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Forums / Suicidal thoughts and self-harm / Instead of harming myself I now........(list three of four dot points)

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

  1. Aaronsis
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    2463 posts
    12 November 2020 in reply to mimicry

    Hey mimicry

    Thank you for sharing how you manage and also for raising a really valid point, which is that just as music can make us feel good, it can also remind us of pain or sad times or just make us feel down in general. That is the thing about feelings, they don't know what is good and what is bad, they just respond, show up if you like. And that is also a very good reminder that just as we are able to feel pain and sadness, should that not mean that we are also able to feel joy and happiness? even in the smallest of amounts.

    Nature is a wonderful thing and I found especially at this time that we are coming out of lockdown in Melbourne, that things like a beach trip, a walk in a park, these small treasures that were restricted are now so much more important now that they are back. A reminder to appreciate the small things.

    Thank you for sharing and look forward to chatting some more to you.

    Sarah

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    12 November 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hello Sarah and all reading here,

    There are some wonderful suggestions, ideas, strategies and thoughts here. I greatly appreciate everyone sharing.

    I am going to go back and read more of this thread and make some notes of ideas I can adapt to assist myself.

    At the moment I am putting together a container of items and ideas I can use when I am feeling like I really need some distraction but don't have a clue what to do.

    I'm thinking of creating some kind of visual display instead of just words on a page with suggestions.

    Many years ago I used a small photo album and put pictures in it including images of a nice cup and teapot on a table, a beach, a craft project, flowers, a candle and so on. Actually seeing what was possible worked for my mind.

    It is helpful to read other people's lists!

    I'm really thankful that right now I am doing remarkably better than earlier on this year!

    Wishing you all insight into what will help you.

    Cheers from Dools

    2 people found this helpful
  3. bettertomorrows
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    30 posts
    12 November 2020 in reply to Doolhof

    Hello there :) Hope everyone here is going well today.

    Four things that work for me are

    Hugging a soft toy

    Drawing flowers

    Doing mental sums like multiplication tables

    Talking to somebody

    I also really recommend this app called Calm Harm which has helped me a couple of time. It provides alternative activities such as those that Distract, Vent, etc. etc.

    4 people found this helpful
  4. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    13 November 2020 in reply to bettertomorrows

    Hi bettertomorrows and All reading,

    Thanks for your list bettertomorrows. You have added to my ideas of things to try.

    My list looks something like this;

    - cleaning the house vigorously or weeding in the garden

    -reading a book for distraction

    -phoning a support service if nothing much seems to be working

    -crocheting, the rhythmic motion of stitching and creating something is sort of soothing.

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Aaronsis
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    13 November 2020 in reply to bettertomorrows

    Hello bettertomorrows

    Thank you so much for your suggestions here and I really like the one about doing the mental sums, learning times tables was something I never really got a hold of at school anyway so I can see that would be a really good thing to do to not only distract but to learn something new..well newish..as let's face it, at 46 yo I really should know my times tables.....lol

    Thanks so much bettertomorrows and I hope that you are doing well too.

    Great to chat to you.

    Cheers
    Sarah

  6. MJseekingadvice
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    1 posts
    8 January 2021

    Hi All,

    I'm seeking some advice on how to carefully deal with my partner who is going through a very bad stage in his life right now. He's depressed, and lately, his go-to mode of getting through the anger is secretly harming himself in little ways. I can't begin to imagine what he's going through right now, but I want to be there for him.

    I guess my biggest worry is the self-harm he's doing to himself as a mode of coping. Any advice on how I can be of help and get him through these tough times?

    I have been trying to support for a while, but it's making me feel worse of late. Any pointers on how to help him heal?

    Thanks.

