Self-Harm: Creative Ways to Stop the Habit

Self-harm can become a habit that is difficult to stop. Below are two tips to help you replace it with a healthy, healing choice.

Option A:
Write positive affirmations on your arm.

What you’ll need:

Masking or art tape (the kind that comes off easily)


1. When you feel like doing self-harm, instead, place strips of tape on your skin where you wanted to self-harm.

Make sure to not place on hair though! If you’re comfortable with writing directly on your arm, you could do that too with a soft marker, soft pen, or eyeliner that washes off easily.

2. Then, with the sharpie, write positive affirmations to help you get through the difficult feelings.

Ex. If you’re feeling weak, write “I am strong.”

3. Say the affirmations in your head first, then out loud.

You might need to start by saying “I want to __,” “I will __,” or “I hope to __,” and then progress into “I am __.”
Ex. I want to feel strong. I will feel strong. I am strong.


Option B:
Create Self-Care Reminder Cards

What you’ll need:

Piece of paper or index cards.
Pen, pencil, or marker.


1. Write on a piece of paper a positive affirmation, an empowering quote, or paste a photo that you love.

2. Write 3 options for you to do instead of self-harm.

What activities make you feel happy, loved, or calm? Some physical activity examples could include taking a walk, or practicing a specific yoga pose or breath exercise. Comfort examples could be the name of your favorite show currently on Netflix that makes you laugh or feel good, or a reminder of where you can find feel good music to listen to in that moment.

3. Names of people you can call

The last one to consider including are the names or numbers of 1-5 of your friends that you can call just in case you need support.

4. Make a few copies of the paper, or write it out a few times.

Place each Self-Care Reminder Card in different locations where you might self-harm.

You can tape them up, or hide them in a place where you will remember to look if it is not safe for your family or roommates to see it. Maybe keep one in your wallet, on your bathroom mirror, your car, and your bedroom.


Words by Shannen Roberts.
Featured artwork by Diana Flores.

Diana Flores (she/her) is a very indecisive girl who likes to paint her feelings.
She creates art for The Strange is Beautiful, and also sells her visual art and embroidered work here.
See her posts here.

Sending you positive vibes,
Founding Editor-in-Chief
The Strange is Beautiful

photobooth strip 2

Shannen Roberts (she/her) is the Peruvian-American, founding editor-in-chief of The Strange is Beautiful, musician and yogi.
See her posts here. 


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