Making an “Alternatives” Jar

For anybody with issues with binge eating, purging, and/or self-harm (or any other type of urge), an “alternatives” jar is a good project! It is a jar filled with popsicle sticks that have things written on them that you can do when your urge hits, as an alternative to the urge.

You need:

  1. A glass jar (I used a small 8 oz old jar that I had left from a jar of jam- you can get these for $1 in some places with the jam)
  2. Popsicle sticks (I used 70 regular-sized ones from a pack of 1,000 craft sticks that I bought for $5)
  3. Markers (I used Bic Mark-It Permanent Markers, but any other marker should work, even dollar-store markers)
  4. Paints, as many colors as you want (I used Apple Barrel brand acrylic paints, which run for $0.50-$0.57 per 2 oz container at Wal Mart). 
  5. Paint brushes to use for the paints (I used Plaid brand sponge brushes, which I got for $1 for 4, and a pack of 24 different brushes which were $5 each)
  6. Ribbons and washi (decorative/paper) tape ($0.50-$3.50 per roll, however you want)

Items 4-6 are optional! You can use as much or as little paint as you want. You should only need one bottle if you are doing one color; however, you may want more!


  1. Gather your materials :) (not too hard!)
  2. Decide how many sticks your jar will hold. Mine held 70 craft sticks; some can hold more!
  3. Decide how many colors you want to use, and if you want the colors to mean anything.
  4. Paint the craft sticks!! Do this on a surface easily cleaned, thrown away, or that you don’t mind getting messy! I used a lid from a plastic tote. You can either put the paints on a palette (if you have one), or dab it onto the sponge brushes and then paint.
  5. Let your painted sticks dry.
  6. While you are letting them dry, you can decorate your jar. Some permanent markers work on glass; others don’t. You can try them though! Acrylic paints don’t always work on glass, also. I used washi tape and ribbons, using a hot glue gun to attach the ribbons to the jar. The tape and ribbons can be removed from the jar if I so choose (so that way I can re-use the jar or re-decorate if I want to)
  7. Once the sticks dry, write on them!!

Ideas for how to use color:

You can see that I used 7 colors, each with 10 sticks. Colors can be used to denote:

  1. