Self Harm Awareness Day: How I cope with self harm
Digital team's blog
Today is Self Harm Awareness Day and we asked, Chris, from our campaigns team to give us her 5 tips for coping with self harm.
I’m very lucky that I’ve had a lot of support around my self harm, I’ve got incredible networks that really support me. I have been self harm free for six years now, which is a huge achievement for me, so I thought I’d share my hints and tips with you on how I cope when I’m not doing so well.
1. Phone a friend: Calling up one of my friends is such a beacon of light to me, I can just talk about how I’m feeling and I try to distract myself by getting them to talk about themselves. If I can’t get hold of any of my friends though, I have the Samaritans number saved on my phone so I can call them from anywhere, and I always have someone to chat to.
2. Stay away from alcohol: I try to treat myself with another drink like a really sugary cup of tea. I find that alcohol can be a depressant and make you feel worse when you need to be concentrating on making yourself feel better.
3. Distract yourself with a positive task: I try to focus on a wholesome task such as painting or knitting or anything with my hands to keep me distracted. It’s important to look after your head and your body when you’re feeling unwell.
4. Ice bucket challenge: If I’m really struggling, I stick my hands in the freezer. Again, I find it a really good distraction technique, I’ve heard that other people like to use an elastic band, so you’ve got to figure out what works for you.
5. Run it out: Occasionally (very occasionally!) I need to sprint it out, I need a hit of endorphins quickly, so I’ll sprint for 10 or 15 minutes just to feel like I’m breaking free a bit, and it usually does the trick.
The important thing is finding the strategies that work for you. It’s about looking after yourself, keeping yourself safe and distracting yourself in the moment until you can access the help you need.
If you'd like to learn more about self harm or how you can help yourself and others, take a look at our fact sheet here: http://bit.ly/2meejnE