20 March 2018

50 things to do instead of self-harming *TW*

50 things to do instead of self-harming *TW*

This post isn't meant to be some kind of prescriptive list; it's not something to tick off. It's something that I hope will help you to find a way that works for you when you feel like self-harming is the only option. It's by no means an exhaustive list, but I've combined all the things that have worked in the past for me with things that have helped friends and acquaintances. 

I went to and fro with the idea of making the title for this 'things you could do instead of self-harming', but here we are. I struggled with self harm for a few years, and whilst I'd now class myself as 'recovered', it's still something that I think about, and something I want to raise awareness on, reduce taboo and help others with. I've spoken about my own self harm story here, so I won't be going over it in this post.

Do something destructive (but not to yourself)

1.) Get a red biro and scribble all over a piece of paper as hard as you can.

2.) Tip your recycling out of its box. Stamp all over it.

3.) Shred all the paper you've been meaning to get rid of.

4.) Write about the urge, then burn the piece of paper.

5.) Put your favourite music on and sing at the top of your lungs until your throat is sore

6.) Draw on yourself with washable red pen, and then rinse it off

7.) Throw balled up socks against the wall

8.) Get a punching bag, or head to the gym and punch it out

9.) Make something out of playdough. Squash it

10.) Scream into a pillow

11.) Play a phone game like fruit ninja (remember that one?), where it's all about fast moments on the screen.

12.) Use a stress ball


Do something creative

13.) Find some paints, and splatter them on paper by flicking your brush.

14.) Create a playlist of songs that make you feel good

15.) Try your hand at poetry; express how you're feeling in another way

16.) Use a wreck this journal, or similar

17.) Do some knitting

18.) Get a jigsaw puzzle out and be absorbed

19.) Draw on yourself with washable red pen, and then rinse it off

20.) Pop bubble wrap

21.) Rip paper up into tiny little pieces

22.) Start a scrapbook

23.) Bake something that requires kneading



Get out of the situation

24.) Leave the house, plug earphones in and go for a walk, blasting your fave songs

25.) Take a walk in the rain, and shout at the top of your lungs

26.) Go somewhere public, where you know you can't self harm

27.) Head to a local park. Take in everything around you

28.) Go for a run. Let the pounding of your feet against the ground soothe you

29.) Think about your future plans. If nothing excites you at the moment, make a new plan

30.) Weed your garden. Get some fresh air and destroy those weeds



Do something to take care of yourself

31.) Have a hot shower (but not too hot) - spend time exfoliating and moisturising and reminding yourself that you are worthy of love

32.) Do some yoga 

33.) Light your favourite candles, turn off the main lights, put your cosiest PJs on and order your fave food

34.) Have a social media detox. Put your phone away and don't look at anything that you know will trigger you

35.) Let yourself cry, even if it's hard

36.) Use the Calm harm app, and find an activity on it that works for you

37.) Re-alphabetise your books, or re-organise your wardrobe. Do something that helps you feel as though your life is in order

38.) Put on a full face of your favourite makeup and take some great selfies

39.) Watch Youtube videos from people you find soothing/inspiring

40.) Listen to white noise and focus on your breathing

41.) Make a list of all the reasons why you don't want to self harm

42.) Make an appointment at the doctors to discuss how you're feeling

43.) Clean all those parts of the house you've been avoiding. Give everything a good scrub 

44.) Hug a soft toy

45.) Think about the bigger picture. What's causing these feelings - what led up to this. Write down all the things that contributed to wanting to self harm

46.) Repeat an affirmative mantra, even if it is just 'I do not need to do this, I am worthy of loving myself'

Un-isolate yourself

47.) Message someone who already knows about the self harm. Let them know you're struggling

48.) Ask someone you love for a little physical contact. It's unbelievable what a long hug can do

49.) Write a letter to someone you haven't seen in a while. You don't have to send it

50.) Get in touch with a helpline. The Samaritans are a fab place to start


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