Enormous List of Anti-Self-Injury Strategies
(A compilation acquired from clients, http://www.secret_scars.homestead.com/instead.html and http://www.selfharm.net)
Re-printed with Permission by Yvonne Bergmans, BEd, MSW, RSW St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto. Developer of the Psychosocial/Psychoeducational Intervention for People with Recurrent Suicide Attempts (P.I.S.A.)
1. Keeping a tally. If you tend to have decent runs of not SI-ing, then fail and do it, do a tally. Write ‘days I self injured’ in one column, and ‘days I didn’t’ in the other. At the end of every day, draw a line in either column, depending on if you self injured or not that day. Over time, those tallies in the ‘didn’t SI’ box will grow, making you feel better.
2. Try not to be alone: Visit a friend, go shopping, or go to a public place.
3. Simpler goal… choose one day of the week. For example, Wednesdays. And say- I will NOT cut on Wednesday’s ever. Eventually you can add another day, such as Wednesday and… Sunday. And so forth.
4. Avoid temptation: Avoid the aisle in the supermarket where your “supplies” are kept, buy only small packs of over-the-counter medications etc. Keep dangerous things out of your home.
5. If you can’t throw them away, make your SI tools inaccessible
o Wrap lots of cello tape round them that you’ll need to pull off before you can use them
o Freeze them into a block of ice that you’ll have to thaw to get at them
o Put them in a locked box, and throw away the key to the box.
6. 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 cope.
7. Make a rule: that I’ll never cut at work or other place of importance to you
8. Write out a list of all the reasons why you want to stop injuring yourself, and keep it with your tools.
9. Write out a list of friends whom you can call when you feel like SI-ing.
10. Make a list of crisis lines such as Samaritans, DCO, Warm Line with the phone numbers and times they are open.
11. Make a contract with someone else. Make it 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 like SI-ing (but of course don’t get extra depressed, with internet friends, if they aren’t around because they aren’t online – keep a list of phone numbers too.)
12. Talent: Write down one thing that you are good at on a piece of paper. Carry this paper with you and whenever you feel bad, add another talent to it. If you run out of talents, think of good features etc.
13. Calendar Keep a calendar especially for your SI. Put a sticker on each day that you are SI free. At the end of each week look back at which days you hurt yourself. Try to beat that next week. If you get a month full of stickers, buy yourself a treat, like a new top or something.
14. Collecting: Collect something. Beanie babies, anything. when you feel really bad either buy a new one or admire your collection or plan your next addition (e.g. shop online and look at the newest ones)
15. Emergency box /Safe Box. Get a box and decorate it any way you like. Inside put things that make you happy, distractions, special photos or letters, and your lists of phone numbers and reasons not to SI. Only open it in an emergency or it loses its specialness. About once every two or three months entirely change the contents. Have an SO or a friend, or your child pick something special to put into the box while you’re not looking so that there will be a surprise for you when you do have to open it.
16. Emergency tape. Make a tape to listen to when you are particularly down or vulnerable. You might choose all happy songs to put on it, or you might find it helps to choose sad songs that might enable you to cry.
17. Carry safe objects in your pockets. These can include stones, crystals, small books, and stress relieving squishy things. H.A.L.T. S Avoid getting Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired , Scared
18. Work out what it the hardest time of the day for you, and plan regular activities to occupy you during that time.
19. Journal. Write in your journal why you want to hurt yourself, what caused it to happen so in the future you can prevent it from happening; find out what your triggers were.
20. Letter-writing Write a letter to the person or problem that is upsetting you, or even a letter to your SI. You don’t need to post it: either keep it or destroy it by burning the paper or tearing it up. Or write yourself an “I love you because” letter.
21. Pozzies Write out a list of all the positive things in your life at the moment, even really small things.
22. Real’s Two Lists For ONE, write EVERYTHING you have EVER (not just as an adult) enjoyed, found to be fun/adventurous/etc., or was uplifting for you, etc. Don’t censor out anything. When I heard about this idea, I thought of lots of things I had never done but would love to do, so I created these things into list TWO. Go through ONE, circling, ticking or marking in some way the “positive” things you could do again. Then start introducing the things on lists ONE and TWO into your life.
23. Write out why you don’t deserve to be hurt.
24. Talk to yourself in a language you don’t know very well. Sometimes it helps stop the urges when I talk to myself in French because I don’t have enough words to talk about the bad things, so I’m forced to concentrate on things that are simpler.
