Alternatives to Self-Injury

Try delaying

  • Take a shower
  • Go out and be around people
  • Go out and dig in the garden
  • Call your T
  • Call a friend
  • Call 1-800-DONT-CUT

Express your destructive feelings

  • Break something safe
  • Break old dishes you bought from a thrift store
  • Rip apart an old cassette tape, smash the casing
  • Throw ice cubes at a brick wall
  • Throw eggs in the shower
  • Rip apart an old phone book
  • Smash fruit with a bat or sledgehammer
  • Throw darts at picture of perp
  • Punch pillows
  • Scream into a pillow
  • Slam doors

Non-destructive sensation producers

  • Hold ice cube to skin inside the arm
  • Rub Bengay on skin
  • Put a rubber band on wrist and snap it
  • Ride a bike fast and far
  • Run
  • Take a shower and rub skin with cloth or brush

Give yourself an alternate visual

  • Draw red lines on arms with felt marker
  • Draw red lines with red pencil then drip water on the lines
  • Draw slashing lines on paper

Express your feelings

  • Write what you’re feeling. Don’t edit, just write. Stream of consciousness
  • Identify what it is that is hurting so bad that you’d rather harm yourselves than feel it. What are you trying NOT to feel?