    -Madi

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Matchy69
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    8 January 2021 in reply to MJseekingadvice
    Hi Madi and welcome to the forums and it is great you are are really supportive of you partner and looking to get advice to help him.
    I am wondering if he's talked to his doctor about his depression and seeing a psychologist can be really helpful.Talking to someone who's not close to him might be easier and give great advice.I know it is really hard thing to admit you have depression and are self harming.Do you know if their is any thing that in particular is triggering his depression that is leading to his self harm?I think you just being there for him and knowing you care and try to get him to seek maby professional help.He is so lucky to have such a caring partner in you.
    Take care,
    Mark.
    1 person found this helpful
  8. ecomama
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    8 January 2021 in reply to MJseekingadvice

    Hey MJ

    Welcome. I hope you get some guidance to help you. Matchy made good points.

    I also live with someone who was self-harming and it was scary. We went to the GP and I left the room so she could talk as openly as she felt she could. We have a MHCP now but it's not easy finding a psych for her.

    I called a Helpline when I found out. I usually call 1800RESPECT as they keep notes on us.
    The trauma psych said that I need to do "Radical Self-care" and that seemed upside down to me at first. (We already had the GP appt booked).

    Reasons being are that WE really need to look after ourselves.
    The stronger we are the more capacity we have to care for others.

    I could see myself going down fast with all this, so I took her advice on board.
    It HASN'T been easy doing self-care for myself.

    But 2 months later things are looking way up for the family member previously SHing. It could be that we MODEL good MH practices. The SH person notices. This is what happened here I think.

    A few points:
    - maintain social interactions & connections
    - eat healthy meals
    - exercise, just a walk in nature can do wonders.

    You need alot of support.
    Wishing you the best
    EM

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    8 January 2021 in reply to MJseekingadvice

    Hi Madi,

    Welcome to the community here. EM and Mark have offered you some very supportive and helpful suggestions.

    The Beyond Blue website also has information you may find helpful for both of you.

    When our minds are messed up with so much negativity, it can be hard to see reason and to be able to look at our situation objectively and logically.

    Hopefully your care and support will help your partner realise there is hope and change can be made. It might be a case of one step forward and 10 steps back. Hope you can both persevere until circumstances change.

    Just having someone acknowledge things are not right can be a huge step towards recovery.

    Wishing you both strength to work through this.

    Regards Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Aaronsis
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    9 January 2021 in reply to MJseekingadvice

    Hi Mari and welcome to the forums.

    There has been some really great advice here for you and I am just wondering if you can reach out to your GP to get some support for you too?
    It is hard, really hard and very emotional to support someone when they are struggling and so it is important for you to take care of you too, firstly so you can talk through what is happening but also to maintain your mental health too.

    As far as supporting for too, you can ask your partner how you can help, what they need in times when they are struggling, what that you are already doing works and maybe things to stop or that are not helping.

    Remember though you can not “fix” this and nor is it your responsibility to. Returning to good mental health takes a team of people and one of those people has to be the person themselves.

    We are here to talk and to share and to sit with you at this time. I am so sorry you are going through this, but every strength to you and your partner.

    Hugs to you both

    Sarah

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    10 January 2021 in reply to Aaronsis

    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

    3 people found this helpful
  12. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    10 January 2021 in reply to Doolhof

    sarah

    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.

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    11 January 2021 in reply to Doolhof

    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

    2 people found this helpful
  14. Aaronsis
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    11 January 2021

    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

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    25 January 2021

    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).
  16. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    27 January 2021 in reply to Missing user

    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

    1 person found this helpful
  17. Missing user
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    27 January 2021 in reply to Doolhof
    Hey Doolhof, I agree with you
  18. Jay24
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    1 posts
    10 May 2021 in reply to Aaronsis
    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.
    3 people found this helpful
  19. Sophie_M
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    10 May 2021 in reply to Jay24
    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
  20. Aaronsis
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    10 May 2021 in reply to Jay24

    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

    Sarah

    1 person found this helpful
  21. ecomama
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    10 May 2021 in reply to Jay24

    Hi Jay24, I want to extend a HUGE warm welcome to the forums and we're delighted that you could join us.

    Thankyou for sharing.
    I join Sarah in her appreciation of how difficult things can be for a person going through things and having the courage and perseverance to persist with the steps of joining the forums and I'm so glad you did.

