Ways of managing an urge to self-harm
When you feel an urge to self-harm try some of the following and find out what works for you:
• Phone or arrange to meeta someone you trust.Talk openly about how you are feeling.
• Call a helpline for emotional support.
• Go for a run or a swim.
• Take a walk in nature.
• Dance around the room or shout out loud.
• Tear something up.
• Hold ice cubes or take a cold shower.
• Eat something strong or spicy.
• Flick an elastic band on your wrist.
• Hit, or scream into a cushion.
• Play a mobile phone or computer game.
• Focus on a domestic task like making a drink, cooking, baking, tidying up, doing the ironing or gardening.
• Go to a public place like the supermarket, library or shopping mall.
• Do a puzzle.
• Pamper yourself or do something you enjoy - take a massage, go to a café or cinema, eat a piece of chocolate (a small amount)or watch a TV comedy.
• Read a magazine or favourite book.
• Doodle or be creative with an adult colouring book.
• Express yourself through art - paint, draw, take photos or write down your feelings.
• Sing along to a favourite song.
• Do a craft you enjoy - origami, sewing, knitting.
• Try aromatherapy.
• Take a hot bubble bath.
• Stroke an animal.
• Start doing voluntary work, join a club or start a part-time course.
A toolbox of positive thoughts
Create a 'toolbox' which can help boost your mood whenever you find yourself feeling low or anxious:
• Make lists of things you like about yourself, successes, things you are grateful for, good experiences and compliments.
• Come up with a list of things that you can do for a quick mood boost - a walk in nature, playing with a pet, a craft activity.
• Include some upbeat music, a funny movie, a favourite book and photographs that make you feel happy.
• Write a note to remind yourself that how you are feeling nowwill pass - 'It will pass'.
• You could also try this technique to help you delay the need to self-harm - wait 10 minutes and then another 10 minutes, delay for an hour and keep increasing the length of time for as long as you can.