Moving on

Inspiration quotes and stories

Inspiration quotes and stories

Two Wolves

Click here for a wise story (pdf) about how to make choices in helping yourself feel better. (The Story of Two Wolves)

Inspiration quotes and stories

The Farmers Luck

Click here for a story (pdf) to encourage you to trust each moment and build stronger feelings of optimism and acceptance.

Inspiration quotes and stories

The Starfish Story

Click here for a story (pdf) to encourage you to do what you can despite feeling overwhelmed.

Inspiration quotes and stories

Soul food

Just like you need food for your body, you also need food for your mind and soul. Other people's words can be very uplifting and encouraging. They remind us that we are not on our own with what we are going through. Who inspires you? Can you find a favourite quote to have on your mirror or window?

Self-nurture

Self-nurture

Self Harm as Self Nurture?

Sometimes self-harm can feel like self-nurture.Can you think of any ways that your self harm helps you to nurture yourself? (For example: caring for your wounds, getting caring attention from others, spending time with yourself).

Self-nurture

Quote:

"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple. Oscar Wilde

Self-nurture

Comfort food

Eat some of your favourite food.Watch a movie that you know you love, and treat yourself with your favourite snacks - or cook yourself your favourite meal.

Self-nurture

Quote:

"Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort." Norman Kolpas

Self-nurture

Time in nature

Spend some time in nature, by yourself or with a friend. Watch the clouds, lean against a tree, spend some time in the garden.If it's rainy, let it rain on you! If it's windy, let it blow!Wrap up warm, enjoy it and be a part of it - it will help you to remember where you are from, and what you are an important part of.

Self-nurture

Quote:

"I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness as it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge." Og Mandino

Self-nurture

Emotional Freedom Technique

Try this 'Emotional Freedom Technique' - say out loud five times: "Even though I find it hard to look after myself, today I am going to..." (buy myself a treat / be kind to myself/ have a relaxing bath etc...) Try it again and vary the sentence.

Self-nurture

Quote:

"People are like stained glass windows - the true beauty can be seen only when there is light from within. The darker the night, the brighter the windows." Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Self-nurture

Be good to yourself

Do something enjoyable and relaxing. Have a nice warm bath. Wrap yourself up in your duvet and watch a favourite movie or TV series. Make yourself a hot water bottle and cuddle up to it.Take good care of yourself!

Self-nurture

Quote:

"The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all." The Emperor, Mulan

Self-nurture

Pamper yourself

Pamper yourself - moisturise your face, brush your hair, paint your nails, or give yourself a makeover!

Self-nurture

Quote:

"There's no better way to energize your body, mind, and spirit than by taking care of yourself." Stephanie Tourles

Self-nurture

Things you like about yourself

Write down one thing that you like about yourself. Over time add another thing, then another, then another.Keep the list somewhere special, and add to it whenever you have a good thought about yourself.Read it over to yourself if you ever feel low.

Self-nurture

Quote:

"We set up harsh and unkind rules against ourselves. No one is born without faults." Horace

Self-nurture

Practise kindness

Complete this sentence: "If I was going to be kind to myself I would..." (read a book, play with my dog, have a long bath, buy myself a treat...)

Self-nurture

Quote

You yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." Buddha.

Self-nurture

Things that make you feel good

Write a list of things that make you feel good!Stick it on your mirror or by your bed and choose something to do each and every day to treat yourself - a warm bath, a walk in nature, a chat with a friend, time with an animal.

Self-nurture

Quote:

"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do. Benjamin Spock

Self-nurture

One thing you appreciate

Write one thing you appreciate about yourself every day for a week, then increase to three and then five.Eg: I appreciate my sense of humour, my imagination, my courage to survive.Don't worry about repeating yourself - what's important is that you're writing it down and repeating kind, nurturing thoughts about yourself to yourself.

Self-nurture

Quote:

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." Albert Camus

Distractions

Distractions

Distractions and feelings

Check out our list of distractions matched to feelings (pdf).

Distractions

Carry the card

Make a card listing the main feelings that make you want to hurt yourself. Write two distractions that you know help or can imagine helping for each feeling.Carry this card with you to look at it when you feel the urge to self-injure.

Distractions

Quote:

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily. Zig Ziglar

Distractions

Five Minute Rule

If you don't know the feeling try the 'Five minute rule' where you agree with yourself not to self-harm for at least five minutes.If you still want to after the time has passed then you can give yourself permission to do so.If you don't then you can gradually increase the time to ten, twenty, thirty minutes each time the urge comes.

Distractions

Quote:

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. Confucius

Distractions

Understanding yourself

Distracting from an urge to hurt yourself is an important step in reducing or stopping your self-harm.For the distraction to work well for you it is important for you to know which feeling is making you want to hurt yourself.