25. Talk to yourself out loud or into a tape-recorder.
26. Make affirmation tapes inside you that are good, kind, gentle (Sometimes you can do this by writing down the negative thoughts and then physically re-writing them into positive messages)
27. Ask yourself what you need, identify what is bothering you.
28. Send yourself an encouraging email: “If I know I’m gonna have a bad day and I don’t think I can get through it I email myself the night before and say things like you can do, you’re strong, and all that. It kinda helps.”
29. Brainstorm all the options and choices you have right now. Anything that feels right to you.
30. Spill your thoughts by writing continuously for as long as you can. Then if you want, tear it up.
31. Read books or articles about SI.
32. Writing words in the sand to be washed away. The person suggesting this wrote “When I was near a beach one thing that I found really helpful was to find a secluded spot and write the self-hate words that were haunting me in the sand, and watch as the waves washed them away. It felt cleansing… as if the waves were literally washing the words off of me.
33. Allow yourself to cry.
34. Visualize your troubles melting away. Or visualize bad memories being put in sealed airtight containers.
35. Ask yourself: Will I still feel this way in a minute? An hour? A day? A week? A month? A year? How long will this make me angry/sad for? Is it worth it?
36. Be Gentle with Yourself: 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 name-calling and self-verbal abuse will only make you feel worse.
37. Some people may have littles/inner children who may be very scared. Watching someone self-harm is a very scary thing to witness and your lils maybe be aware of what you are doing. If you really feel you are going to self-harm, you may need to get them to a safe place. This also applies if you are a parent with external children; you probably should not have them there when you are self-harming.
38. Lose the “should-could-have to” words. Try… “What if” or “I choose to”
39. Notice black & white thinking, catastrophising, irrational self-blame.
40. Snap a rubber band around your wrist.
41. Draw on yourself with a red pen. Make it look like cuts or scratches, or write words. Only use non-toxic ink.
42. Squeeze ice cubes in your hands – the cold causes pain in your hands, but it is not dangerous or harmful. (Note: putting ice on a spot you want to burn gives you a strong painful sensation and leaves a red mark afterward, kind of like burning would.)
43. Use a toothbrush on your skin instead of something sharper
44. Squeezing tissues I find it helpful if I take tissues and squeeze them HARD in my hands… I mean HARD. Act like you are in excruciating pain and cling to them for dear life. Then release and lie down and gasp like it finally stopped. It’s actually quite satisfying.
45. Food colouring: Take a small bottle of liquid red food colouring 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 colour trickle out.
46. Draw on the areas you want to hurt yourself using ice that you’ve made by dropping six or seven drops of red food colour into each of the ice-cube tray wells.
47. Use 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.
48. Wash and bandage the parts of your body that you want to SI.
49. Harm a teddy or doll, and then bandage it.
50. Gluey Arm. Paint some non-toxic glue onto your arm, let it dry and then peel it off.
51. Paint on yourself with red tempera paint.
52. Sticky tape: take some masking tape and loosely tape up the location you tend/want to hurt.
53. Scribble with red chalk or crayon. You can do it on sheets of paper or on the pavement outside.
54. Draw a hand on paper then draw cuts on it.
55. Fifteen-minute rule: Hold off for 15 minutes. If you then still have the urge to harm yourself, you can. Before you do, try another 15 minutes. Again, at the end it’s up to you. See how long you can go without giving in. You have the control.
56. Describe an object: 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, colour, possible uses, feel, etc.
57. Choose a random object, like a paper clip, and try to list 30 different uses for it.
58. Research a randomly-chosen subject on the Web.
59. Sleep (if you feel tired enough or it’s the right time to sleep).
60. Make a list. Make many lists. List as many different food items as you can think of. List all the user handles that you remember. List… you get the point. I use this a lot to help me fall asleep, but it works for urges also.
61. Detangling wool or necklaces.
62. Re-organize your room.
63. Read a joke book or go to a joke site
64. Make up a funny chain letter scheme. Ask for postcards, stickers, bookmarks, and hairclips, whatever. Print up a bunch and send them to all your friends.
65. Start a dumb email forward. Warn your friends of the evils of BIC ballpoint pen ink or something.
66. Alphabetize all your books or CDs.
67. Word game. Pick a word from the dictionary. Then think of a word that begins with the last letter of that word, and so on. See how long you can go for.
