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146 Things To Do Besides Self-Harm.

1.  Exercise. 

2.  Put on fake tattoos. 

3.  Draw on yourself with washable red marker-then take a shower and wash away your pain.

4. Scribble on sheets of paper.

5.  Write poetry.

6.  Cuddle with a stuffed toy.

7.  Be with other people.

8.  Watch a favorite TV show.

9.  Post on web boards or try answering other people's posts.

10. Think about how "I DON'T WANT SCARS FOR SUMMER!!"

Come up with your own Emojis...!

Image by James Kovin

Make Slime or read a book!😁

11.  Paint your nails a new color.

12.  Go out to see a movie.

13.  Eating something you can't resist.

14. Do your schoolwork.

15.  Write a letter to someone but never send it.

16. Go into chat rooms to talk.

17.  Call a friend and ask them to come to hang out.

18.  Play a musical instrument.

19.  Sing.

20.  Look up at the sky, and find the moon.  Study it.

21.  Make your own list of things to do instead of S.I.

22.  Buy a punching bag (with gloves) Name it.  Then, have a visit with Bob when you need to.

23.  Snap a rubber band  (hair band) on your wrist.

24.  Cover yourself with band-aids where you want to cut.

25.  Go to the zoo and rename the animals.

26.  Let yourself cry, even if it is hard.

27.  Sleep.

28.  Do the exact opposite of what you really want to do.

29.  Play with a pet.

Image by kalei peek

Need ideas to spark your imagination...?

"Here are a".... few... !😉

30.  Smile to at least 5 people.

31.  Re-organize and label your linen closet.

32.  Go out and perform one act of kindness.

33. Have a pillow fight with a wall.

34.  Knit a scarf.

35.  Read a book.

36. Dress up very glamorous, with makeup to match. 

37.  Color your hair.

38.  Listen to music (non-triggering)

39.  Learn to code.

40.  Find someone else you can help.  Do volunteer work.

41.  Meditate.  Track your breathing.

42.  Call up an old friend and catch up.

43.  Work on a website or start a new one.

44.  Have a vivid fantasy love affair with a celebrity.

45.  Go somewhere very public.

46.  Bake cookies or another favorite food you like.

47.  Go for a swim.

48.  Chew gum.

49.  Buy a henna tattoo kit.

Image by Gianandrea Villa

Blow bubbles!

