More Time for You and Less Time for Self-Harm

March 3, 2015 Jennifer Aline Graham

I have come to realize how important it is to specifically schedule time to focus on you. When you struggle with self-harm or a mental illness, those battles begin to take over your life. You cannot focus on hobbies and passions with as much ease because those busy, irritating thoughts are clouding your mind. The more you give in to the self-injury urges that surround you, the more time you give up that could have been benefiting your wellness and health. What you might want to focus on is more time for you and less time for self-harm.

Many people work in fields that focus on helping others and, more times than not, those people forget to help themselves when they need a little pick-me-up. Even students going into a similar career path or those who are genuinely caring people seem to skip over themselves when it comes to seeking support or following advice. A critical part of living a positive, self-harm free life is finding time to focus on what you want to gain from the life you are living.

It is not too late to jump back on that New Year’s Resolution you may have forgotten about or pushed to the side. Perhaps one of your goals was to spend more time doing what makes you happy and less time cutting or burning your skin? It is never too late to follow through with any goal, especially one that focuses on living a healthy, safe lifestyle.

Make Time for You and Less Time for Self-Harm

Finding time for yourself and your passions can be tough when struggling with self-injury. You need to make more time for you to create less time for self-harm.

Many people have a hard enough time figuring out when to fit a therapy or psychiatrist appointment into their schedule. Some of the time, people dealing with types of depression and/or self-harm lack the motivation to put effort into many things that affect their daily life – even their interests, hobbies and passions.

You need to surround yourself with reminders of what makes you the person you are. You are not your illness, disease or struggle. You are somebody going through a difficult time, but that difficulty does not define you. You need constant reminders of what makes you the unique person you have grown into and to find time to continue that growth.

During my years of self-harm, I truly didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to become. However, I was always able to pinpoint two constants in my life: writing and dance. I have found time to fit both of those activities into my present life, but it can be tough staying loyal to those passions when your life and mind are continuously cluttered with self-harm thoughts.

Focus on Happiness -- Not Self-Harm

Here are some ideas on ways to focus on your happiness instead of focusing on the self-harm urges that that try to squash that happiness. First, you must figure out what you are truly passionate about (and usually if you look around your room, in your car or in your phone, you will be able to find a clue if you feel clueless). From there, force that passion into your life:

  • Passion Post-it notes: Post-it notes can truly be helpful in reminding yourself what really matters in your life. Put Post-it notes in unsafe places where you’d usually turn to when feeling the urge to self-harm. On those notes, write reminders of why you shouldn’t self-injure and what you could do instead.
  • My time Monday: Mondays can sometimes be frustrating because it’s the beginning of the work week and the weekend may seem distant. Make Monday’s a day, or night, focused on your hobbies and interests. Plan specific times to read, bake, work out or to do whatever makes you content instead of thinking about the business of the week.
  • Weekend warrior: Become a weekend warrior by planning an entire weekend (or more) just for you. Plan different activities surrounding your hobbies and passions and even create a mini itinerary to keep you on-track. This can be a weekend away or a cozy weekend in, but make it a weekend focused on you and you only.

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APA Reference
Aline, J. (2015, March 3). More Time for You and Less Time for Self-Harm, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Author: Jennifer Aline Graham

Randy Withers
March, 2 2015 at 10:12 pm

Thank you for having the courage to write about this difficult topic. I often encounter clients who engage in self-harm and it is good to have resources such as this article to point them to. People need to know they are not alone in this world in their suffering. Thanks!

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