68. Rip up paper into tiny little pieces.
69. Pop bubble wrap!
70. Sweep all the dust bunnies, letting each one represent a part of the situation you are “cleaning out”.
71. Rock Throwing each pebble/stone thrown is a problem thrown out
72. Snow ball toss against a tree, name that you are feeling angry with as it goes toward the tree.
73. Count to 100, or if that’s too easy, try the following sequence: Pick a whole number. If it’s even, divide it by 2 repeatedly until you get an odd number. When you have an odd number, multiply it by 3 and add 1 to it. Then start dividing by 2 as before. Keep doing this. The sequence has interesting behaviour and can be tried with different starting values.
74. Say the alphabet backwards.
75. Build a pillow fort.
76. Memorize something: Things like poetry, Bible verses, or foreign-language vocabulary are good. Or the Greek or Hebrew alphabets, Periodic Table of chemical elements, list of monarchs or presidents, etc.
77. Think up baby names. You don’t have to be pregnant!
78. Name all your soft toys.
79. Hunt for stuff on EBay.
80. Look at property adverts to find your dream home.
81. Make as many words as possible out of your full name or a long word.
82. Make anagrams of people’s names “Clint Eastwood” is an anagram of “Old West action” for example.
83. Count things: Anything you can see, like ceiling or floor tiles, bricks, or patterns on wallpaper.
84. Search ridiculous words or phrases on the Web.
85. Arrange your wardrobe in order of color.
86. Sort out your photos.
87. Plan a dinner party.
88. Play with a slinky or a puppet.
89. Go out and smile at at least five people. You usually end up really smiling yourself!
90. Word association game: Pick a word and then think of a related word, then something that relates to that…. and so on.
91. Freewriting: Write continuously for a fixed amount of time, say 5 minutes. Let the words flow, put down whatever comes into your head.
92. Play with a doll or teddy. Make it into a punk, style its hair; give it awful make up. Cover it in tattoos.
93. A to Z game: Pick a subject, like “animals” or “fruit” and then write down one thing beginning with each letter of the alphabet. A = antelope, B = bear, etc.
94. Do a puzzle such as a crossword, word search, or a sliding-tile puzzle.
95. Play a card game such as Patience. Or build a tower of cards.
96. Play solitaire.
97. Plan a holiday. A real one or a dream holiday where time and money are no object!
98. Take a few minutes and act silly. For example, keep a huge collection of wind up toys in your office, and when stuff gets out of control, play with them.
99. Spin coins, enjoying the sound. Or just sort out all your small change.
100. Read a ridiculously long list of SI alternatives
101. Punch your bed or a pillow.
102. Scratch or jab a piece of wood with a screwdriver.
103. Scream If you don’t want people to hear, screaming into a pillow muffles it.
104. Make something and then destroy it.
105. Break the object that you use to self-injure as a way to show that you have control over it.
106. Shout out your feelings. It’s useful to rave and rant while you are doing the other techniques on this list.
107. Scribble on paper. Clutch the pen in your fist. It’s a way to diffuse it on to paper. (Get a few sheets so they don’t tear.)
108. Hit a punch bag.
109. Squeeze a stress ball or a lump of Plasticine.
110. Slash an empty plastic soda bottle or a piece of heavy cardboard or an old shirt or sock
111. Make a soft cloth doll to represent the things you are angry at. Cut and tear it instead of yourself.
112. Flatten aluminum cans for recycling, seeing how fast you can go.
113. Use a pillow to hit a wall, pillow-fight style.
114. Rip up an old newspaper or phone book.
115. Throw ice into the bathtub or against a brick wall hard enough to shatter it.
116. Break sticks.
117. Slap a tabletop.
118. Clap hard.
119. Blow up balloons and pop them. You could sit on top of the balloon to pop it – find creative ways to pop the balloons.
120. Breaking plastic plates
121. Tearing up socks or old clothes.
122. Throwing socks against the wall.
123. Throw everything into the middle of the room. Don’t throw glass things though!
124. Smash glass for recycling: Collect jars and bottles. When you are angry take them to the
bottle bank and throw them into the recycle bins as hard as you can.
125. Throw a ball: Throw a tennis ball at a wall as hard as you can and catch it again. Preferably outside or somewhere where it won’t smash things.
126. Scribble all over pictures of people in magazines. Or scribble on a photo of someone who annoys you!
127. Shoot ‘em up Buy an old style, cheap computer game, preferably without much gore, and take out your pain and anger on the “baddies”. You could also play a simulation game, build a town and then destroy it!
