How can you replace self-harm with another activity?
Last Updated: 06/08/2021 at 3:46am
Johanna Liasides, MSc
I work with youth and young adults to help them improve depressive symptoms and self-esteem as well as effectively address family, relationship and peer conflicts.
Top Rated Answers
Instead of self harming in a harmful way such as cutting . A method that worked for me was always having rubber bands on my wrist so instead o causing a physical wound anytime you feel the need to self harm snap a river band on your wrist as hard or soft ad you want . This way you are still experiencing pain but it's controlled and dangerous . Another thing is find something to ground yourself with .. do an activity for five minutes take your mind of that and focus on this activity and keep putting it off 5 minutes untill you no longer feel the need to harm yourself..This can take as much time as is needed there are no quick or instant solutions
It is a process. Like replacing a habit you have to do it bit by bit. So for example before you feel the urge to self harm come up with fun activites that are easy and you enjoy doing and keep them written down or just memorize them(writing them down helps though). Then when the urge to self harm occures you can go to that list and pick the first thing(or whatever one you want) and do that for 5 minutes. After those 5 minutes if you still want to self harm you go back to doing the healthy thing or choose a new healthy thing for another 5 minutes and keep repeating this process till the urge goes away. If you doe relapse though that is fine make sure you clean up and take care of yourself and try to go longer next time each time trying to make sure you keep aiming to go longer and longer doing the healthy activity and slowly when the even that triggers you to self harm happens you will have replaced the habit of self harm with the health ones instead.
One of the best tips I have heard is using ice. One simply takes an ice cube in there hand and squeezes it. The coldness of the ice cube takes one's mind off of the thoughts of self harm. Here is a link to 146 things that can be done instead of self harm (https://www.adolescentselfinjuryfoundation.com/things-to-do-besides-self-harm). For texters there is a crisis text line as well (https://www.crisistextline.org/topics/self-harm/#how-to-deal-with-self-harm-4), or text "TWLOHA" to 741-741. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available at 1-800-273-8255 or 1-800-784-2433. Self-harm is something that I as a listener wish to never have to deal with but will if that means others will feel better/receive the referrals they need.
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