(MEGA) ALTERNATIVES LIST
Here are some ways in which you can try not to SI when you feel
-Call a friend, your therapist or a crisis line
-Try not be be alone (visit a friend, go shopping, etc.)
-Take a hot bath
-Listen to music (soothing perhaps- Papa Roach or the Manics might not
be a good idea!)
-Go for a walk (Seems to be especially good for some when it's
-Write in a journal
-Write poetry- it'll be dark, but it'll be raw-emotional, and that's
good- it's a less harmful way of releasing things.
-Wear an elastic around wrist and snap it when you have the urge to harm
-Some people find it helpful to draw red lines on themselves with
washable markers instead of cutting themselves
-Hold ice cubes in your hands - the cold causes pain in your hands, but
it is not dangerous or harmful (some people find it relieves the urge to
harm themselves for that moment)
-Punching a bed or a pillow (when nothing but a physical outlet for your
anger and frustration will work), or any kind of sport- even if it's
just pressups and situps in your own room- burns away the energy to
-Meditation (AKA self hypnotism if you want to call it that)
Type One- Just sit down comfortably, eyes closed and teake long,
breaths- concentrating on the breath itself as it goes in and out and
nothing else. After even eight or nine breaths, as long as you keep them
slow, you can feel more relaxed. The more the better!
Type Two- sit down comfortably, eyes closed and repeat to
word which indicates something you want to have that you don't (emotions
wise) or a state you want to be in- like 'happiness. happiness,
happiness' or 'confidence, confidence, confidence'. The idea is that in
time, you 'fool yourself' that you HAVE these things, and in doing so
you DO have them because it's YOU that gives them to you in the first
-Scratch draw a picture on a thick piece of wood or use a screw driver
and stab at the piece of wood. (can be another physical way to release
emotions without harming yourself.)
-Avoid temptation (i.e. avoiding the area in CVS where the razor blades
are kept, etc.)
-Try to find your own creative ways as outlets for emotions- writing,
drawing, painting, etc.
-Learn to confront others/making your own feelings known instead of
keeping them inside, but pick your trustees carefully!
-Go outside and scream and yell
-Take up a sport (a form of exercise can help you release tension, etc.-
doesn't have to be at a club or gym if you don't wanna; sport's sport
wheverer and whenever you do it)
-Work with paint, clay, play-doo, etc. (the person who suggested this
mentioned that they would make a big sculpture and do whatever they
wanted to it. They said it was helpful to calm the urge to self-injure,
gave them some idea of what might be underlying the pain.
-Draw a picture of what or who is making you angry
-Write a letter to the person who's making you feel this way (if there
is one)- you don't ever have to send it; it may be best to burn it
afterwards, but just writing it down helps work stuff out.
-Instead of harming yourself, try massaging the area you want to harm
with massage oils or creams, reminding yourself that you are special and
deserve to treat yourself and your body with love and respect
-Go to church or your place of worship- not necissarily an 'established'
place of worship- the natural world, for example, is pretty spiritual-
parks and stuff.
-Wear a pipe cleaner or something that will fit on the places that you
injure. One person did this as a way to remind herself that she could
call someone instead of hurting herself and that she had other ways to
-Break the object that you use to self-injure as a way to show that you
have control over it.
-Do some household chores (i.e. cleaning)
-Do some cooking
-Try some sewing, crossstitch, etc.
-Recite a poem, prayer or anything else familiar the comforts you
-Write down all your positive points and why you do not deserve to be
-Write in your journal why you want to hurt yourself and if you have
yourself, write down what caused it to happen so in the future you can
prevent it from happenings - or find out what your triggers were
-Play some kind of musical instrument. Even if you don't really know how
to play, picking out tunes is a way to concentrate and help get rid of
urge to harm yourself.
-Allow yourself to cry. Getting the tears out can make you feel better.
It allows the inside to release, as opposed to self abuse. Picture your
"ickies" pouring out as you cry.
-Take a shower
-Write down a word best associated with what you are feeling (i.e.
horrible, sad, lonely, angry) and continue to write it down, over and
Sometimes when you do that, the words looks silly etc., and it puts
humor or a
smile in your life.
-Sing a song on what you are feeling. It's another way to get it
Shout if you feel, etc. Let the words just come to you.
-Scribble on paper. Clutch the pen in your fist. It's a way to diffuse
on to paper. (Get a few sheets so they don't tear.)
-Take item you are self injurying with and use it against something
For example, if you are using a razor blade, rip it across a towel.