Distractions

Quote:

"Like the sky opens after a rainy day we must open to ourselves.Learn to love yourself for who you are and open so the world can see you shine." James Poland

Distractions

A self-nurture box

Make a self-nurture box for when you want to resist hurting yourself. Put photos of places or people that you love, a poem that inspires you, some crystals or beads or shells that you like, something nice to use on your body.... anything that helps you to feel happier and more relaxed.

Distractions

Quote:

"Everything will be alright in the end. If its not, then it's not the end" Anonymous

Distractions

Phone a friend

Phone, email or text someone that you care about for a random chat.

Distractions

Quote:

"We are all angels with only one wing - we can fly only by embracing each other." Anonymous

Distractions

Sing

Sing! You'll feel better for it.Sing along to some of your favourite music, or watch a musical and sing with your favourite characters.

Distractions

Quote:

"A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song." Chinese Proverb

Distractions

Replace the urge

Use a red felt-tip or biro to mark where you might usually feel like cutting. Draw on yourself instead of cutting yourself.

Distractions

Quote:

"Hope is like a bird that senses the dawn and carefully starts to sing while it is still dark." Anonymous

Distractions

Clean up!

Distract yourself by doing some tidying up. Wash up, do some hoovering or tidy up your desk area.You'll find at the end that both your room and your mind feel tidier.

Distractions

Quote:

"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light. Albus Dumbledore

Distractions

Make a CD

Make a CD or playlist of your favourite relaxing or uplifting music. Listen to it whenever you are feeling down.

Distractions

Quote:

"When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. Henry David Thoreau

Distractions

Dance

Dance around your room! It's hard to remain sad when you're dancing, and you'll feel great after burning up some energy to your favourite music.

Distractions

Quote:

"Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened!" Dr. Seuss

Making changes

Making changes

Quote:

"Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time.The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it."Oprah Winfrey

Making changes

Recognition and encouragement

Every time you make any change at all give yourself recognition and encouragement.Let yourself feel supported by the knowledge that lots of other people in the world are also facing the challenge of making changes too.

Making changes

Quote:

"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow. Mary Anne Radmacher

Making changes

One year from now

Write the 'One Year From Now' story. Imagine yourself, one year from now and write about what has changed for you and how those changes took place.Remember to include what the difficulties were and how you got through them.Is there someone who could read your story and support you to take the next step?

Making changes

Quote:

"Nurture your minds with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes." Benjamin Disraeli

Making changes

Dream-blockers

Sometimes our fears can get in the way of us making the changes that we want. These are sometimes called our 'dream-blockers'.What are your dream-blockers?Can you give them some names and start to become friends with them?

Making changes

Quote:

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. Brian Littrell

Making changes

Things that you would like to change

Write a list of things that you would like to change. Choose the most important one for now and see if you can think of three things that you could do to make this change more possible.

Making changes

Quote:

"It is never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliott

Making changes

What before the how

Sometimes we know we want to change but we don't know how to - this is called putting the 'what before the how'. Imagine you and your life in the way you would like them to be and trust that the 'how' will become clearer over time.

Making changes

Quote:

"Relax. It's all happening perfectly. Susan Jeffers

Making changes

Change is a process

Change is a process- it doesn't always go in a straight line!We can go back and forward many times and each time we do this we learn more about ourselves.

Getting Support

Getting Support

Write an affirmation

Write an affirmation to help you to find the courage to reach out eg: 'Even though part of me is scared to ask for help, I choose to reach out when I feel scared / lonely / anxious / overwhelmed'.Stick this on your mirror or window.

Getting Support

Quote:

"If you can dream it, you can do it" Walt Disney

Getting Support

Getting Support

Sometimes we need to get a bit more support in order to try and change something in our lives. TESS is somewhere that you know you can text or email and be replied to without judgement. If you feel you would like to get some extra help have a look at our info sheet on Getting Support (pdf)

Getting Support

Quote:

"The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning." Ivy Baker Priest

Getting Support

Can we just hang out?

It is up to you how much information you share about what is going on for you. Sometimes you might want to be with other people but not want to talk about anything personal.If this is the case it may help you and the other person if you can say something like: ‘I want to spend time with you but don't want to talk about how I'm feeling. Can we just hang out?'This is still getting support!

Getting Support

Quote:

"A friend is like a rainbow. They brighten your life when you've been through a storm." J Palmer

Getting Support

List the ways

Draw yourself in the middle of a piece of paper.Draw arrows going out and write or draw all the different ways that you can get support, eg: talk to Lianne, text TESS, phone Samaritans, ring Dad, speak with school nurse, have counselling, go walking with Amber.

