ALTERNATIVES


General:

  • Run your hands under freezing cold water
  • Clap your hands repeatedly
  • Splash your face with cold water
  • Take a hot shower/bath
  • Write or paint on yourself (don’t use pen!)
  • Take a bath with ice cubes (it gives a numbing sensation)
  • Bite into a hot pepper
  • Count ceiling lights or tiles
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Doodle on sheets of paper
  • Write out lyrics to your favorite song
  • Browse eBay or Amazon
  • Memorize a poem with meaning
  • Learn to swear in another language
  • Go outside and watch the clouds roll by
  • Re-organize your room
  • Draw or paint
  • Buy a cuddly toy
  • Wander aimlessly through a bookstore
  • Watch a favorite TV show or movie
  • Eat something ridiculously sweet
  • Remember a happy moment and relive it in your head
  • Look at things that are special to you
  • Youtube funny videos
  • Let yourself cry
  • Write words in the sand and let them by washed away
  • Meditate/do yoga
  • Hug a pillow or soft toy
  • Crunch ice
  • Feel your pulse to prove you’re alive
  • Create a safe place and take yourself there
  • Remember that you don’t have to hurt yourself just because you’re thinking about self-harm
  • Make a notebook of song lyrics you relate to
  • Paint yourself with red tempra paint
  • Repeat to yourself “I don’t deserve to be hurt” until you believe it

 

Angry, frustrated, restless?

  • Hit a punching bag
  • Use a pillow to hit a wall, pillow-fight style
  • Rip up an old newspaper or phone book
  • On a sketch or photo of yourself, mark in red ink where you feel like cutting
  • Make Play-doh or Sculpey or other clay models and smash them
  • Throw ice against something hard enough to shatter it
  • Crank up some music and dance
  • Go for a walk/jog/run
  • Play a physical sport
  • Scribble on photos of people in magazines
  • Tear apart newspapers, photos, or magazines
  • Go to the gym, dance, or any type of physical activity
  • Splatter paint
  • Write your feelings on paper then rip it

Sad, depressed, unhappy?

  • Do something slow and soothing, like taking a hot bath
  • Light sweet-smelling incense
  • Listen to soothing music
  • Smooth nice body lotion into the parts of yourself you want to hurt
  • Call a friend and just talk about things that you like
  • Visit a friend

Craving sensation, feeling unreal?

  • Squeeze ice cubes hard
  • Put a finger into frozen food (like ice cream)
  • Take a cold bath
  • Focus on how it feels to breathe. Notice how your body moves

Wanting to see scars or pick scabs?

  • Get a henna tattoo kit. You put the henna on as a paste and leave it overnight; the next day you can pick it off as you would a scab and it leaves an orange-red mark behind