Coping Methods For Self Harm

Creating a Safe Plan

Safety Plan Template

A safety plan is a great resource during self harming urges and/or suicidal thoughts. In this safety plan, you can list out warning signs you may have during these times. Also, you can list our how you can help yourself cope. For instance, if you find yourself having urges to self harm, and when you take a nice hot bath, it helps you relax and decrease the urge. These type of coping skills can help you to easily look at the plan, and starting helping yourself move through this moment in time. Also, include people you can call. Coping with self harm or suicidal thoughts, it can be very helpful to talk to others. you do not necessarily need to tell the person what is going on, but it can help just talking to someone. also, you can list professionals, like therapist, counselors, teachers etc., that can help you through this time. finally it is important to include emergency number to call if you are suicidal and the coping skills aren't working. Do not hesitate to call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Comfort Yourself

Comforting yourself can help you take your mind directly off of the urge itself. You can pamper yourself by painting your nails, doing your hair, taking a hot bath, having a cup of tea, or anything that makes you feel pampered! This is a great coping method for people who self harm to calm themselves down or who do it to take their mind off the racing thoughts. These safe pampering ideas can help you calm yourself down and take your mind off of the situations and thoughts going on.

Being with Animals

Having an animal, or an animal to pet, can help relax and calm yourself down. Also, having an animal or being with an animal can distract yourself from what is going on. Animal’s give unconditional love to their owners. Being around a pet can give you a feeling of ownership and responsibility. Having an animal can give you a reason to feel worth in life. Also, an animal is a great to vent to because they can't judge you, they can only snuggle.

Writing Letters

Writing letters can allow people to vent without having to open up or talk to people directly. Also, writing letters can help people look at the funny or happy times in their life. In this method, you can write a letter to loved one, a friend, or even someone who has hurt you. You don't need to deliver this letter to the person you are writing to, though you can, but this is a great way to release emotions. During urges to self harm or commit suicide, some people feel overwhelmed with all the thoughts rushing through the mind. by writing things down, or writing a letter, it can help you better understand the emotions and thoughts.

Deep Breathing

One of the great ways to relax yourself, and calm yourself down is by breathing. Practice taking deep breaths, and hold these slow deep breaths for three to five seconds. Then, slowly exhale that deep breaths. These deep breaths can help you calm yourself down, but it can also help you feel that you are living.

Talk it Out

During urges of self harm or suicidal thoughts, it can be helpful to reach out. You can create a safety plan, which can help you lay out who you can contact. By contacting loved ones and expressing emotions and feelings that are occurring. You can talk to anyone. If you feel most comfortable talking with a friend, your mom, neighbor, or really anyone, then reach out to them, explain what is going on. This method can help you to express your emotions, and also reflect on the emotions that are happening.

Holding Ice Cubes

If you self harm to express pain or intense emotions, rubbing or holding ice in your hands can help. This feeling will help your senses to feel a safe pain. The cold can also be numbing, and relaxing for some. If you self harm because you feel you need to punish yourself, the feeling of the instant cold which can help the urge to decrease and minimize. This method can help you express those emotions of needing to punish yourself, but in a safer way.


When someone exercises, they release endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in your brain that release signals that go from one neuron to the next. These endorphins interact with receptors in regions that help control emotions. By exercising, it is allowing endorphins to be released, which helps with controlling emotions and thoughts. Inessence, exercise can help minimize the racing thoughts and emotions during urges to self harm or commit suicide. By controlling these thoughts, it can allow your urge to decrease and minimize. Do whatever is your favorite type to exercise. Go running, take a walk, do yoga, anything!

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