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Instead of harming myself I now........(list three of four dot points)

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi lovely people

I just wanted to start this thread as "self harm" seems to be an increasing topic that I have noticed lately.

Firstly there is some wonderful information at this link:


Some of the discussion I have been involved in I am hearing that the "techniques" that are suggested to people to do or use instead of hurting themselves is "silly", "don't work", "well if it was that easy I wouldn't be here". So I want to reach out to anyone and everyone to perhaps put down three or four or as many as you feel comfortable to, tips that DO WORK for you.

I have suggested smashing plates, in a controlled space of course and not your mum's best plates either! Do you think this would work?

I think knowledge is power and the more we share knowledge we can use it to help others and to make a difference, a real difference in someone else's healing.

I also understand this is a sensitive topic but if you feel comfortable to share what works for you or what you need in that time that stops you from hurting yourself that would be so helpful.

Please be mindful this is a sensitive topic so just dot point the things you do instead of hurting yourself.

Huge hugs to you all.

Sarah xxx

89 Replies 89

Hi Sarah and All,

Last year was a bit of a shocker for me regarding my mental health. At one stage I didn't have many healthy ways of dealing with what I was experiencing. One thing that did help me was to go for long walks in nature, somewhere away from road traffic noise.

In some ways that was self harming as I kept pushing myself to go further. Same with gardening. 

Binge eating was another form of self harming for me.

So now I regulate my walking and time in the garden. I try hard to stick to an eating plan that is healthy for me.

I'm trying to be more aware of how I can help myself. I try to be more aware of my motives for doing things, is it self punishing or do I really feel like I need to complete that job in the garden all in one day.

Cheers all from Dools

Community Champion
Community Champion


what an interesting thread I have just discovered.

I used to self sabotage which maybe is not self harm bit needed up hurting me sometimes for decades .

It seems people use a variety of strategies that work for them, many are distractions which I have used especially walking.

I think being aware of one motives is helpful. the trouble is sometimes we can so troubled we can’t see what we are doing.

Reading these posts has helped me learn about my self.

Hi Everyone,

I must apologise. I have mentioned self harming here instead of sharing and concentrating on ways to improve and change my life so I no longer feel a need to self harm.

Like Quirky's thinking, maybe self sabotage and self harming can become similar things.

I need to be aware of my actions and reactions to situations, try to counter act triggers with more helpful and safe options.

Like Quirky mentioned, distractions are good, walking comfortably, gardening and enjoying the process, writing down disturbing thoughts and considering options helps too.

Cheer s all from Dools

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Dools and Hi Quirky

Thank you both for sharing such personal details and also some really nice words to read too, that you are no longer effected by self harm and that you have recovered from this. That is so wonderful to hear.

That is such a valid point the one about self sabotage and I was thinking about that, I think you are right, while it does have a different physical outcome it is still the same concept of doing something to evoke a feeling or an outcome or in fact prevent one. I hadn't thought about that before but you are very very right. I can also relate to the binge eating as a way of coping....I try to manage that one most days to be honest!!

Thank you for joining in on this conversation, you input as always is so valuable.

Have a great day everyone and look forward to chatting some more about this really diverse topic.

Hugs to everyone

Sarah xx

Community Member

I don't SH, but I have attempted a few times but didn't succeed.

But my Psychiatrist told me the following tips could be helpful:

  • Hold Ice on your skin.
  • Draw a Butterfly or something else that's nice and try not to damage it, and your skin of course.
  • Draw on your skin with Red Markers where you want to hurt yourself, or other colours.
  • Snap a Rubber Band on your wrist (not too hard of course).

Hi mb20lover and All,

Thanks for sharing these ideas with us. I have heard of these before and they do make sense.

To add to this though, I would really also appreciate Drs and people assisting with mental health issues to try to explain why people carry out SH in the first place, to not just offer suggestions like this but to explain the process behind the mind thinking this is an okay solution.

Someone explained the rational behind panic attacks to me, it made so much sense. It also gave me the power to reduce my panic attacks to a degree as I better understood what was going on in my mind and body at the time.

Gaining information and insight does help. I also acknowledge there are days when it all just feels too hard.

Wishing everyone the strength to hold on, to learn what helps you and to also accept the days that are tough.

Regards all from Dools

Hey Doolhof, I agree with you

Community Member
I am in the middle of an episode and I cant think of anything to shift this feeling. I feel a lack of motivation for anything but I guess this is what I am doing to try and distract myself...I jumped on here a bit afraid of my mood and can't access the the chat function which is pretty much how things go for me lol. You have you though. It's important to trust that if you give it a bit of time the feelings will fade. It's funny how we naturally float to the surface. I visualise a big kelp garden where I can get a bit tangled, but if I wait I will come up for air. It will feel better even though at the moment it doesn't feel that way. If you're like me maybe that's all you need...just to trust that right now isn't how it will stay. The other thing that might help is sleep. It doesn't solve the issues but it passes some time. I like to think of it as..right now I am useless to myself and everyone else and so let's sleep today. But the other thing I wanted to say is that that release from anger that you feel when you hurt yourself for whatever reason you do...its uglier than eating a jar of peanut butter but it isn't that different. It's okay. I don't know you but I wish you weren't suffering. That's the other strategy...you know how you re feeling..this pain..you wouldn't wish it on anyone so maybe focus on that...There is someone like you understanding how you feel and wishing you weren't feeling it.

Dear Jay24, 

We have reached out privately but wanted to check-in here as well. It sounds like you are having a really tough time at the moment, we are really sorry to hear that. We think that coming to the forums and sharing your story and experiences is a very brave thing to do and a great step towards feeling better.

We think that another great step is to give our phoneline a call on 1300 22 4636 and talk to one of the team. They are great at helping you find support and they can give great advice for what to do in the moments you are feeling low.

Please remember that if you are feeling unsafe that this is an emergency and you should call 000.

Thank you again for joining our community. If you would like to update on how you are going that would be great if you feel comfortable doing so.

Kind regards, 
Sophie M

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Jay24

I am so proud of you for finding you way here right now, that you have the strength to type to us to reach out and to choose you. I am so very proud of you, it takes huge strength.

I am so thankful that you have this forum in the files of your brain and that you have chosen this file today to reach out and to chat. That the forum has been a part of your safety plan and I am so proud of you for choosing to post.

You are so wise in the knowing that the feelings will fade and you will not always feel at these heights or these depths of despair, that they will pass, but it is what to do in the moments to let these moments pass, like coming to chat, or whatever it is that works really.

I really like your acknowledgement that right now is not a good time for me, so the best thing I can do for myself is to rest and to sleep. Maybe eating that jar of peanut butter might be an option, if it works even one time and can help you move through an episode then go for it. You are right in the release from the anger or the pain or trying to remind yourself that you can feel, whatever the driver is for hurting ones self is much uglier than devouring a jar or peanut butter, but I can tell you my friend that I would buy you a thousand jars if it helped you through each time.

You are so wise and so brave and I have enjoyed chatting here with you today and want to extend my hand to you if you need a hand up today. I am here to listen or to chat and I too wish will all my being that you were not feeling how you are feeling right now.

Huge hugs to you