32 Alternatives to Self Harm

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Inspired by prompt hopeful.


  1. Crush recycling
  2. Rip up old papers
  3. Use a stress ball
  4. Shatter ice
  5. Get moving – run, workout, walk
  6. Shout, scream or sing
  7. Listen to music
  8. Write out negative thoughts and tear them up
  1. Turn on a tv show or movie
  2. Eat something yummy
  3. Get fresh air
  4. Listen to music
  5. Plan something, even if it’s small
  6. Play with a pet
  7. Watch cute videos
  8. Have a warm drink
  9. Relaxing bath or shower
  10. Reach out
  11. Read
  1. Hold ice until it melts
  2. Snap a rubber band on your wrist
  3. Take a cold shower
  4. Eat something spicy
  5. Draw on yourself
  6. Do a distracting task
  1. Put bandaids over where you want to harm
  2. Give yourself temporary tattoos
  3. Write your thoughts and feelings down
  4. Make a list of song lyrics you relate to
  5. Call a hotline
  6. Keep delaying
  7. Be with people

2 thoughts on “32 Alternatives to Self Harm

  1. I saw the following cartoon once. After a snowstorm, a guy goes out and shovels his car out. Two minutes later, a snowplow comes down the street and splatters snow back all over his car. He grabs his shovel and uncovers his car. Once again, a snowplow comes down the street and sprays snow all over his car. He cleans his car once again! He’s in the house eating breakfast and he looks out the window and sees a *third* snowplow, so he rushes into the garage, grabs a shovel, runs out and shovels dirty snow all over his own car. The snowplow turns down another street. This one never would have harmed him. I sometimes think harming oneself is an attempt to control the bad stuff that people have been subjected to. Do you think there is anything to that theory?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that! I definitely think that’s a possibility. It often seems as if it might be a (harmful) way to attempt control pain and emotion. If only it were something simple enough to have a straightforward answer….


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