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Old 15-09-2010, 03:58 AM   #1
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Things to do instead of hurting yourself.

I found this list online and thought maybe you guys might find some of the ideas useful.

These might help when you are feeling angry/ restless:
Scribble on photos of people in magazines
Viciously stabbing an orange!
Throwing an apple/pair of socks against the wall
Having a pillow fight with the wall
Screaming very loudly
Tearing apart newspapers, photos, magazines or phonebooks
Go to the gym, dance, (exercise)
Listening to music and singing along loudly
Draw a picture of what is making you angry
Beat up a bear!
Pop bubble wrap
Pop balloons
Splattering paint
Scribbling on a piece of paper until the whole page is black
Throwing darts at a dartboard
Go for a run
Write your feelings on paper then rip it up
Repetitively write down how you feel e.g. angry
Use stress relievers

These work by giving a sensation (instead of pain) but without hurting yourself
Hold ice in your hands/against arm/ in mouth
Run your hands under freezing cold water
Snap a rubber band/ hair band against your wrist
Clap your hands until it stings
Wax your legs!
Drink freezing cold water
Splash your face with cold water
Put PVA glue on your hands then peel it off
Massage where you want to hurt yourself
Take a hot shower/bath
Jump up and down to get some sensation in your feet.

These work by distracting you/ taking up some time
Say 'I'll self harm in 15 minutes if I still want to' then after 15 minutes the urge might have gone. If not, see if you can go another 15.
Colouring your hair
Count up to ten getting louder until you are screaming
Sing on the karaoke machine
Complete something you've been putting off
Take up a new hobby
Make a cup of tea
Telling and laughing at jokes
Play solitaire
Count up to 500 or 1000
Surf the net
Make as many words out of your full name as possible
Count ceiling tiles/lights
Search ridiculous things on the web (i recommend )
Colour co-ordinate your wardrobe
Play with a slinky
Play with toys
Go to the park and play on the swings etc.
Call up an old friend
People watching
Carry safe things in your pockets rather than sharps
Do school work
Play a musical instrument
Watch a film/TV
Paint your nails
Colouring in
Alphabetise your CDs/books
Origami (to occupy your hands)
Doodling on sheets of paper
Dressing up
Computer games
Write out lyrics to your favourite song
Read a book/magazine
Do a crossword

These ones are just weird or funny- if nothing else they will make you laugh!
Crawl on all fours and bark like a dog.
Make weird noises (eg. Animal noises)
Run around the garden screaming
Laughing for no reason whatsoever
Make funny faces in a mirror

These might help when you are feeling sad/guilty/want to 'punish' yourself
Congratulate yourself on each minute you go by without self harming
Look at the sky
Instead of punishing yourself by self harming, punish yourself by not self harming
Call a friend and ask for company
Buy a cuddly toy (collect them maybe)
Give someone a hug
Put a face mask on
Watch a favourite TV programme/ film
Eat something ridiculously sweet!
Cuddle a soft toy (eg. One of the bears in the kitchen)
Remember a happy moment and relive it for a while in your head
Treat yourself to some chocolate
Try to imagine the future and plan things you want to do
Look at things that are special to you (eg. Photos)
Be nice to someone, makes you feel good about yourself eg. Compliment someone
Make sculptures (clay/plasticine)
Watch fish
Let yourself cry
Play with a pet
Have/give a massage

These might help if you are feeling scared/panicky/unreal
See, hear and feel -5 things, then 4, then 3 etc (It makes you focus on your surroundings and works to calm you down.)
Listen to soothing music
Name all of your soft toys
Hug a pillow
Hyper focus on something
Do a 'reality check list' ,write down all the things you can list about where you are now (e.g. It is the 15th September 2010, I'm a room and everything is going to be alright
Give someone a hug (with permission!)
Drink herbal tea
Crunch ice
Hug a tree
Go for a walk (only if it feels safe)
Feel your pulse (to prove you're alive)
Cuddle a soft toy

These might put you off the idea of harming yourself:
Think about how you don't want scars
Treat yourself nice
Remember you don't have to hurt yourself just because the thought comes into your head
Create a safe place for you to go
Acknowledge that self harm is harmful behaviour- say 'I want to hurt myself' rather than 'I want to cut'
Repeat to yourself 'I don't deserve to be hurt' even if you don't believe it
Remember that you always have the choice not to cut- it's up to you what you do
Think about how you will feel afterwards, eg. Guilty?
Remind yourself that the urge to self harm is impulsive. You will only feel like cutting for short bursts of time.
Avoid temptation
Get your friends to make you friendship bracelets- wear them around your wrists to remind you of them when you want to cut
Be with other people
Make your own list of things to do instead of self harm.
Make a list of your positive things and why you don't deserve to be hurt

These might help if you want to see blood:

Draw on yourself with red pen or body paint
Cover yourself with plasters where you want to cut
Make 'wounds' with make-up eg. Lipstick!
Put on fake tattoos

Confused: to help you work through and understand your feelings:
Phoning someone, talking
Make a collage of how you feel
Negotiate with yourself
Identify what is hurting so bad that you need to express it in this way
Write in a diary
Try to work out why you feel like self harming
Fill in a questionnaire 'Why do I feel like self harming?'
Talk to a member of staff
Make lists of everything (e.g. blessings in your life)
Make a notebook of song lyrics that you relate to
Call a helpline
Write a letter to someone telling them how you feel (you don't have to send it if you decide not to.)

