To-Don't List

What's a 'To-Don't List' we hear you ask? Well, lots of us probably keep a to do list to remind us of the things we want to achieve in the near and distant future. But did you know that keeping a 'To-Don't List' can be just as useful! Instead of writing down all the things you wan't to do, you just remind yourself of all the things you don't want to do 👍

Here's our top 4 things you don't want to do in order to make sure you stay on top of looking after your mental wellbeing 😊


❌ Tell people you don't trust about your problems

It's not that you're being mean, the bottom line is if you don't trust someone, don't tell them everything that's going on with you as you'll just worry about who they might tell! If you feel like you don't have many people you can trust, you can always talk to a trained counsellor on Childline's 1-2-1 online chat.

❌ Promise yourself that you're going to write down all your thoughts and feelings in a journal if you're not

Journalling isn't for everyone. You don't have to commit to writing in a journal, especially if writing down your problems just doesn't work for you. If you've never tried journalling before and fancy giving it a go, check out our Head Strong Journal as it's full of helpful prompts and activities instead of empty pages.

❌ Force yourself to go outside

Going outside and getting some fresh air can have a profound impact on how you're feeling, particularly if you're feeling stressed or panicked. However, forcing yourself to be in nature when you don't like nature or just don't want to be outside isn't very helpful. This might sound silly, but try sitting near an open window so you can feel the breeze on your face. If it's a bit too cold for that, try holding something natural in your hands such as a pebble or plant leaf. Focus on the weight of it and how it feels in your hands.

❌ Say yes to things you don't want to do

If you're prone to saying yes to things you don't really want to do even when you're doing well, this is always going to be something you're going to struggle with. If you find saying no hard, give yourself a chance to prepare for it by saying "maybe" or "I'll let you know" when someone first asks you to do something. This way you can think about how you're going to say no so that the person understands that a) you're not being rude and b) you're not going to change your mind. 

This blog was actually inspired by the awesome team at The Blurt Foundation. You can get your own 'A5 To Don't List Pad' on their online store.


Alumina is a free, online 7 week course for young people struggling with self-harm. Each course has up to 8 young people, all accessing the sessions from their own phones, tablets or laptops across the UK. The courses take place on different evenings of the week and are run by friendly, trained counsellors and volunteer youth workers. You don’t need an adult to refer you or sign you up, and no-one will see or hear you during the sessions – you’ll just join in via the chatbox. We want to help you to find your next steps towards recovery, wherever you are on your journey.

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