Identify what emotion triggers your self-harm and look for suitable alternatives
Feeling alone or isolated?
Try: talking to someone, writing down how you feel, walking the dog, wrapping a blanket around yourself, meeting up with a friend, or doing some exercise.
Try: punching something like a pillow, doing some exercise, running, screwing up paper and throwing it, snapping twigs, squeezing clay, hitting a rolled up newspaper on a door frame, screaming, crying, or having a cold shower.
Feel like you hate yourself or that you’re not good enough (low self-esteem)?
Try: listening to music, having a bath, burning incense, phoning a friend, writing, painting, or listing good things about yourself.
Feel like you can’t control things in your life?
Try: organising something, cleaning or tidying, solving a puzzle, setting a target time (for example, saying you won’t harm for 15 minutes, and then if you can last, try another 15 minutes).
Feel numb or like a ‘zombie’?
Try: focusing on something like breathing, being around people who make you feel good, craft activities, making a photo collage, playing an instrument, baking, playing computer games.
Feel like you want to escape from your life or a difficult situation?
Try: having a hot or cold shower, drawing on your body with red pen, massaging lotion into the places you would normally harm, squeezing ice cubes or biting on lemon for the “shock factor,” or painting nails.
Talk to someone you trust, a friend, an adult, a teacher, GP or counsellor