A little while ago, we at The Depression Project created a post titled 40 Alternatives To Self-Harm - which is one of the most popular posts we've ever made. And, to further build upon it, in this blog post, we'd like to share with you 20+ suggestions for how you can distract yourself when you feel the urge to self-harm - as told to us, in their own words, by members of The Depression Project's community.
20+ Self-Harm Distraction Techniques - As Told To Us By Members Of The Depression Project's Community
- "For me, fidgeting with a fidget toy helps keep my hands busy, and watching videos while doing so helps distract my brain."
- "Working out and going for a run has really helped me through some difficult times."
- "I go for a drive and sing (or scream!) along to my favourite music."
- "It's great to lift some weights, go for a high intensity run, or do anything else to get your blood pumping and release some energy."
- "I like to call a friend and talk about silly stuff."
- "I write some kind of affirmation on my body in a different language - because having to figure out the phrase, the different language, and then writing it usually distracts me enough!"
- "I take my dog for a walk, or cuddle him on the couch if it's too cold to go outside."
- "I go on a massive cleaning binge. It distracts me, is productive, and makes me feel better about myself afterwards. Win, win, win."
- "Drawing, painting, listening to a musical instrument. Anything 'arty' and 'creative' that I can try to absorb myself in."
- "What helped me a lot was watching ENDLESS amounts of TED talks on Youtube of people who were able to get through their depression. At the time I felt like I'd hit rock bottom, and I said if I'm going to distract myself, then I'm going to watch TED talks. And, it got me through my most difficult days. Sending so much love to everyone who's going through a rough time right now."
- "I go fishing. Getting out and about in nature is what works the best for me."
- "I watch Friends - which always give me a sense of comfort."
- "Learn sign language. It keeps your hands and mind busy and helps you learn something, too."
- "I like to write out the lyrics to my favourite songs in a nicely-designed notebook."
- "I do star jumps / jumping jacks until I'm completely exhausted."
- "I've counted how many things there are around me since I was young. It's a good distraction tactic!"
- "Yoga, breathing exercises and meditation helps me SO much!"
- "Aromatherapy works wonders for grounding - at least it did for me! I'd put some vanilla oil into my aromatherapy necklace and hold it to my nose whenever I was having a bad time."
- "Something to distract your senses can be very effective. Like eating spicy food or holding an ice cube for example."
- "I look up adorable puppy videos online. It never fails to make me smile and feel better."
- "Start doing push-ups. It uses energy and releases endorphins."
- "If it's bad, I walk very fast around the neighbourhood, followed by a moment of stopping and touching a tree and breathing. It's one thing that has helped me."
- "Counting to 100. Or 1000."
- "As others have said, it's good to keep your hands busy. Personally, I do this by colouring in an adult colouring book, or sometimes painting my nails all different colours."
We hope you find these suggestions for how to distract yourself when you feel the urge to self-harm helpful ❤️
All our love,
The Depression Project Team.
P.S. If you haven't read it yet, then we encourage you to read our post 40 Alternatives To Self-Harm - because we think you'll find it really, really helpful.
P.P.S. If you found this blog post helpful, then we think you'll find our Self-Sabotaging Habits Bootcamp helpful as well, in which we'll cover:
- The exact steps you need to follow in order to break out of self-sabotaging habits like binge eating, overspending on "retail therapy", substance abuse or self-harm, for example;
- What to do if you relapse back into your self-sabotaging habits;
- And much more.
Access to this Bootcamp and lots of others are included as part of our Depression Bootcamps Membership Platform - which you can learn more about by clicking the button below.