Alternatives come in two flavours, those that are a substitute, and those that aim to distract you from the urge.

If you don't like your life you can change itExpress your feelings

Get it all out, get it all down on paper, or in an email, or on a web page. Express yourself, be honest with yourself, don’t allow yourself to put yourself down, be ruthless and honest, but don’t let negative judgements about yourself creep in; just state your emotions.

Perhaps you could then take a break, and come back to your expressions and question you meanings, add further thoughts, realisations and ideas. Take the time to review the underlying issues. Perhaps you will be inspired to tackle the problem.

Create something

It doesn’t have to be related to your SI or your issues. You might want to create something of beauty, or just something of interest. Don’t judge it or yourself by how ‘good’ you think the end result is, focus on the process of creation, enjoy what you’re doing as you do it.

Whorl paintingMaybe it will be a sculpture, a painting, a poem, a story, a web page, a web illustration, whatever, just think about how long it has been since you created something, and get inspired!

Call someone

If you’re not experiencing the Urge, but perhaps are feeling a bit down, ring someone who you know will be pleased to hear from you. Don’t convince yourself that they won’t be pleased, simply ring them for a few minutes, don’t take too much of their time, make sure you listen as much as you talk, take an interest in what they’re doing in their lives. Keep it short and friendly, you’ll be re-energised by the contact.

If you are feeling the urge, then, have you got anyone who knows that you SI who you can ring? Have any of your friends said ‘look, just ring me when you’re feeling bad’ ? Why not ring that person now? Or have a look at our UK Helplines page.


Sometimes it is hard to speak, and we ‘children of the web’ might do better online, with an Instant Messenger service, so we can chat to people we know, or in a Chat Room. Beware of Chat Rooms, even a dedicated Moderated SI room may not be Safe for you.

Read more about Online Safety

Listen to music

We’re sure you already do this, however, when the Urge is upon you, it’s important to monitor what music you listen to. Listen to positive lyrics and up beat melodies. This is not the time to put Maralyn Manson, System of a Down or REM on, as great as they are, they can be melancholic. Right now, you need positivity.

We have some inspiring ideas to help you manage during the bad times:


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