Getting Support

Quote:

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... It's about learning how to dance in the rain. Vivian Greene

Getting Support

Reaching out for help

All of us need support in life but sometimes it can feel hard to ask for.Ask yourself how you feel about reaching out for help and see if you can find anything that gets in the way of you doing this.

Getting Support

Quote:

"Human beings are not designed to go through life alone. No one has to bear the burden of the tough times all by themselves." Jack Canfield & Kimberly Kirberger

Getting Support

Write a letter

Write a letter from the part of you that wants to self-harm. Then write a separate letter from the part of you that doesn't want to self-harm.Now imagine a part of you that is wise and able to handle your mixed feelings and write a reply to each of them from this part.

Getting Support

Quote:

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself." Alan Alda

Getting Support

Swap compliments

Ask a friend if they would be happy to swap compliments with you. Take it in turns to tell each other what you appreciate about each other.

Getting Support

Quote:

"Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. Anonymous

Getting Support

Trust circles

Draw a big circle with three smaller circles inside it. In the smallest circle write down the person who you trust the most in your life.In the next biggest write the people who you also trust but would share less of yourself with, then the people who you might share a bit with and then the people who you know that you don't share personal things with.This is your circle of trust and can remind you of who to contact, depending on what you need to talk about.

Getting Support

Change is a process not a single action

Humans take steps forward and then steps back in the process of change. Be realistic and let yourself take the time you need to make the changes you want to. Avoid giving yourself a hard time if you find yourself behaving in ways that you thought you had given up. It just means there is a bit more to learn. Focus on the steps you have taken even if your mind wants to tell you you are going backwards!

Getting Support

Self acceptance allows change

"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am then I can change". Carl Rogers.

Compassion and hope

Compassion and hope

Compassion

Compassion is when we accept ourselves and others no matter what we or they are feeling or thinking.

Compassion and hope

Quote:

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." Dalai Lama

Compassion and hope

Breathe the feeling in

When you feel relaxed, happy or content breathe the feeling in deeply and release anything you would like to on your out breath.

Compassion and hope

Quote:

"Relax your body and mind and let your spirit soar high. Remez Sasson

Compassion and hope

Feel yourself smile

Feel yourself smile. Research shows that just the simple act of smiling can boost your mood by sending a message to your brain that you're feeling happy!

Compassion and hope

Quote:

"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." Thich Nhat Hanh

Compassion and hope

Spread the kindness

Spread the feeling of kindness - send a text or a letter to someone who you care about.

Compassion and hope

Quote:

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Plato

Compassion and hope

Inspiring saying or quote

Write out an inspiring saying or quote that you relate to and put it somewhere where you will see it regularly.

Compassion and hope

Quote:

"Within your heart, keep one still, secret spot where dreams may go." Louise Driscoll

Compassion and hope

Grateful list

Make a list of all the things you feel grateful for in your life - past and present.Keep it somewhere safe, and read it whenever you're feeling low or hopeless.

Compassion and hope

Quote:

"During the darkest indigo midnight, yet will countless stars blossom." Dr. SunWolf

Compassion and hope

Accepting a feeling

Try writing a sentence about accepting a feeling that you find difficult to allow.E. It's understandable to feel anxious when someone I care about has to go away.'Or ‘it makes sense that I feel angry when someone says something unkind about me.'Make it into a card that you carry with you.

Compassion and hope

Quote:

"Our minds are like hotels, and emotions are the guests. They all need to be treated well, even the unpleasant ones Anonymous

Compassion and hope

Another way of being kind

If you have a habit of giving yourself or others a hard time, finding ways of practising being kind to yourself may help.You could make a decision to say something soothing to yourself if you feel anxious or scared.Or, you could praise yourself each night for all the things you've done in the day that have taken courage... See if you can think of another way of being kind.

Compassion and hope

Quote:

"Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll."Anonymous

Compassion and hope

Develop compassionate brains

Modern science is recognising that we need to develop the bits of our brains that are responsible for compassion.This is big work and takes time. Be compassionate to yourself in the process!

Compassion and hope

Quote:

"The best way to knock the chip off your neighbor's shoulder is to pat him on the back." Anonymous

Creativity

Creativity

The Artists Way

Remind yourself that you can be the artist of your own life. Read 'The Artists Way' by Julia Cameron or visit her website.

Creativity

Quote:

"The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears." John Vance Cheney

Creativity

Colours to paint feelings

Get a huge bit of paper and choose colours to paint different feelings - mix them up or keep them separate.

Creativity

Quote:

"At the end of your brush is the the tip of your soul." Andrew Hamilton

Creativity

Express your experience

Choose a way to express your experience of self-harm - a collage, poem, story or sculpture...Trust your feelings to guide you in what you want to communicate.

Creativity

Quote:

"All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me.You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." Walt Disney

Creativity

Clear your mind

Start each morning with free writing to clear your mind - simply write for 20 minutes without censoring it, re-reading it or needing to understand it.Do this each day for a week, a month, a year...