128. Stump bashing. Take a walk to a quiet wooded area where you won’t be disturbed. Find a solid branch and smash it as hard as you can against a rock, or old tree stump, over and over again, releasing all of your feelings in the process.
129. Throw raw eggs at tree trunks and enjoy smashing them.
130. Make lots of noise with pots and pans.
131. Rant while you are doing all of the above!
132. Dance. Put some loud music on and dance and sing until you are totally exhausted.
133. Go for a walk. Pay attention to the rhythm of your steps.
137. Stretching Can you touch your toes?
138. Tai Chi
139. Gymnastics. Do stuff you used to do as a kid, like cartwheels and handstands. See if you can still stand on your head.
140. Running Go for a run, run as fast as you can. If you can’t go out, run up and down stairs or from one end of a room to the other.
141. Paper Tennis: Write down your feelings on a piece of paper, then screw it into a tight ball and whack it round the room “tennis style”, until you’re exhausted.
144. Some aggressive type of sport, such as galloping horses, driving fast on go-karts.
145. Ten-pin bowling.
146. Put on some psycho loud classical music, or even John Williams or marching music. Pretend you’re a crazy conductor.
147. Jump around in circles until you fall
148. Any kind of exercise Even if it’s just press-ups and sit-ups in your own room it still burns away the energy to harm.
149. Have a shower.
150. Stomp around in heavy shoes.
151. Paint your nails
152. Bite your nails!
153. Sleep naked. I can close my eyes and envelope myself in the warmth and almost imagine I’m in the womb… it feels very safe.
154. Brush and floss your teeth
155. Get a massage
156. Dress up very glamorous
157. Put on make-up or face-paint.
158. Fake tan
159. Get a tattoo or piercing
160. Put on fake nails.
161. Shave (legs or face depending!)
162. Get out a fine-toothed comb and vigorously brush the fur of a stuffed animal (but use gentle vigour).
163. Body Paint Draw on your body with body paints or markers and felt tips (preferably ones that wash off!) Try writing good things about yourself on the bits of you that you don’t like so much.
164. Dye your hair Dyeing your hair red sometimes helps – the wonderful sight when you rinse it off of all this red liquid flowing down the plug hole is very cathartic.
166. Haircut “The combination of the snipping sensation and the slight pampering was a good ‘halfway’ measure, and not nearly as socially-harmful as self injury. Even cutting my own hair worked quite well The haircut was normally a pre-emptive move for me though.”
167. Comb your hair, or plait it or style it differently.
168. Self-massage Try massaging the area you want to harm with massage oils or creams, reminding yourself that you are special and you deserve to treat yourself and your body with love and respect.
169. Bath Take a long hot bath with bath oil or bubbles.
170. Hot drink Hot chocolate, mmmm.
171. Curl up under a blanket.
172. Hug a soft toy or your pillow.
173. Read a good book. Perhaps a children’s book.
174. Burn incense or scented candles
175. Eat a favourite food.
176. Go out for an ice-cream.
177. Hug someone – or hug yourself.
179. Treat yourself to a present. Go to a dollar store if you’re broke, or any store you can afford and buy yourself a little something. A new pair of earrings, a jar of bubbles to blow outside. A container of Ben and Jerry’s, a bracelet, anything. Remind yourself that you are special and you deserve special things.
180. Buy yourself some fresh flowers.
181. Make a tray of special treats and tuck yourself into bed with it and watch TV or read.
182. Rewards 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. This makes you remember there are good things in life, however small.
183. Buy yourself a soft toy or some kind of present.
184. Wash your hands with nice soap specially kept for such occasions.
185. Put on your pajamas and just veg.
186. Deep breathing: Just sit down comfortably, eyes closed and take long, slow 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.
187. Relaxation techniques: tense each muscle group individually, hold for the count of 5, let go, next group, hold for the count of 5, let go.
188. Go for a walk outside. Pay careful attention to plants and flowers and trees, the sky, how much wind there is the exact amount of light and darkness, the texture of the sidewalk. Take deep breaths as you walk. Walk slow.
189. Meditation Sit down comfortably, eyes closed and repeat to yourself a 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’.
190. Go to a wood or a garden and look at nature.
191. Try to remember a happier time. Transport yourself back to there in your mind. Try to do it actively, and remember everything you did as you did it. For instance if you’re remembering a vacation at the beach, try to concentrate on the feeling of the sand, the waves, the sun, etc.