    I'm also proud of you!

    I look forward to getting to know you, welcome again.

    EMxxxx

  22. Tryingtomoveon
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    16 posts
    7 June 2021

    Hey

    I have just discovered this thread. It is really helpful. I have SH for awhile and I really want to stop or reduce it at least. One thing I have found that helps for me is hitting a pillow and also squeezing an ice cube in my hand. I also smash kinetic sand which is therapeutic.

    Although I haven't managed to use these all the time I do try and turn to them first at least.

    1 person found this helpful
  23. Sophie_M
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    7 June 2021 in reply to Tryingtomoveon
    Hi Tryingtomoveon,

    Thanks so much for joining the conversation and sharing your own experiences. We are glad to hear that some techniques have been useful for you in avoiding SH when you feel things are coming on. You mentioned in your post that you are still having difficulties with it so we will be reaching out to you privately just to check on your wellbeing.
     
    In the meantime, have you been able to access any services that help when things get tough? Have you been able to speak to a GP about your situation?
     
    If you feel like the urges are increasing, we recommend reaching out to our friends at Lifeline on 13 11 14 to help talk things through or if it’s an emergency to call 000.
     
  24. Aaronsis
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    8 June 2021 in reply to Tryingtomoveon

    Hi Tryingtomoveon

    I wanted to thank you for sharing in our conversation and also sharing some very personal accounts of what works for you. I am so pleased to hear that hitting the pillow and the ice cubes do work for you. I am grateful that you have found some things that you can rely on to take you through this time and perhaps even prevent harming yourself.

    It is great that you have come to chat and I hope to chat to you some more.

    Thank you for sharing and being apart of some conversations that could help another in this area.

    Thank you Tryingtomoveon

    Hugs

    Sarah xx

  25. Ploughman
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    8 June 2021 in reply to Tryingtomoveon

    Hi tryingtomoveon,

    I have just found these forums too. Hope that you are finding strategies to curb your SH. I have tried using ice cubes and drawing on my skin. I've read a fair few comments here and it might have been mentioned already but I think what really worked for me was having massages. The problem I used to face was to do with feeling my body and the massages made my body feel so good. I really noticed I had stopped wanting to self harm very quickly after the first few massages. I also like to play music that made me feel good when I was younger and dance to that. Really go to town with it. But obviously the best advice is to reach out to someone. I like probably everyone felt ashamed and scared to talk about it for years, but i found taking a deep breath and talking to my doctor felt so good afterward. That I had finally opened up and gotten all that weight off my chest and the feeling is definitely better than the shame and self hatred that came with harming.

    I really hope that you can find the way through this. I haven't SH'd for quite some time and although I still have my mental health challenges I am so much better off for it.

    Good luck with everything. Reach out to these forums they really do help.

    2 people found this helpful
  26. Aaronsis
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    18 June 2021 in reply to Ploughman

    Hello Ploughman

    Thank you for sharing your story here with us and also some things that have made a difference to you wanting to hurt yourself. It is such a personal topic but something that we should talk about openly so that we can make it easier to talk about and also to be able to understand and to be able to help.

    Dancing sounds like the best medicine for so many bad feelings and I know it has helped me in the past too, while I have not ever been in a position where I wanted to harm myself I have felt pretty bad at times. I also agree in that a massage really talks to the soul as well as making your body feel great, a really awesome tip there..thank you.

    Hope to see you around the forum some more and thank you for sharing and being so supportive.

    Hugs

    Sarah xx

    1 person found this helpful
  27. Gabs_
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    18 June 2021

    Hello all,

    Thank you so much for sharing your coping strategies. It's so positive to hear the self-soothing strategies you are all taking. For those who are struggling, I am sending you a virtual hug and encourage you to use these forums as a tool to test out ideas or just to put words to paper (screen). You also have the lovely Beyond Blue team available on 1300 22 4636 if you need to speak to anyone.

