Monday, 25 July 2016

Step Downs & Alternatives To Self Harm

Self harm can be a hard and addictive cycle to break which is partly to do with the endorphins it releases and also partly to do with it being a coping skill. For some it's a way of trying to distract/cope with emotional pain by feeling physical pain for others they feel so numb they need to feel physical pain and sometimes it's a way to match what you feel inside to your outside.

There are different ways people self harm from cutting, burning, scratching to hair pulling, head banging and punching oneself. At times I'm reminded that many people out there struggle just as I have and in silence one often covered up by long selves, pants, jewellery, makeup and bandages or on a body part rarely seen to others. I still feel self harm holds a taboo surrounding it and one that needs to be talked about more openly and freely. In the name of this here is some ways to help step down from and alternatives to self harm. Please share with anyone you know who needs it <3  
  • Rubber band flicking
  • Rubbing ice along your skin
  • A short burst of intense exercise or see how long you can hold a plank for
  • The Butterfly Project: Draw butterflies where you harm and name them after people who want you to get better or I use to name them after my dreams & inspiring words. If you cut you have to wash the butterflies off which mean they die. The aim of the game is to not kill the butterfly.
  • Marking your skin with pens (You can use red to make it look like blood if needed)
  • Put stickers or fake tattoos over your skin
  • Song writing/poetry
  • Listening to music
  • Call someone (You can use it to talk it out or help let the urge pass)
  • Sleep
  • Painting or drawing
  • Scream or learn to metal scream
  • Punch a pillow
  • Throw eggs, plates or water balloons at a wall
  • Write it all down in a letter and rip it up
  • Curl up in a ball and just cry
  • Hug an animal
Some days you'll make it through, some days you will struggle and some days you will slip up, that's all okay. Recovery in any form is messy yet beautiful <3
With magic from me to you
Rainbow :) xoxo


  1. This is a great list. So often I feel like goals that others set go from extremes - you used to self-harm so now you have to stop. They don't really focus on alternatives or coping. It's great to have alternatives.

    Erin | Explore, Refresh

  2. YES YES YES!!! I 100% stand by this post! Self Harm is something that a lot of people struggle with and never really talk about or ask for help because they feel like they are going to get judged. Therefore it is something that we need to bring light to. I LOVE that you offered the alternatives because it's not always easy to just stop. If you quit right off the bat you'll have that voice in the back of your head that's always telling you to do it one more time. So finding alternatives to release those same endorphins but without causing harm to yourself is a good way to help stop it.

  3. Rainbow, I love that you explained this in detail. Honestly I've never known much about self harm and I had NO idea it released endorphins and that's why people become addicted to it. Thank you for always teaching me and helping me be a more aware human being and more conscious of what goes on in the world. I LOVE your list of alternatives, what great ideas and again, you are always helping so many people. I admire you, you are such an inspiration to me. I love you girl! XO -Kim

  4. This post is so important and thank you for sharing it! A lot of people go through self harm and it is a topic that shouldn't be taken lightly! Xx

  5. Mantener la calma, pensar, estar tranquilo y relajarse es siempre una buena opciĆ³n
    Un saludo y feliz semana

  6. I've never heard of the rubber band flicking or ice suggestion, but those are good ones. SO much to say on this topic...yeesh. Thanks for always being such a beacon for these issues. Apologies for being so behind on your content too...July has been a little nuts, but I think I'm catching a groove now. XO
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  7. Aw, I loved this, Rainbow!! A few years ago, I went through a series of anxieties and panic attacks. Brian's mom actually suggested the keeping of an elastic on your wrist and flicking it to help distract me. To be honest, I've never actually tried it, but I've seen it suggested on many sites and anxiety-helping books. Like you said: some days are better than others, and that's okay! In the end, you'll make it :)


  8. I loved this post . The last weeks I've been pretty sad , and there are many things that you write and speak that are coming well to me to hear and read . It cheers me up .

    Lots of kisses!!