55 Alternatives

I’ve been meaning to write these for a long time, and now recently not one but two of my closest friends have retaken some old habits, and I thought I should finally post it.   Not a charming topic but I’m sure it will have a positive outcome.  These are alternatives to harming yourself.

Some of these will seem ridiculous, different things work for different people, maybe if I’ve missed ones that work for you, you could comment some more!  And send me a message on tumblr if you ever, ever, ever, ever, feel the need to hurt yourself.


Physical release

Tear up paper
Break pencils or sticks
Write on your body with red markers
Play loud music and go crazy!
Kick a football against a wall
Scream as loudly as you can
Punch things- pillows, soft toys
Scribble on a piece of paper or desk

Creative distractions

Write a blog post like this one
Paint, draw, collage, sculpt, finger paint to express what you want to do or how you are feeling
Take some photos
Make a new shirt
Look for pictures in the clouds
Take up sewing, knitting, or crochet
Build a card house
Origami, jewellery making, any crafts
Go mad on photoshop
Play music or sing
Make a memory box/scrapbook
Design a dream house or garden
Write an alternate universe fanfic
Create a secret code
Create your own characters- remember their lives are in your hands!


Have a long bah or shower
Eat chocolate (or other comfort foods)
Burn incense or aromatherapy candles
Stay in bed
Play with a pet/cuddly toy
Go and buy something special
Take a long walk with your favourite music
Try baking
Try some new outfits or hairstyles
Ask a friend to hold you
Give yourself a henna tattoo
Have a cup of tea

Outdoor distractions

Do some gardening
Wash a car or bike
Make/fly a kite
Get on a train and go to the sea
Go for a walk, bike ride, or a drive
Look at the stars

Be productive!

Do your homework/assignments/papers.  Just do it
Do some DIY or housework
Join a class
Give your pets a bath
Volunteer somewhere
Tidy and re-decorate your room
Read or study
Have a clear out- give your old stuff to charity

Miscellaneous distractions

Call or text a friend
Watch your favourite TV shows
Do puzzles or chess
Have a debate (maybe with yourself!)
Go through old photo albums


Don’t only call for yourself, call if you know a friend is in need of help.

Breathing Space
A free, confidential helpline you can call when feeling low. Provides support and a listening ear when you need it
Web: http://www.breathingspacescotland.co.uk Tel: 0800 83 85 87 ((6pm – 2am everyday)
Provides a 24hr helpline for young people, for help and advice at any time for any problem you have.
Web: http://www.childline.org.uk Tel: 0800 11 11
NHS 24
Provides help and advice for self care in Scotland. If you are feeling low and thinking about suicide, they can tell you who to contact for help.
Web: http://www.nhs24.com Tel: 08454 24 24 24
Provides resources and support for those dealing with suicide, depression or emotional distress.
Web: http://www.papyrus-uk.org Tel: 0870 170 4000
Support Line
Provides support to children, young people and adults who are experiencing stress, anxiety, low mood.
Web: http://www.supportline.org.uk Tel: 01708 765 200
Provides confidential emotional support, for those who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Web: http://www.samaritans.org Tel: 08457 90 90 90 (24hr helpline)
There 4 me
Provides support for young people who are worried or feeling low and distressed.
Web: http://www.there4me.com