Creativity

Quote:

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." William Wordsworth

Creativity

Do something creative every day

Make a commitment to do something creative every day... even if it's just for just ten minutes!

Creativity

Quote:

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. Maya Angelou

Creativity

Create a space

Create a space in your home where you have all the things that you use to express yourself, your art materials, fabric and threads, wools, glue, camera, pens.Give this part of your life the space it deserves and keep it dust free.

Creativity

Quote:

"Invent your world. Surround yourself with people, color, sounds, and work that nourish you." Sark

Creativity

Creativity

Creativity can be a way to express what you are feeling, explore ideas and emotions, make sense of something, make something that is beautiful or put off hurting yourself.It can be whatever you want it to be...

Creativity

Quote:

"To draw, you must close your eyes and sing. Pablo Picasso

Connection

Connection

The chain of people

Think about the food that you eat. Who grows it, transports it, sells it, and prepares it?Think of the chain of people and conditions involved in getting it from its original form to what it is now on your plate. You are part of that chain.

Connection

Quote:

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties" Friedrich Nietzsche

Connection

Make a list

Make a list of all the ways in your life that you have been helped - large and small.Find a way to express your appreciation for them.

Connection

Quote:

"Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary." Margaret Cousins

Connection

A you-shaped hole

Think seriously about what the impact would be if you were no longer alive, there would be a you-shaped hole in life that no-one else could step into.However you feel, whatever your life has been, you are absolutely unique and irreplaceable - you matter.

Connection

Quote:

"By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before." Edwin Elliot

Connection

Send a positive thought

Send a positive thought to someone that you care about.

Connection

Quote:

"We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own." Ben Sweetland

Connection

Someone you admire

Think about someone that you admire. What is the quality that you like? Now think about yourself, can you find some part of that quality in yourself?Remember we are often mirrors for each other. Now do this for someone that you find challenging... are they a mirror for something in you that is hard to face? Maybe it's time to bring some love and acceptance to that part of you and them....

Connection

Quote:

"You are much deeper, much broader, much brighter than any idea you could have of yourself." Harry Palmer

Connection

People feel the same

When you have a feeling that is difficult, remind yourself that there will be lots of other people around the world feeling very similar to you at exactly the same time.Breathe in the connection and breathe out a wish that you and everyone else finds self-acceptance and peace.

Connection

Quote:

"Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work. Abdul Kalam

Connection

Things you have done for other people

Write a list of things you have done to make a different to someone elses day, no matter how small it seems!eg: cooked a meal, smiled at a stranger, washed up, helped someone at school.

Connection

Quote:

"To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground." Stephen Covey

Relaxing

Relaxing

Quote:

"The wind causes waves to arise at the sea. Restless thoughts are the winds that bring waves and storms into the mind." Anonymous

Relaxing

Focus on your breathing

Lie on your bed and focus on your breathing. Every time your mind starts telling you a story or worrying, gently bring your attention back to your breathing.

Relaxing

Quote:

"Don't hurry. Don't worry. Do your best and let it rest. Anonymous

Relaxing

Spend part of everyday relaxing

Make a decision to spend part of everyday relaxing - for five minutes or two hours.Just make sure that every day you give yourself a little break.

Relaxing

Quote:

"Believe that there's light at the end of the tunnel. Believe that you may be that light for someone else." Kobi Yamada

Relaxing

Top ten ways of relaxing

List your top ten ways of relaxing - ten that you know about or ten that you imagine would relax you.

Relaxing

Quote:

"Sometimes the paths we take are long and hard, but remember: those are the ones that leadto the most beautiful views." Anonymous

Relaxing

Relaxing

It can be easy to work too hard and fast, physically, mentally and emotionally.Taking time out and really relaxing is an essential part of good mental health.

Relaxing

Quote:

"Smile, breathe, and go slowly" Thich Nhat Hanh

Relaxing

Music

Listen to some of your favourite music. Line up a whole playlist of your favourite feel-good songs - then kick back and listen to the whole lot.

Relaxing

Quote:

"Create a collection of music to help you relax and feel good. Make a tape of those songs that make you smile to help you unwind."Matt Clarkson

Relaxing

Time out from worrying

Our minds and bodies are connected so the way that we think will affect the way our bodies feel. See if you can give yourself some conscious time out from worrying or giving yourself or others a hard time:'Just for now I'm going to lie down and breathe' or 'Just for now I'm going to walk and focus on the sky'.

Relaxing

Quote:

"Give your stress wings and let it fly away." Terri Guillemets

Relaxing

Just concentrate

Eat a meal without doing or thinking about anything else. Just concentrate on the smell, sight and taste of the food.