Take care of yourself, others

Self-Injury Awareness Day – March 1

Choose self-care when you feel like self-harm.


Choose self-care when you feel like self-harm.

Jayla Wixom, Staff writer

Self-Injury Awareness Day on March 1 is a day to raise awareness of people who are prone to hurting themselves, a habit that usually has an underlying cause.

Michael Riquino, the founder of this awareness day, said, ”When my clients first tell me about their self-injury, it’s usually with a mix of emotions—often fear, sometimes shame, and almost always tremendous relief” (https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/cutting.html).

Self-harm comes in many forms, but one of the most common among teens is cutting. People sometimes cut themselves to get attention while others do it as a form of punishment. To understand this issue, it may help to hear how teens talk about it themselves by visiting kidshealth.org (https://rb.gy/z8nyof).

As we are going through the pandemic, with all of its unpredictability, it is important to stay connected with family and friends and make sure they are okay. According to Wikipedia, “It’s said that these [self-injury] behaviors promote feelings of control and help relieve tension,” but if you are going through anything similar you should know there are safer ways to help you.

If you know someone who is intentionally harming himself or herself, you should tell a trusted adult, even if you are afraid of losing the friendship. If you are suffering from this behavior, you might want to follow the steps shared by the www.crisistextline.com (https://rb.gy/jgt330):

  • Text to cool down.If you’re dealing with painful emotions, we’re here to help. Shoot us a text to connect with a real human and strategize healthy coping mechanisms to manage your emotions. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a real human.
  • Get creative.Studies show that diving into making art can help people process emotions. So, next time you’re feeling like self-harming, grab your sharpie and doodle your worries away. A bonus: you can totally suck at it and still reap the same rewards.
  • Find your zen.Keeping yourself safe from self-harming is all about finding healthy alternatives to work through the hard stuff. Researchers found taking time to re-center through meditation to be a powerful way to find your cool and calm. Try using an app like Headspace to get on the meditation bandwagon.
  • Talk to a pro.Self-harm is serious. And, while the intention behind self-harm usually is not death, it can still be dangerous—both physically and emotionally. Talking to someone who can help you find alternatives is incredibly important. Of course, you can start by texting us. Also, consider telling someone you know who can help you connect with a professional.

If you want to help raise awareness about this situation, you can wear an orange awareness ribbon, write “LOVE” on your arms, draw a butterfly on your wrist in awareness of “the Butterfly Project” wristband or wear a beaded bracelet to encourage awareness of self-harm.

To find out more about The Butterfly Project, for yourself or for a friend visit https://rb.gy/hxqy3p and be made more aware for Self-Injury Awareness Day.

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