192. Go to a church or other place of worship.
193. Recite a poem, prayer or anything else familiar the comforts you, multiple times.
195. Visualize a calm, safe place Create an internal safe place where you can go. In a time when you feel safe and secure, create a room, garden, beach, mountain, cabin in the woods or any safe area inside yourself which you can retreat to and get away from external stresses. Add as many details as you can to make it real for you.
196. Watch a candle flame
197. Visualize a wall between the situation and yourself
198. Visualize feelings in a glass jar/aquarium…you see them, know they’re there, they can’t touch you
199. protect yourself with an invisible, impermeable bubble, nothing can get in to hurt you, you are in control of receiving new information
200. Imagine other people’s lives on the soap operas
201. watch TV without the sound on and make up your own version of the story you see
202. Fantasy Have a vivid fantasy love affair with a celebrity.
203. Hyper-focus on something like a rock, hand, etc.
204. Watch fish.
205. Watch bees or butterflies.
206. Stroke a pet.
207. Listen to the birds, the traffic, the rain, dogs barking, a favourite song, a cat purring, cars passing.
208. Watch a lava lamp.
209. 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.
210. Draw a picture of who or what is upsetting you, or of your feelings, or just a pattern.
212. Work with clay, play-dough, 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, plus it gave them some idea of what might be underlying the pain.)
213. Cooking. Especially if it involves lots of chopping or bashing dough.
214. Needlework, cross-stitch etc.
215. Anything crafty, even if it’s silly or simple. Make a puppet out of a brown paper lunch bag… glue buttons, etc. on for the eyes and nose, draw a mouth, dress it up. Make a construction paper chain to count down an event or a day you’re looking forward to. Draw a picture and color it with crayons and glue on glitter
216. Make someone a cute just because card. For example: Joe, Happy Wednesday!!! Make some cute little jingle inside and decorate it and then you anticipate giving it to someone.
217. Play a musical instrument.
218. Sing a song, or just make one up as you go along. Sing a song on what you are feeling. It’s another way to get it outside.
222. Draw on the walls
223. Colouring in Use a colouring book, or find a colouring in website.
224. Make a compilation CD of your favourite songs.
225. Start collecting something
226. Write a song.
227. Decorate a box.
228. Decorate clothing Get some old clothes and decorate them with markers and glitter.
229. Make bracelets or necklaces.
230. Rock Painting Paint rocks and fir cones and shells in bright colours. Either put them back in the “wild” for kids to find and wonder about, or in your garden or bedroom.
231. Collect wild flowers. Go for a walk and pick some wild flowers. You could take them home to put in water, or you could press them between
books, or in a flower press, and then stick them on letters and notebooks.
232. Scrapbook Make a giant scrapbook for your favourite band or singer etc. Look up facts about them on the internet and print out or collect pictures of them to stick in it.
233. Make a video Get some paper and design, or write about a music video that you would like to make. Describe everything in as much detail as possible.
234. Write a children’s story. They always have happy endings.
235. Make a collage: It can be about your feelings, or a poster saying some message that you think is important.
236. Make a “happy picture”: Cut out pictures from magazines of lots of things that make you happy, arrange them on a big sheet of paper and glue them down.
237. Think kids stuff get set kits you can buy, key ring makers, hair braids, funky pens, beads, glitter. They can keep you occupied for ages.
238. Focus on the present Think of what is real and around you right then. There is no such thing as the past or the future – only the now!
239. Be aware of the world: Say to yourself what you see. “The couch is green. The light is on. I can feel my shoe pinching my foot.” etc. This can sometimes be enough to ground you.
240. Stroke nice fabrics.
241. Take a cold bath.
242. 54321 Name 5 things you can see in the room with you. Name 4 things you can feel (chair on my back). Name 3 things you can hear right now. Name 2 things you can smell. Name 1 good thing about yourself.
243. Repetitive reality checking Say or write down or make a mental list of all the things you can think of about where you are now. “It is 4:50pm on Wednesday July 16th 2008, my feet are feeling carpet, the walls are yellow, there is a table in front of me, I am 28 years old…” and so on.
