Things To Do Instead Of Picking

I am hoping to reach my goal of being pick-free one day so as I progress along this journey I am going to compile a list of things one can do instead of picking. Please feel free to contact me and tell me what works for you so I can add it to the list.

1. Dance. Until you’re breathless and you’ve built up a nice healthy sweat. This also does wonders for burning excess energy and relieving anxiety and stress.

2. Run. Chuck on a pair of runners and hit the pavement. They say not to run from your problems but in this case I think we can make an exception. 😉

3. Exercise. Any kind of vigorous exercise, such as aerobics, will decrease stress hormones and increase endorphins – our body’s natural feel good chemicals.

4. Paint your nails. Pretty colours. Crazy colours. Patterns. Multiple layers. Painting nails, especially if you’re a perfectionist, takes time and is a pleasant distraction from picking. The drying time of polish also keeps your hands and nails occupied for longer.

Listen to music. An uplifting tone, a deep bassline, powerful lyrics. Sometimes a little bit of music is all you need to lift you out of a mood and it also gives your mind and body something else to focus on. Why not sing or dance along?

6. Scream. Well we all need to sometimes right? Even if it’s just into a pillow. Let your frustrations out!

7. Write. Down emotions, feelings and thoughts. Anything that comes to mind. Get it down! Get it out of you! Write to vent your frustrations, occupy your hands, focus your thoughts, share your stories, see things more clearly, help others. Whatever your reasons – just do it!

8. Breathe. Deeply. We all know the saying “Just Breathe!” It is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves but unfortunately our breathing often receives far less attention than it deserves. Breathe slowly in and out as you relax your body and feel your heart rate slow down as you release any built-up negative emotions within you.

9. Cry. Life sucks sometimes. There is no point dwelling on it… cry about it and then let it go. Spending too much time focusing on your problems instead of focusing on how to get out of them is not the most productive path one can follow. It also helps to learn and experience emotions that differ from anger, stress and/or anxiety.

10. Laugh. Even if you don’t want to. Laugh loud – laugh proud! Laughter feels good because, like exercise, it also releases those “feel-good” endorphins.

11. Watch a movie. Get lost in the story line. Absorb the characters. Switch off your mind to everything other than what is on the screen in front of you.

Talk to a friend. A friend that understands. Whose voice alone makes you smile. The type of friend who knows how you are feeling without you even having to say anything.

  1. Great list. Most of these have worked for me. Breathing is super powerful. It also reduced my urges to take a hot bath, although that wouldn’t work for everyone, because some might be tempted to pick simply from having no clothes on. Also yoga and meditation. You can find my top 10 tips to stop picking on my blog.

    • Thanks Annette 🙂 I like your ideas and will add them up as I try them. I find that a hot bath or shower does work to relax me and by lighting a small tealight, instead of turning on the bathroom light, I am not able to see my skin as much so the urge to pick is lessened. I will check out your blog now 🙂 and thanks for dropping by mine!

  2. rosewiltshire

    I find baking, especially bread helps. You have to really concentrate on what you are doing which gives you a break from picking xx

  3. I am a dancer and I do dance. But when I’m just sitting down and watching something, BOOM, it hits me

  4. I just realized i do picking in a small amount… And i helped myself without realizing it. I so often listen to music to distract myself or draw or talk to friends or paint my nails crazy. My mother always ask me why i pick my skin especially when i had blackheads ands suff… I think now i have a answer to this and can do something about it.

  5. i pick my feet so bad that I am so sad. It is bleeding and burn and hurt. When I sleep is worse. I went to twenty dermatologist and nothing. I would like to try to hypnotism but so many people told me that is very dangerous. Please help me.

  6. I cry, all the time. I tend to cry because I feel so ashamed of myself in all of this, what I have caused my body to become. I talk it out with someone who is like a sister to me because she understands so well how I feel about this. I listen to deep music, OST’s from movies, Classical music or Violin music because gentler music helps me to relax and clear my mind of all stresses in life. Thank you, for all this help, it is going to change my life

  7. Great list. To add from Annette’s post, I STRONGLY encourage any teen/adult with a Body Focused Repetitive Behavior (BFRB), be it skin picking, hair pulling, etc. get Annette Pasternak’s GREAT book “Skin Picking.” I would also suggest make a concerted effort to become more mindful. BFRBs often begin when a person is on autopilot.

  8. I’d add to Annette’s comments to get her EXCELLENT book “Skin picking.” I’d also suggest working on mindfulness, as Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) often start and/or are maintained when a person is on autopilot. Your STOP technique is a great example of a mindfulness exercise. Once you are “in the zone,” it’s almost certain that you won’t stop until someone/something interrupts you.

  9. Anything usingbyour hands. Crafts..crochet or knit,
    In my car it’s idle hands…so things like watching a movie do not work.

  1. Pingback: Skin Picking/Dermatillomania Resources | Kate Is Rising

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