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Mental Illnes & Self Harm Support

distraction tips

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Mental Illnes & Self Harm Support

distraction tips

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These are for when you feel out of control,
are having a flashback and/or need grounding...

Repetitive reality checking (I am in a safe place and I'm going to be ok)

Count yourself down (ten... nine... eight... seven...) (You can then count back up 1 to 10.)

"I'm aware"; Repeat five things you see, smell, touch, taste in your present surroundings to help ground you in the present

Pay attention to your breathing (breath slowly, in through your nose and out through your mouth)

Pay attention to the rhythmic motions of your body (walking, stretching, etc.)

Touch something familiar/safe

Remind yourself "I'm going to be ok" and "I'm not crazy"... this is a normal part of the recovery process

Plant your feet firmly on the ground

Touch the wall, the floor and objects close to you

Call someone on the phone

Walk around and watch your own feet - listen to the sound

Listen to music and count the beats

Don't be afraid to ask for help

Hug someone safe

Hold someone's hand (someone safe)

Tear up paper, throw ice, chew ice chips

Visualize the memory as an object and put it "away" (for example, the memory is a blue rubber ball and you put it in a toy box)

Focus on details... leaves on trees, blades of grass, fibers in carpet

Call your therapist

Call a hotline

Hold and/or talk to a stuffed animal

Fight the voices - change the negatives to positives

Play an instrument

Gently wash your face, hands or hair

Do gardening, shovel snow or mow the lawn

Color in a coloring book

Rock in a rocking chair

Listen to your watch ticking

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