Unusual Methods To Combat Self-Harming [Part 3]

In the third part of the Unusual Methods To Combat Self-Harming series we shall look at 4 more ideas to distract yourself from self-harming including an unbelievable idea I discovered just last week. I have problems with self-harming, I must admit, but when my delusions are not involved I can usually control myself with the ideas written on my blog. So here we go…

This is the end product of the challenge (note: I haven't done it myself, but might do soon)

This is the end product of the challenge (note: I haven’t done it myself, but might do soon)

1. Cutcake Challenge
Such a great idea! I found it on the Childline website but apparently it has been on the internet for a while. Basically, on day one if you do not self-harm you will write “C” where you self-harm. Day two, you write “U”. Day three, “T”, and so on. After 7 days without self-harming you will have “CUTCAKE” written where you self-harm which means you have gone 7 days without self-harming. That would be amazing! The first day will be hardest, but when you go to self-harm and see the letters to should remind you not to. The only problem I can see is that after 3 days you will have “CUT” written, which is a problem if your self-harm method is cutting. Maybe you should just write “cupcake” instead.

Click here for part 1 of the series on combatting self-harming.

2. The Happy Box – Depressionless Edition
I recently read about an idea some people try called The Happy Box. I have decided to adapt it a little, so I call it The Happy Box – Depressionless Edition. Grab a shoebox (or any box with a lid). Now fill it with items that made you happy; photographs, poems, stories, music lyrics, soft toys, jewellery, flowers, names of friends. Keep the box in your room (I am presuming you self-harm in your room). Whenever you are sad or want to self-harm, get the box, close your eyes and take out one item from the box. Use the item to remind yourself why it makes you happy. Happy memories will make you happier, try it!

Yeah, just some of my maths books.

Yeah, just some of my maths books.

3. Research A New Topic
Wikipedia and google (other search engines are available) are your new friends. Learning about something new will distract and engage the mind, and you will be proud of your new knowledge. You don’t have to research extensively or pick a hard topic such as calculus (I don’t find it hard but it has a reputation). Just read around something you don’t know about, it may change your perspective on life. I shall give you a few ideas; venomous spiders in your country, the life of Siddhartha Gautama, Grammy Award winners, how to survive an apocalypse. Turn something you know nothing about into something you want to know more about.

Click here for part 2 of the series on combatting self-harming.

4. Movie Night
The two times I self-harm most regularly are when people say bad things to me and at night time. Being alone in a quiet place like your bedroom will just cause you to think more about your problems, and you are likely to blame yourself. Invite some friends round (make sure they bring popcorn) and put on a movie. A comedy will keep you happy all night, an action movie will keep your brain engaged, a horror might bring you and your friends closer. Some might call it a sleepover but The Man Code rule 38 forbids sleepovers where the guy to girl ratio is above 2:1, so we shall call it movie night. The only negative to this idea is when everyone forgets about the snacks.

And that concludes this post, we have now reached 12 different ideas on how to combat self-harming. Surely you have enough ideas now to help yourself. Whether I create a fourth part to the series depends on whether I can find 4 more ideas that most people don’t know or think about. Do you have a great idea? Share in the comments below.

Unusual Methods To Combat Self-Harming [Part 2]

So just over a week ago I covered 4 unusual ways to combat self-harming, and I’m guessing you want more this time? These activities and ideas may not work for everyone but it is worth trying if you might not damage your body again. So let’s have a look.

Click here to see Part 1 of this series.

Random ducks at my local park!

Random ducks at my local park!

1. Feed Ducks At The Park
The only reason I thought of this one is because I was walking through the park thinking about self-harming, then suddenly I saw the ducks in the pond and started to think about ducks. Maybe only I do that… Firstly, staying in a public area will make you a lot less likely to self harm. Secondly animals seem to make people calm down, so feeding ducks (or squirrels or rabbits or whatever is in the park near you) might calm you down enough so that you don’t want to self-harm. Thirdly the fresh air will be good for you, my GP recently said I should try to get out the house every day to combat my depression.

2. Pick A Random Friend On Your Contact List And Call
Okay, so this will be the least unusual of the unusuals because you are recommended to talk to a friend when you want to self-harm. But why talk about self-harming to them when you could have a random conversation? When I told my friend (the only one who knows about my depression so far) about my self-harming and depression we ended up talking about the seaside and animals. I must admit I would rather talk about that then my depression as random conversations make me a bit happier. Also, a random conversation means you don’t have to talk about your self-harming or mental illness, you can mention that in your own time.

