therapy] groups are useful to allow clients to get to know each other and discover the positive strengths within themselves. Lisa’s creative and intuitive nature helps put clients in a place where they are ready to do their work.”
Even though it is distinctly different from the Ekka box, the Story Box also promotes wellness. It helps you to process your emotions and negative experiences, and it promotes mindfulness and creativity — also fundamental aspects of a journey of recovery.
I am a fan of both boxes and can positively say that I wholeheartedly loved them both.
Writer and wellness advocate Olivia Pennelle (Liv) is in long-term recovery. Pennelle passionately believes in a fluid and holistic approach to recovery. Her popular site, livsrecoverykitchen.com, is a resource for the journey toward health and wellness in recovery.
Written by Olivia Pennelle