Last edited by squirrelspit : 15-09-2010 at 04:43 AM.

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Old 15-09-2010, 04:00 AM   #2
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I forgot to say, please do add your own if you have any tried and tested methods that work for you.


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Old 15-09-2010, 04:11 AM   #3
Snow White.
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I love that list, so helpful to be able to recognise the urge behind why you want to self harm and then address that (like, if you want to see blood to specifically tailor your distraction to that can really alleviate the urge).

Something I can do for hours (not when I get urges but when I am procrastinating from anything) is comic websites! Find your favourite and then just keep clicking "next" and view all the ones online... seriously addictive. And fun too :)

Good thread Chaz :D xx

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Old 15-09-2010, 06:23 AM   #4
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i also found this on the same site..

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Old 15-09-2010, 06:29 AM   #5
Queen Crabbit
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What I found works quite well is making a "happy box" or "memory box". It's a good distraction to start with and then after that you've got something you can go back to time and time again.

Also, writing random letters to your friends and posting them. Turns out my friends loved that they randomly recieved a massive peice of paper with "by the way i love you!" written on it through the post. Maybe I just have simple friends :p

&& then buffy staked edward. the end.

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Old 15-09-2010, 02:44 PM   #6
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Instead of scribbling on your own posters/magazines, do it to a sibling's magazine or poster, always so much more amusing and rewarding.
*tells self off*

Sorry, for being insolent. Thanks for the ideas

"Everything is possible through Christ, who gives me strength". Phillipians 4:13

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Old 15-09-2010, 03:39 PM   #7
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Something that is supposed to increase the levels of serotonin in your brain is wrapping yourself up tightly in a blanket.

Great list.

I put it down on paper and then the ghost does not ache so much.

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Old 15-09-2010, 06:47 PM   #8
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i love that chart charlie

Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
Till she cry "Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!"

Thomas Parke D’Invilliers

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Old 15-09-2010, 06:59 PM   #9
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Nice thread.
Might print that list off actually. (:


"it’s when you’re acting selflessly, that you are at your bravest"
- Four.
CTFxC'er forever.

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Old 15-09-2010, 07:13 PM   #10
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Thanks for the list!

I'd like to add "Destroy something beautiful" </fight club>

Nous avons abrité tous les rêves du monde,
Et c'est dans le soleil que nous avons grandi.

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Old 16-09-2010, 06:04 AM   #11
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Thanks for the list! I'd not seen some of these ideas before. :)

I'd add to "carry safe things in you pocket instead of sharps" that I've taken to writing myself little notes with an alternative idea (like something from this list) written on it so that when I feel SI-ish I have a reminder of other things I can do.

Silence can be golden but gold can sometimes suffocate
Like that girl in that James Bond film, too late to respirate
Tragedy can be plain to see with lights and sirens
But sometimes it ain't quite so clear, Domestic Silence

~Scroobius Pip

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Old 16-09-2010, 07:47 AM   #12
Fight off the lethargy
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For some reason after reading the list, I got an image in my head of what a person and their bedroom would look like if they did all of those things in one day and didn't clean anything up...

Last edited by Kimaru : 16-09-2010 at 01:12 PM. Reason: I missed a word...

"Some people get by, with a little understanding. Some people get by, with a whole lot more."
-The Sisters Of Mercy

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Old 16-09-2010, 09:25 AM   #13
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Mines a bit stupid tbh, but my OH's mum gave me a stone which her mum gave her.
And it's her 'stress stone' which you rub real hard when you get worked up.
I find it quite helpful tbh, and it's nice and small and can fit in my purse or backpocket if I'm going out :)

Because every person, no matter what age, no matter what size, no matter what height, every person, is goddamn beautiful <3

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Old 16-09-2010, 10:11 AM   #14
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^ I've heard of that before, it's a good idea :)
Can really focus your mind ("mindfulness") on something else apart form intense feelings, if you're feeling the stone.

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Old 16-09-2010, 10:19 AM   #15
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Thanks for this list, I might print it out.


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Old 18-09-2010, 04:37 PM   #16
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I've found sleep works wonders.

"i wanna hurt myself"

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Old 18-09-2010, 07:12 PM   #17
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Make a video. I like to make little music videos for my horse. I pick out a song and then add pictures, quotes,riding clips, etc. Sometimes they are how much I love him and sometimes how he helps me cope. Its fun, distracting, sometimes healing. I also find that when I cant be with him physically (barn is closed, no transportation, etc etc) its a way I can be with him.

You will find that having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but is often true-Spock

I'd rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God's sake. ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Is it worse to be the victim, or the abuser?

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Old 19-09-2010, 05:49 PM   #18
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Thanks for posting (: xx


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Old 19-09-2010, 05:51 PM   #19
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I love this list, thanks for posting it.
Actually last night, as a distraction, i copied out the entire list by hand :) took ages, but it worked.

Last edited by Lyddie : 19-09-2010 at 05:51 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-10-2010, 04:57 PM   #20
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Just cos I think it's a very good list and some people might not have seen it (:

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