ROADS TO RECOVERY: TIPS AND TRICKS
Stop Look and Listen
These are tips that will help slow you down and hopefully help you figure out why you do what you do and make it easier to reach goals of reducing your picking habit.
Stop Look and Listen – Journal
Keep track of your picking behaviors – get in control by knowing how you are feeling and why are doing what you do. Treat yourself to a really nice notebook – something pretty and aesthetically comforting. Carry it with you everywhere and USE IT.
Stop Look and Listen – Make a List and Check it Twice
Make a list of all the other things you can do in lieu of picking. Keep the list handy and if you feel the urge to pick. Look at your list and see if there is something on it that you can do instead that will make you happy relieve the pressure.
Stop Look and Listen – Regular Facials
If you can afford it – Sign up for weekly facials. Make an agreement with yourself to stop doing the picking yourself and have someone else – a professional – do the picking for you.
Stop Look and Listen – Breath
Every time you want to pick, open a door or window and make yourself take ten really deep breaths first. See if that helps you calm down enough to not ant to pick for the moment.
Stop Look and Listen – Talk to Someone
Pick up your phone and call a friend. Don’t be alone in your time of need. Walk next door to say hello to a neighbor. Don’t be alone. If it’s too late to contact someone. Get online and join a discussion or chat room.
Stop Look and Listen – Stay Out of the House
Figure out where you do your most picking and STAY AWAY from there. If it’s home – try to go out more. If it’s a particular bathroom – keep the door closed. If it’s the car, don’t drive as much – try the bus or walking. Get aware of where you pick and be creative about avoiding those places.
Stop Look and Listen – Love Letter
Have a loved one write you an emotional plea not to pick at yourself. Make a pact with yourself that you are allowed to pick whenever you want, but only if you read the note first. Don’t have someone to write you? Then write a note to yourself. Make it as long or short as you need to make it as emotionally compelling to get yourself to stop. And read it before you pick – EVERY time. Find a nice note card that your really like and write it on that.
Stop Look and Listen – Relax
Make a list of all the things that relax you and start doing them yesterday. Take a hot bath. Take a nap. Do some yoga. Get a massage. Listen to relaxing music. Rent a movie. Stretch. Breath. Read an escapist novel or magazine. The more relaxed you are the less likely you are to pick.
Stop Look and Listen – Change Your Routine
Try washing your face and brushing your teeth in the kitchen sink so you don’t have to look in the mirror afterwards. Try putting your makeup on with a pocket mirror so you only have one hand free to do the work and the other one is kept busy.
Stop Look and Listen – Break Your Own Record
Give yourself goals… like I will not pick until 1pm. If you make the goal – reward yourself with something nice, a dessert, a walk, a nice long cat stretch – anything. Then set another goal.
Stop Look and Listen – Reduce Your Field of Endeavor
Reduce the areas in which you allow yourself to pick or scratch at yourself. Try choosing an out of the way area that won’t be too publicly noticeable. This might help you break the habit of picking where you normally pick and make it easier to kick the habit down the line. And remember that the less you pick in the beginning, the less scabs you’ll have to pick and peel off later.
Stop Look and Listen – Count to Ten
As simple as this sounds – try the old adage of counting to ten. Allow yourself to pick, but only after you have counted to ten. It might help slow your picking down enough that after you’re done counting, you feel the urge less intensely.
Stop Look and Listen – Mirror Mirror
Where do you pick? Probably in front of a mirror right. Well do something to the mirror. Drape a cloth, or sheet or pillow slip or towel over it. Tape up paper over the surface leaving just a tiny hole so you can see enough to put on your makeup – that’s it.
Stop Look and Listen – Inspiration
Tape up pictures of inspirational models or skin by the mirror where you pick. Choose pictures that make you happy and feel good about yourself. You might think that this would just depress you, because your skin doesn’t look like that. I chose to let it have the reverse effect for me. I would see that picture and then close my eyes for a moment and envision and really feel what it would be like if my skin looked like that model’s skin. It worked wonders.
Or put up little inspirational sayings or poems that will make you pause long enough to consider not picking for the moment.
Stop Look and Listen – Just Say No
Conversely, put up a really nice picture of yourself or a favorite actor or actress and draw zits and red marks all over it. Make it really uncomfortable to look at. Then make a red circle and cross mark over the image.
Stop Look and Listen – Dim All the Lights
Change the light bulb over the mirror to a red bulb so that your blemishes won’t be so noticeable to you.
Stop Look and Listen – Rethink Your Musical Choices
Is the music you listen to really serving you well? If you tend to listen to rock and dance mixes, reconsider your choices. Fast beats will speed up your heartbeat and add to your stress and anxiety levels. Instead chose classical or easy listening music that will calm your nerves and make you less anxious.
Stop Look and Listen – Alarming Results
If you’re going to pick, try putting an egg timer alarm on and promise yourself to stop when it goes off. If that doesn’t work, try setting an alarm – like a radio or buzzer to go off after a set amount of time. Make sure you have it turned up to peak capacity and in another room away from your picking place. That way when it goes off, you will have to leave to go and shut it off. If you go back to picking, reset your alarm and start all over again. Eventually you will get tied of running across the house and stop.