When trying to stop self harm the first step is to beat the urges. This page is designed to offer you some fun distractions for when you feel like you need to self harm, but don't want to. We have a section on things you can do to stop or reduce your self harm here, but finding an effective method to distract yourself is a huge first step on the way to recovery. If you want to look more in depth at the reasons behind your self harm, and the things you can do to cope with it long term, check out our coping strategies page.
On this page you'll find a wide variety of things you can do to distract yourself from self harming. Anything and everything can, and probably has at some point, be used as a distraction, but the most successful ones are the ones you enjoy doing yourself. The first step then, is to make a list of things you enjoy doing. For example, I enjoy horse riding, walking, web design, reading, listening to music, watching films and writing. While that doesn't seem like much when it's written down, when you really think about it there are a lot of things in there that I could use to distract myself.
Say, for example, I want to self harm because I've just had a conversation with an ex-partner. I wouldn't want to watch a romantic film, read a romantic book or listen to a CD of love songs, but I could watch an action film, dance around to rock music or read a horror story. The secret to distracting yourself is to recognise the things that will make you feel worse, and avoid them. Distractions are there to make you feel better and make you want to self harm less - so find the things that you enjoy and do them. We hope this page will give you a few ideas to get you started.
151 Things to do Before You Self Harm is a (non-exhaustive!) list of things you can do before you self harm - from the staid and normal to the wild and wacky. Pictures and Videos has pictures and videos that are weird, wonderful or just plain funny, while The Creative Corner gives you some suggestions for things to do as well as websites that will further your artistic tendencies. Online Games gives you a list of online games which can help take your mind off things, and What's Your Excuse? gives some of the best self harm excuses I've ever heard. Fun Things and Links lists everything else - the things that don't fit in any other category yet are still brilliant for making you laugh and keeping your mind off things. Lastly, Distraction Boxes gives you a bit of information about distraction boxes and how they can help you to not self harm, as well as giving you some ideas for things you can put in your own boxes.
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Exercise, running ect.
If you're in the mood for writing submit something to us. We're always on the look out for stories, poems, artwork and other creative endeavours from our members - check out our creative page for more details.
Don't worry about it. Because of me, they now have a warning label!
"It's a long story." They usually leave me alone, but this one guy said, "I've got time." Then I said, "I fell. [long pause] Ok, so it's obviously not THAT long."
I had unprotected sex with a porcupine.
I took my lizards for a walk and they held on for dear life.
The neighborhood cat and I had a disagreement about the paw prints on my truck.
The police didn't comply with the terrorists' demands fast enough, so they took it out on us hostages.
This first one is kind of lame, but it's what I use most often: "Um, uh...I, uh....you see....I...uh...Well,...." At which they usually try to help me out by replying, "Did you fall?" And I say, "Yes, thanks."
Well, let me just tell you this: You should NEVER EVER, under ANY circumstances, go out with a guy/girl that you met on the internet.
I keep falling off of cliffs trying to catch that damned roadrunner.
"I was oyster hunting." They give me a blank stare. Then I say, with a wink, "You've obviously never been oyster hunting before."
I was at this party with Marilyn Manson and everyone was giving out hugs.
I lost a fight with a can of tuna fish.
I slipped while making a salad.
I fell asleep, and the clown got me.
I'll just put it this way: when they tell you not to feed the bears, it's for a damned good reason.
I thought those security tags on pants just sprayed ink, but apparently they spray shards of broken glass, too.
Those aren't cuts, they're mehendi.
Well, when I was younger, I had this dream that a dog was following me...he ran, and I ran, but the faster I ran, the more he sped up. I wanted to get to safety, to my house...I was almost there...but right when I got to the front porch, he bit me. Everywhere. Lots of times. Making marks that don't look like bites at all. And when I woke up... ::wide eyes:: and I had THESE.
"What scars?" They usually reply "those ones," to which I reply, "I don't see anything." OR you reply "What about the scars on YOUR arms??" to which they reply "There's nothing on my arms".. to which I reply again "Oh! How conveeeenient!" *whilst covering up scars* (they're too confused to ask anymore questions)
The voices told me to do it.
I wrestle Tigers...
I got them climbing a fence to escape this hell-hole. (said at school)
"Oh, these?" *embarrassed face* "I know they look horrible, but the sex was INCREDIBLE!"
"OMG what happened to your arm?"
