10 Things to Keep Your Mind Off Hurting Yourself
A Personal Account and the Steps Taken to Prevent a Life Altering Mistake
In the winter months of my freshman year, I was diagnosed with depression. I had started to self harm and I always had this paranoia that nobody actually liked me and they were all talking behind my back about me. I still struggle with these obstacles in my daily life to this day. I am now a senior in high school, and the symptoms have gotten so much worse.
Sophomore year to present day, I have been bullied nonstop in my high school and my workplace. I try to keep to myself but everyone seems to weasel their ways into my personal life. My privacy is constantly invaded and my self-image shattered. To be truthful, I hate myself and I want nothing to do with living anymore.
I know that offing myself wouldn't give me a better result than this, I just have to deal with it. I've been living by these ten things whenever I have the urge to hurt myself in a permanent way. I hope that my coping mechanisms can help you stay safe as well.
The best way to let your feelings out without talking to a human being (if you feel like you can't trust anybody) is to write your feelings on old-fashioned paper and pencil. Find a quiet space, go through everything and every little detail, cry a little. This is a coping mechanism for most situations and a way to vent.
Meditation can help you calm down before making an impulsive decision you may regret. This process relaxes the mind and focuses on causes you to focus on your breathing. Meditation can help you feel better throughout the day if done before bed and in the early morning. Meditate on God's word if you are religious. All that meditation consists of is closing your eyes, getting comfortable, breathing rhythmically, and thinking of happy places and people. It positively alters your mindset.
Art can be an outlet for anger, sadness, and happiness. If you like drawing and have a creative mind, art can pretty much take all of your attention away from the bad and use those feelings as a drive for good to make something beautiful.
Everyone likes music. I'm sure you listen to multiple genres and artists that sting different nerves in your make up. When having dark thoughts, it is best to listen to any other type of music rather than songs with a depressing feel. That will only lower your mood and cause you to dwell on everything that is going wrong in your life. I am not telling you that you should listen to positive music all of the time if you have depression, just that some other type of music would be better for your health in the low moments.
#5: Scroll Through Your Camera Roll
This may seem like an odd one, but I almost always look through my camera roll on my phone when I am feeling down. This is because it is usually cluttered and takes up a lot of storage, so I use this time to delete and organize photos and videos. Along the way, though, I come across good memories from summer nights or sleepovers. There will always be something to smile about in your picture collection.
#6: Mental Health Day
Take a day off of work/school for yourself. It is important to your health to relax and focus on better things every once in a while. Go get your nails done, work on a project, busy your mind with cleaning, get a massage. Most importantly, though, if you feel unsafe or like you might harm yourself: DO NOT STAY HOME ALONE. Go out with a friend or confide in your family. This battle isn't one you have to fight alone.
Everyone has something they do often that they really enjoy. Examples could be photography, exercise, reading, drawing, going on walks, making gourmet meals, writing, vlogging/blogging, watching tv, singing. Do whatever takes your mind off of the thing hurting you the most.
#8: Get Rid of Triggers
If there is something in your home or around you that is a trigger and you have the control to rid of, do so. Triggers pop up everywhere and ruin our days. This could be an ex's shirt, pictures, the smell of something, a place. It is detrimental to our health to cling to these things when, in reality, doing so hurts us more. We all have the strength in us to let go and move on. It takes time and commitment.
Have a strong support base of friends, coworkers, family, and others. There are anonymous chat rooms and the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255) to get your feelings out and receive the help you need. It's always better to talk to someone you trust and/or a professional.
#10: Medication/Mental Health Hospital
If worst comes to worst, do not be ashamed to go to the doctor's office and try many different medications. It is normal to try multiple medications before finding the one that suits you best. Sometimes, with the meds, it has to get worse before it can get better. If the medications are taken in the time required and they still aren't effective, you may want to consider admitting yourself to a mental hospital. This should not scare you, what should scare you is that you are to a point where you want to end your life. This decision is solely yours, though, and there will be people to support you every step of the way.