50.  Paint or draw. 

51. Rip paper into really small pieces.

52.  Give someone a Hug.

53.  Write letters or emails.

54.  Talk to yourself, and put it on tape. 

55. Hug a pillow.

56.  Hyper-focus on something like a rock.

57.  Finger-paint.

58.  Scream as loud as you want.

59.  Dance.

60.  Make hot chocolate.

61.  Pop bubble wrap.

62.  Play with play dough.

63.  Count to 100.

64.  Build a pillow fort.

65.  Blow up a balloon and pop it.

66.  Hug yourself.

67.  Write yourself an "I love myself because" letter and keep it.  Read it when you feel down.

68.  Read things in a different language.

69.  Go for a nice long drive, walk, or jog.

70.  Complete something you have been putting off.

71.  Drink a cup of herbal tea.

72.  Fold the paper and invent a new origami shape.

73.  Write your memoirs.

74.  Build something.

75.  Take up archery.  

76.  Go rock climbing.

77.  Take up a new hobby you always dreamed of.

78.  Organize bills, receipts, etc.

79.  Cook a meal.

80.  Go out for ice cream.

81.  Buy a stuffed animal.

82.  Look at pretty things like flowers or artwork.

83.  Create something with clay.

84.  Pray or read the Bible.

85.  Throw socks against the wall.

86.  Make a list of blessings in your life.

87.  Go to a friend's house and open up.

88. Give your dog a spa!

89.  Watch an old comedy movie.

Dog Spa

90.  Call your therapist or make an appointment with one.

91.  Talk to someone close to you that you trust.

92.  Throw a temper tantrum.

93.  Ride a bicycle.

94.  Polish silver or jewelry.

95. Start a garden or water your house plants.

96.  Re-arrange a room.

97.  Feed the ducks, birds, or squirrels.

98.  Draw on the walls-or paint with watercolors if you don't want permanence.

99. Play with face paint.

100.  Play jacks or pick up sticks.

101. Color with crayons.

102.  Memorize a song and sing it.  Then, reflect on it's message.

103.  Put on boots and stomp.

104.  Stretch.

105.  Find a butterfly and take a picture.

106.  Watch fish.

107.  Come up with baby names even if you aren't expecting.

108.  Go to a public place and people watch.

109.  Make a video.

110.  Name all of your stuffed animals.

111.  Go shopping.

112.  Get into your PJ's and just veg.

113.  Buy cheap teddy bears and take your anger out on them

114.  Make slime.

115.  Go to a loud concert (Make sure it doesn't trigger you)

116.  Think about your ideal life.  What do you have to do to get there?

117.  Plan your someday wedding day or upcoming prom.

118.  Hunt for stuff on Ebay or Amazon

119.  Alphabetize your books and magazines.

Fun with Guitar

120.  Hunt for your perfect home in the paper or online.

121.  Take up Tai Chi.

122.  Try to make as many words as possible out of your full name. 

123.  Count ceiling tiles or lights.

124.  Go to the grocery store and buy yourself some flowers.

125.  Search for ridiculous things on the web.

126.  Google yourself.

127.  Color co-ordinate your wardrobe.

128.  Do a home tan on yourself.

129.  Take a hot bath and "be" in the moment.

Affirmation Poster
Image by Clark Tibbs
Paints and Brush


Image by bady abbas

130.  Sort all you photographs.

131.  Give yourself a pedicure.

132.  Color or scribble over pretty women in magazines.

133.  Plan a dinner party with menus and guest list, then carry it out.

134.  Go through all your old stuff, and donate to Good Will.

135.  Take a walk in the woods and breathe the fresh air.

136.  Start a mood journal and write in it every day.  Do patterns surface?  Track your triggers.

137.  Buy yourself some toys and play like you are 5 years old again!

138.  Start to collect some thing.

139.  Take up kick-boxing.

140.  Read a magazine or newspaper.

141.  Sew something.

142.  Buy a stuffed animal.

143.  Take your own dog, or a friend's dog for a walk.

Image by Dirk Ribbler


Most Important:

144. Call 1-800-DONT CUT

145. Call 1-800-THERAPIST

146. Read through this list again.

Butterfly Tattoo


The butterfly project has been created for self-harmers who feel they are ready to stop and need the motivation or support to do so.

Image by AARN GIRI


 You simply draw a butterfly on the place(s) of self-harm and if the butterfly fades without self-harming, it means that the butterfly lived and has flown away, giving you a sense of achievement. 

The idea is simple!

Whereas if you do self-harm while the butterfly is still visible, you have to wash it off. If that does happen, you can start again by drawing a new one on. 

Image by Reign Abarintos

Another idea is to write the names of your friends and family so that when you feel the need to self-injure, you are reminded that you are important and loved by your friends and family. Writing song lyrics or quotes can also be useful.


Go to a craft store and buy supplies to make beads for bracelets and/or necklaces.  Then, buy butterfly charms (or any charm form/symbol you like) to eventually use as a charm to be added to the bracelet/necklace. 

This is how it works:  First, make a bracelet or necklace out of the beads. For every week that you have not hurt yourself, you have saved the life of the butterfly. For every butterfly you save, you should add a butterfly charm to the beaded bracelet/necklace.  That way, you can tell how many weeks you have stopped hurting yourself by how many butterflies are on your beaded bracelet.  


Each Butterfly = 1 week of not cutting.



You will always be reminded of your successes every time you glance at your wrist and see all the butterflies you have saved!


Based on the understanding that happy people do not cut themselves, try this opposite action strategy instead of self-harm. It is very simple to do!


  • Replace cutting with HUGS.

  • Hug 5 people when you are really, really upset and want to cut.

  • Hug 4 people when you are really upset.

  • Hug 3 people if you are somewhat upset.

  • Hug 2 people if you are less upset.

  • Hug 1 person if you are a bit upset.


If you are upset and alone, hug yourself, your pet,  your stuffed animal or a picture of someone you care about. Just remember to Hug!



Another simple and easy strategy to use as a way to not harm yourself when you get an urge to do so:

  • Get a box with a lid and decorate it any way you want. 

  • Put anything in the Happy Box that makes you feel happy and puts a smile on your face. Examples would be photos, names of your friends, concert tickets, movie stubs, names of songs, jewelry, a rose, a pressed leaf from a tree.  You get the idea.

  • Open your Happy Box and pull out everything in it whenever you feel that you want to harm yourself. Do this mindfully.

  • Take out one thing at a time, look at it, touch it, sit with it as you reflect on its' meaning and remember why you chose to put it in the Happy Box.

  • Let yourself take in the good memories you feel and the closeness you feel to the other people who were involved in making each item special to you!

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