Yes... some of the games I own.

Yes… some of the games I own.

3. Reorganise Objects In Your Room
This could mean your alphabetise your CD, DVD or games collection. It could also mean moving all the furniture around into a new look. Get creative and use your imagination, plan the room you have always wanted. It is a great way to keep busy, and you could always invite a friend over to help you. Keep busy and sociable should stop you from self-harming, especially when you can keep the activity up for hours. While you are doing it, why not throw away your self-harm tools as well?

4. Meditation
Focus your mind, grasshopper, find your inner peace… Something I do to calm myself down, and something many people do to stop self-harming. If I remembered to meditate when I wanted to self-harm I would probably self-harm less, but for some reason I seem to forget. I might try writing “meditate” on my arms so I can remember. Basically, just sit down on a hard surface (e.g. the floor), close your eyes and focus on your breathing. After a few minutes I am generally calm, so you might not need to meditate long to stop the urge to self-harm.

Wow, so we have now covered 8 ways to combat self-harming. Yes! There will be a third part to this series, so follow the blog or check back regularly to see when it is released. It shouldn’t take more than a week, but it’s Christmas soon so who knows. Have you tried any methods from this article or the previous one? Or have you got a secret method of your own? Share below in the comments.

Unusual Methods To Combat Self-Harming [Part 1]

For many people who go through mental illnesses, self-harming is something they will be familiar with. I struggle with self-harming, and many of you reading will also struggle with self-harming. What starts off as an impulse can quickly turn into an addiction, and can lead to further problems. If you have read up on self-harming you may have heard several ways to stop it, such as hanging out with friends or the elastic band method (which sounds cool, but didn’t help me). However, trying some of these methods below in the article could be very useful.

Origami Attempt

My own attempt at origami…

1. Origami
What? Folding paper can stop me from cutting? Well, the third rule of Origami Club is to not cut (damn, I just broke the first two rules by mentioning Origami Club). Origami keeps your hands busy by folding the paper, and your mind busy while you concentrate on the instructions and crazy folds you are doing. As an added bonus you get a little creation to show off at your desk or to your friends. There are many different things to make, just search the internet.
The TickleHead blog has some clever arts and crafts, including a nice origami star made out of money.

Writing A Poem

Is that one of my poems?

2. Writing A Rap Or Poem
You may want to check out these haiku’s I wrote or possibly my first posted sonnet. You may have guessed that I use this method, and even share it with the world through my blog. Writing a poem about your feelings may make you realise that you don’t need to self-harm, or freestyling an awesome rap could make you forget why you started rapping (hint: so you don’t self-harm). It has worked for me! Depending on your attention span you could choose a short poem like one of the haiku’s I wrote, or spend hours creating an epic. You are free to do whatever you want when it comes to poetry and rap.

3. The “I Learnt Random Skills From Youtube” Game
This one is not for those who give up after two minutes, but is actually a pretty interesting idea. Ever wanted to learn how to do the moonwalk? Or how to fold a shirt in 2 seconds? Well, youtube can teach you. Like the origami method this will keep you focused on the task and your body busy (depending on what you are doing). Most skills take practice, but are unbelievably impressive when you learn them. If you are not sure what you want to learn just type in “how to” and lots of different options will come up.

Ice Cubes

That’s the ice cube we are talking about!

4. Holding Ice
Okay, so you might have heard this one before, but some people haven’t. I started using this method since the police took my knife (I mentioned it in my sonnet post, check there if you forgot), and it has helped more than any other way of feeling pain. It is hard to describe unless you have tried it before, I’m not really sure if I would say it hurts actually. Complicated… Just get a small ice cube and hold it in your hand until it has melted. Cutting leaves scars while this method just leaves a little bit of water, and I’m certain some of the water magically vanished!

So now you have four methods of combatting self-harming. They might not all work for everybody, but next time you get the urge just remember what this article has taught you (bookmark it if you are forgetful). Have you tried any of these methods? Or got a secret method of your own? Share in the comments below. Part 2 will be out soon, so follow this blog to get an instant update when it’s published!