Sometimes seeing what "can" be done to an object can make a person think
twice about using it on themselves. Can also give the feeling of "doing
it"...the tangible aspect.
-Make a list of reasons why you are going to stop cutting.
-Tell yourself that you can't cut for another 5 minutes. If you make it
minutes then I tell yourself to wait another 5 minutes. Sometimes you
might no longer feel like cutting after only 5 minutes.
-Every time you get the urge, read the list to remind yourself why you
-Also remember to put on that list that you do not deserve to hurt
You are important and special and you do not deserve to be hurt.
-Hit a punchbag- punchbags are goooood- or stree sponges.
-Keep dangerous things out of your house/apartment/
-Make a list of friends you can call.
I do not do this because I do not have local friends that I can call.
BUT, I know many people who find
this list of friends to contact extremely helpful even if they don't
actually call anyone.
-Focus on what is real and around you right then.
There is no such thing as the past or the future- only the now!
-Give yourself rewards, even if they're stupid, mundane little things
like watching a TV show you like or eating a food you like- and indulge
yourself in these things when you feel bad- makes you remember there are
good things in life, however small.
-Be aware of the world- say to yourself what you see. ie. The couch is
light is on. I can feel my shoe pinching my foot. This can sometimes be
enough to ground you.
-Make a contract with someone you care about and who cares about you.
Don't have to 'know' them in the real world- internet friends etc are
fine. Make sure you try to get in touch with them when you feel in mind
(but of course don't get extra depressed, with internet friends, if they
arn't around cos they arn't online- that's why having phone numbers is
-Create an internal safe place where you can go.
In a time when you feel safe and secure, create a room or a garden or
any safe area inside yourself where you can retreat to and get away from
external stresses. Add as many
details as you can to make it real for you.
-Get a warm drink and curl up in a warm place with a stuffie.
Buy yourself a special stuffie if you do not already have one. Make
yourself some tea or hot chocolate
(or even coffee if the caffeine doesn't bother you) and curl up under a
nice warm comforter or blanket
with lots of pillows.
-Put on a (happy) movie
-Post at a self injury bullitin board on the web.
(Be careful to avoid triggery posts, but talk to people- it's totally
anonamous, so just type how you feel- you might find some people who
know what you're going through.)
-Have a bath and finger paint with ketchup.
-Try not to be to hard on yourself for feeling this way.
Try not to beat yourself up inside by calling yourself names or
expecting yourself to just "not feel this
way" or to "snap out of it." This internal namecalling and self-verbal
abuse will only make you feel worse.
-Tell yourself how you feel now will not last forever. It is hard to
while you are in the midst of these
feelings, but EVERYTHING changes.
Just focus on you and what you need to do to get through these
feelings as safely as you can.
-Use a toothbrush instead of a razor.
-Try something physical and violent, something not directed at a living
thing, such as;
-Slash an empty plastic soda bottle or a piece of heavy cardboard or an
old shirt or sock.
-Make a soft cloth doll to represent the things you are angry at. Cut
tear it instead of yourself.
-Flatten aluminum cans for recycling, seeing how fast you can go.
-Use a pillow to hit a wall, pillow-fight style.
-Rip up an old newspaper or phone book.
-On a sketch or photo of yourself, mark in red ink what you want to do.
-Cut and tear the picture.
-Throw ice into the bathtub or against a brick wall hard enough to
-Crank up the music and dance.
-Stomp around in heavy shoes.
-Curl up under a comforter with hot cocoa and a good book, babying
yourself somehow. Do
whatever makes you feel taken care of and comforted.
-Use light sweet-smelling incense and listen to
-Make a tray of special treats and tuck yourself into bed with it and
watch TV or read. Visit a friend.
-Slap a tabletop hard.
-Take a cold bath.
-Play a difficult computer game.
-Choose an object in the room. Examine it carefully and then write as
detailed a description of it as you
can. Include everything: size, weight, texture, shape, color, possible
uses, feel, etc.
-Choose a random object, like a paper clip, and try to list 30 different
uses for it.
-Pick a subject and research it on the web.
-Take a small bottle of liquid red food coloring and warm it slightly by
dropping it into a cup of hot water
for a few minutes. Uncap the bottle and press its tip against the place
you want to cut. Draw the bottle in
a cutting motion while squeezing it slightly to let the food color
-Get a henna tattoo kit. You put the henna on as a paste and leave it
overnight; the next day you can pick
it off as you would a scab and it leaves an orange-red mark behind.
-Read an insanely long list of alternatives to cutting- by the time
you've finished, you probably won't have the energy to cut!!!
Hope they work!!