244. Touch something familiar and safe.
245. Put your feet firmly on the floor.
246. Stick your hand into icy water, or poke your finger into a frozen food like ice-cream or peas.
247. Bite into a pepper or a lemon, or chew a piece of ginger or an extra-strong mint.
248. Eat a raisin mindfully. Pick it up, noticing how it feels in your hand. Look at it carefully; see the asymmetries and think about the changes the grape went through. Roll the raisin in your fingers and notice the texture; try to describe it. Bring the raisin up to your mouth, paying attention to how it feels to move your hand that way. Smell the raisin; what does it remind you of? How does a raisin smell? Notice that you’re beginning to salivate, and see how that feels. Open your mouth and put the raisin in, taking time to think about how the raisin feels to your tongue. Chew slowly, noticing how the texture and even the taste of the raisin change as you chew it. Are there little seeds or stems? How is the inside different from the outside? Finally, swallow.
249. Do 240 with a favourite, the texture of chocolate, the slipperiness of jello, the bite of old cheese, the tang of a jalapeño pepper, the sting of pepper sauce.
250. List all the ways in which now is different from the time/memory that was triggering or you are having flashbacks of.
251. Strong smells Aromatherapy oils are good for this.
252. Focus on the smell of the air, the flowers, the rain, the cars.
253. Phone a friend: Either to tell them how you are feeling and ask for help, or just to enjoy a chat.
254. Call your therapist if you have one.
255. Play with kids: If you have a little cousin or niece or nephew or something do something w/them. Like play a game or play dress-up or whatever. Little kids can almost always make you happy – even better if it’s a baby.
256. Ring a crisis line.
257. Visit a friend.
258. Smiling at kids: Watch a child’s eyes and their sense of wonder. Remember what it felt like to see the world with new eyes, taking everything in and learning about everything around you.
259. Tell someone else about how you are feeling.
260. Invite some folk round for dinner, or out for coffee or lunch.
261. Read or watch TV in the same room as someone else.
262. Go to a public place and people-watch.
263. Household chores Cleaning, vacuuming, washing up, ironing
264. Studying, school work. Specifically projects that aren’t due for a really long time. No stress there.
265. Tidying your room.
266. Something you have been putting off.
267. Catch up on letter-writing and emails.
268. Learn a new language.
269. Clean your email inbox
270. Organize your bills.
271. Polish silver or jewellery. Or stained mugs or teapot.
272. Gardening, watering house plants.
273. Go out and pick up litter in the street or a park.
274. Find someone you can help. Do voluntary work.
275. Sort through your old junk.
276. Take stuff to a charity shop or for recycling.
277. Shopping Buy something nice, but don’t overspend! Or go window-shopping.
278. Sing along to the radio or a CD – pick a hairbrush up and pretend to be in a band. Even if you “know” you can’t sing. Do it as loudly as possible when no one’s around.
279. Watch a happy movie. Watch a funny movie especially Disney movies. Pop some popcorn and sit around in your PJ’s. Or a sad one if it will help you to have a good cry.
280. Play a computer game
281. Go to the cinema
282. Surf the Net
283. Play with a pet. If you don’t have a furry pet of your own for whatever reason, go to a pet store and play with the animals
284. Go for a walk.
285. Go to McDonald’s. Buy a happy meal. Buy an extra toy too and then you’ll have two.
286. Work on your website.
287. Go for a long drive Make sure you are safe to drive though: don’t do it if you are dissociating or feeling reckless.
288. Read the Bible, or Shakespeare or anything you’ve wanted to read.
289. Feed ducks.
290. Go to a concert.
291. Go clubbing.
292. Play at a swing park.
293. think: this will pass, I’m not like this all the time, this is not forever,
294. Think, of a time when you felt more positive, a time when you felt some comfort
295. say “I have the right to feel safe and the responsibility to ensure others feel safe around me
296. Ask: what would my therapist say right now? My mother? My best friend?
297. Remember: a feeling is a feeling is a feeling. It just is, neither good nor bad…it’s part of being human
298. Imagine or ride the feeling like a skateboard, a wave, a bicycle, a roller coaster
299. Tell yourself what moments of control you still have; e.g. choosing what to eat, what to wear, who to call, where to sit, if to sit or stand
300. Imagine the feeling has a voice-give it a personality, ask it what new things you need to
301. Go to a zoo; rename all the animals.
302. Walk to the boardwalk and back
303. put on fake tattoos
304. paint you nails
305. count the stars
306. eating something ridiculously sweet
307. thinking about “I DON”T WANT scars for the summer
308. watch a scary movie
309. chew leather
310. put on boots and stomp around the house
311. go to the art gallery
312. name all the squirrels at Queen’s Park
313. go bargain hunting
314. write yourself an “I love you” letter, just because