    For me, I have found the following helps redirect my thoughts:

    • Going for a drive on a freeway and singing at the top of my lungs (my current song of choice is Lana Del Rey's "White Dress" - great song). The freeway is good because you're not pulling up at lights or getting stuck in traffic with people watching you have your own personal concert.
    • Snuggling with my dog (or a friend's dog).
    • Knitting - I had my mum teach me how to knit and because I have to concentrate on it, it turns my brain off and helps relax me (I know a few people who use this as tool for stress and/or insomnia too).
    • Don't hate me for saying this.... but writing down my thoughts. My lovely, long-suffering psychologist has been encouraging me to journal for years. I refused to, until I had a major panic attack one night then woke up first thing one morning and just word vomited into my laptop. It was just so refreshing getting everything out of my brain - just that weight of not carrying all those thoughts just in my head. I found it so beneficial that I started a blog (to which my psychologist now laughs at and says "I told you so".
    • A bath with a bath bomb - I can sit in a bath for hours and read or just listen to music. Or just lay there. My longest is three hours (you have to keep letting out the cold water and topping up the hot water). I just find the smell of the bath bomb oils and the hot water enveloping my body just feels like a big, soothing hug.
    • A puzzle - the satisfaction of getting it done, but also similar to the knitting, the concentration turn my brain off. And you get that moment of pride when it's complete! I frame all my puzzles and hang them on a wall in our house. It's a little reminder to myself on how far I have come.
    • There is also a mindfulness tool that I picked up where you sit outside, close your eyes, and listen for 5 different sounds and try to smell five different scents. It's amazing how grounding and sensory it is. It kind of jolts you to being present in the moment.

    2 people found this helpful
  28. lennon11
    lennon11 avatar
    16 posts
    3 February 2022 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi all,

    I've been dealing with self-harm and self-harm ideation for many many years and still deal with it sometimes. I think I always will. Maybe this will help someone...

    Instead of hurting myself, I now,

    -watch a familiar/comforting show or movie (lots of tv/movie bingeing...no need to feel too guilty about it these days, we are taking care of ourselves and allowing out bodies and minds to get the rest that they desperately need)

    -take a warm shower. Relax the muscles, slow down and try to be mindful of what the water feels like

    -lay in bed under a blanket and allow myself to fully decompress...give myself permission to cry, sleep, stare into space, whatever...as long as I'm not hurting myself I consider that a "win".

    -Listen to music. Generally music that sounds angry or sad as a way to get the feelings out. Eventually I need to stop myself from listening because it can be easy to feel "stuck" in those feelings but ultimately I think it helps.

    -Draw...sometimes on my body in pen, sometimes an intricate design on paper, sometimes random scribbles. Whatever feels most appropriate.

    -Exercise...I've injured myself recently and am not the most athletic person anyways. But I found that basic home workouts (sit-ups, push-ups, etc.) and cardio (jogging, etc.) have been a surprisingly nice way to channel my s-h feelings. Especially while listening to some punk/metal/etc. music. All of the tension and angry/stressed/sad feelings can get channeled into that. It sounds a bit cliche and is something that I've doubted for a while...but it is possible for other things besides self-harm to bring relief.

    Always open to hearing your thoughts/feedback/etc.

    Take care, stay safe. You are not alone.

    2 people found this helpful
  29. Supermum
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    113 posts
    23 February 2022 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi ,

    I clean, I walk the dogs , I do anything till the self critic is too loud then I give in . Distraction till you can’t be distracted anymore !

  30. Sea_Turtle
    Sea_Turtle avatar
    26 posts
    5 April 2022

    Hi guys

    I found this thread interesting and I struggle to bring myself back to feeling ok from time to time. I might try some of the suggestions so I just thought I could mention what I’ve found.

    *I did try the intense exercise a little while ago. But I actually was already developing an Ed at this time and so it was really unhelpful.

    * I paint with acrylics, so I’ve tried the drawing on yourself where you wish to... The paint was easy to wash of and it did make me feel better.

    take care

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