Whether you’re just feeling down or if you’re looking to stop self-harming, there are plenty of ways to distract yourself or replace the need to hurt yourself. Here are a few that we’ve picked up from other people’s experiences. If something doesn’t work for you, try something else until you find some that do!

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Create A Safety Plan
A safety plan is a tool to assist in identifying options and evaluating them, and can limit the harm brought upon you. This is especially... Learn more >
Take A Break From Social Media
Sometimes it’s good to switch off. Having a break from your phone or tablet is a good way to reset. It’s a chance to reconnect... Learn more >
Grounding 5-4-3-2-1
Feeling all over the shop and burned out? Try some grounding techniques. Stop and take a breath. Notice things around you. Acknowledge them. Tick off... Learn more >
Inside Exercises
Exercising inside is a great way to help with your fitness and boost your physical resilience. It’s a good place to start if: You’re new... Learn more >
Scribble on a Page
This one might help as a short term distraction, and something you could use while you’re in school. Scribble on a page until it’s completely... Learn more >
Scream into a pillow
Expressing your anger, pain, frustration or however you feel is really important. Sometimes it can feel like you’re holding everything in. So a good way... Learn more >
It could be that drawing is a good way to express how you’re feeling. You could draw what your thoughts look like, or how you... Learn more >
Listen to Music
Music’s great isn’t it? Whether you’re into Bach or Blink-182, listening to music can have a huge impact on your emotions. Sometimes just knowing that... Learn more >
Play drums
So, yes, we’ve got this separate to ‘learn to play an instrument’. But playing the drums is kinda how the HATW story started, so it... Learn more >
Crying can be seen as a negative thing, but it’s actually a positive. It’s part of the human reaction to bad situations, and it’s nothing... Learn more >
Ok, for some people, this is where you’ll want to pull the curtains and make sure no-one else is around to see you. For others,... Learn more >
Sleeping is a really important part of life. Getting the right amount of sleep can dramatically improve your mental and physical health. The key bit... Learn more >
Play A Team Sport
Joining a club or team to play a sport regularly might give you something to look forward to each week, as well as being good... Learn more >
Go For A Run
Running is one of the most simple forms of exercise – and it’s totally free! Getting up and outside for a run can be a... Learn more >
Go To The Gym
If you’re really not a physical person then the idea of going to a gym could be completely terrifying, but doing exercise actually releases good... Learn more >
Call a Helpline
There are all sorts of different helplines available, to fit whatever situation you’re currently facing. Talking everything through might help you make sense of and... Learn more >
It can be hard to motivate yourself to get up and work out, but doing something athletic releases endorphins (good chemicals) in your brain that... Learn more >
Talk About How You’re Feeling
Talking is something we all do pretty naturally anyway, but talking about self-harm can seem scary or hard to do. It doesn’t have to be.... Learn more >
Punch Something Soft
If you’re feeling angry and need to let it out in a way that doesn’t hurt you or someone else, you could try taking it... Learn more >
Challenge Yourself
Do something you didn’t think you could do. Push yourself to do something challenging, and once you’ve done it, you’ll be able to look back... Learn more >
Let Yourself Be Angry Or Sad
Anger and sadness are natural and normal human emotions. You don’t need to make yourself feel bad if you feel them. It becomes a negative... Learn more >
Write Lyrics Or Poetry
A really popular way of expressing how you’re feeling is to write it out in the form of a poem or song lyrics. If you... Learn more >
Know Where To Find Help
There are loads of organisations out there that offer support for whatever issues you might be facing. Find a few that you like the look... Learn more >
Keep Your Mind Busy
Sometimes you just need an immediate distraction from the urge to self-harm. And that could be pretty much anything. It could be as boring as... Learn more >
Take A Cold Shower
This is something you can only really do if you’re at home, but it’s something you can really easily do. If you’re self-harming because you... Learn more >
Bite Something Intense
Biting something like ginger, lemon or an onion can give you a really intense feeling. If you’re feeling numb or disconnected, and you’re using self-harm... Learn more >
Yoga is becoming more and more popular these days. While we’re not all as bendy as the people who do yoga tutorials on YouTube, it’s... Learn more >
Make a Collage
This is one we do in our school workshops, and we flippin’ love it. It can be really helpful to just rip up a bunch... Learn more >
Learn To Play An Instrument
If you’re looking for a way to keep your hands and brain distracted, learning an instrument might be for you! Like learning any new skill,... Learn more >
Skating is a great way of getting outside, and it’s actually a really good form of exercise! It can proper wear you out! And it... Learn more >
Share your story

Have you found a creative way of overcoming self-harm and keeping your head above the waves? Share your experiences to inspire others!

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