"its a paper cut"
"I was working on my car"
*points to random object* "It bit me"
"I had an argument with a book, paper cuts hurt"
"I had to dig out a huuuuuuuuge splinter"
"I needed to know what blood smelled like and looked like for my story, and my little brother ran away and I tripped on the knife"
"Mum always said never run with scissors"
"It's an old burn scar... got it of the edge of the iron"
"That's actually a weird-ass rash i got from ivy"
"I'm a blade sharpness tester"
"You know how dogs chase their tails? Well it has nothing to do with that. Nor does it have anything to do with cat scratches. Or the faeries that visit me nightly *ramble on*... What was I talking about?"
"I'm not exactly sure but I think it might have something to do with the broken mirrors..."
"You're hallucinating" and when they say "sure.... lets go see a counsellor" you can say "You're the one who needs to see the shrink!!!"
"My watch has itchy bits"
"I had an accident with a scalpel." [person asks why] "Well, you know that guy who woke up in an ice bath and his kidney was gone? Er... this had nothing to do with it. Honest."
I was walking into town and the aliens came down and started to battle with me. (I found this works as you find the people more interested in the aliens than the scars then)
I do not 'SLIT MY WRISTS'. Those are my arms. And those are not slits... (so basically confuse them by arguing with everything they say)
"...Are you consipring aginast me? What's with all the questions? Who wants to know the answers?" *and upon interrupting "I'm doing the talking here" and then continue to ramble until they back away.
"...They'll come and get you too. Run while you still can"
"Never carry heavy boxes in formal clothing"
"I caught it while gardening"
"YOU did it, didn't you?!?"
"Well, funny story. So I keep all my kitchen knives on the top shelf in a box. One day I needed to use one, so I reached for the box and they all fell on me. And I tried to catch them and everything just went horribly wrong!"
When someone asks what happened to your arm, just look excited and say "guess!" After everything they say, tell them "noooooo....." Do this for like 20 minutes and hopefully they will get bored. At the very least this will buy you extra time to think up a better answer.
"What happend to your....arm/leg etc"
Well, this one time, at band camp....
Dont ever go running through the woods naked. *scratch some weird spot*
To make a long story short, dont mix cheese, cats, and bubbles together, not a good result...
"I was reaching into a box of sharp-edged corn flakes to get the free toy."
Let's just say that motorcycles, mini's and alcohol dont mix.... especially when there is barbed wire around..."
T ell the truth while sounding ironic: "I cut myself because I'm insane, you know. In fact, I plan on killing mysef sooner or later" If somebody asks why? - you're just kidding.
"Damn little sisters and their stupid voodoo dolls" (or if you have no siblings insert neighbors kids, jealous friends or just leave that part out)
You can always say you were attacked be sock monkeys.
Sleepwalking is harzardous to my health
I guess I should have closed the safty pins before I put them in my sweater pockets.....
The evil rabid Satanic necrokitten of doom and death and pain and dying attacked me while I was skiing down the northern inverted necromountain in the deathly moon forest of pain and eternal suffering and sacraficial bloodbeasts and necrogoat death skulls of insanity and... (ramble on like this for a bit... They usually walk away...)
Never EVER sleep with you hands or feet outside the covers/bed....
Damn lighter, I should've never let my friend use it if I would've known s/he would throw it back to me when they're finished!
Relax in a Minute
Try it for yourself
South Park Yourself!
Funny exam answers
Creatures in my Head
Ninjai: The Little Ninja
The Other Side
Fun Links Daily
Punch an' Pie
Queen of Wands
Albino Black Sheep.
The Webcomic List
White Ninja Comics
A distraction box, or self harm survival kit, is just that - a box full of things to distract you from self injuring. You can put anything in there that you like, and can decorate the box however much you want to. Some things that we think could help include:
Pen and paper
Chamomile tea bag (renowned for relieving stress apparently)
Funny cartoons (laughter is best medicine)
Phone numbers, useful websites
Photos or pictures that mean something to you
Sudoku or little puzzle games
Positive stories from others
Questions to ask yourself before you self harm
Essential oil scents like lavender, clary sage and rosemary, all good for anxiety, depression type symptoms
A rubix cube
Jokes - silly simple jokes that make people laugh because they're so cheesy!
A cuddly toy
Small colouring book and pencils
Photos of relaxing scenes - mountains, rivers, etc.
Question/therapy/avoidance cards that say things like 'Do I really want to do this?' or something supportive
Your favourite film - something you always enjoy watching
A good (but non triggery) book
A CD of uplifting music
You could also include things like question cards, useful contact numbers and others coping skills to help examine why you self harm, and maybe get you on the road to stopping.
Written on the Body has been revamped and is now available. Find information here on self harm in schools and at home; how self harmers should be treated in hospitals and peer support for you, the carers of self harmers.
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Information we thought you might like to hand. Keep checking as this gets updated regularly.
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