15 Ways to Distract Yourself From Self-Harm

One of the best ways to let the urge to cut pass is by distracting yourself with someone or something else. This will allow the moment to pass when you’re feeling the deep cravings to self-injure and get your mind off of it. It’s impossible for your mind to think about two things at the exact same time. Here are some ideas on how to do this.

Practical Ways to Resist the Urge to Cut or Self-Harm

If you cut or self-injure to express pain or intense emotion:

1. Try painting or drawing.

2. Keep a journal to write about your thoughts and feelings.

3. Write a poem or song.

If you cut or self-harm to calm/soothe yourself:

4. Take a hot bath or shower.

5. Listen to calming music.

6. Spend time playing with a pet.

7. Wrap yourself in a warm blanket.

If you cut or self-harm because you feel disconnected and numb:

8. Call a friend to talk.

9. Get some friends together and do something fun.

10. Take a cold shower.

11. Chat Live with a HopeCoach

If you cut or self-harm to release tension/vent anger:

12. Exercise.

13. Squeeze a stress ball or squish Play-Doh.

14. Rip something up, like a magazine.

15. Make some noise by playing an instrument.

If you or a loved one are struggling with self-harm, please check out our partner, Door of Hope.  Their crisis care advocates provide free texting, email and phone conversations.

If you or a friend need support right now, please visit the suicide prevention resource page. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

TheHopeLine Team
For over 30 years, TheHopeLine has been helping students and young adults in crisis. Our team is made up of writers and mental health professionals who care deeply about helping others.
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