List of Distractions

Here are some ideas of other things to do instead of hurt yourself when you feel the urge to.


-Draw a creative picture of what is making you angry

-Color a picture or create your own

-Paint something to express how you feel

-Writing (journaling, stories, poems, songs etc.)

-Write out how you feel and then rip it up

-Write a letter to someone you’re thankful for (keep it or give it to them)


-Design a website

-Create a bucket list

-Create a list of the things you’re grateful for


-Bake treats to give to other people

-Cook something you enjoy eating

-Make handcrafts (origami, crochet, cross stitch, knitting, sewing etc.)

-Read a book

-Watch a movie or TV show

-Play video games


-Paint your nails


Physical Activities

-Throw ice in the shower

-Rip up paper

-Dance to music

-Vigorous exercise (pushups, running, swimming, working out, etc.)

-Try out an exercise class

-Go for a walk

-Let yourself cry

-Try stretching or Yoga

-Get a good night’s sleep

-Go shopping

-Clean or organize

-Ride a bike

-Go to the movie theater

-Get a massage

-Enjoy nature


-Memorize and recite something that holds your attention

-Make a list of reasons for why you shouldn’t cut and re-read them

-Remind yourself that your body is special

-Plan regular activities for your most difficult time of the day

-Devise a self-reward system for when you resist the urge to hurt yourself

-Plan for a special occasion in the future

-Research a topic that interests you online

-Surf YouTube or Wikipedia



-Relive a happy memory


-Run your fingers over familiar, safe objects

-Carry tokens with you to remind you of peaceful and comforting things

-Hug a stuffed animal or pet

-Take a bubble bath

-Take a hot shower

-Rub lotion over your skin

-Pop bubble wrap

-Squeeze a stress ball

-Hold and sip a hot beverage

-Hug someone

-Put on a face mask

-Suck on hard candy


-Look at pictures that remind you of important things

-Go outside and watch clouds

-Contemplate something you find beautiful


-Listen to music you enjoy

-Sing aloud

-Play a musical instrument


-Use scented candles or other aromatherapy items to create a soothing atmosphere

-Drink in the fresh air outside and be aware of what you smell


-Spend time with your family

-Go hang out with friends

-Invite a friend over

-Tell someone you trust how you feel

-Call someone

-Volunteer for a meaningful cause

-Chat online


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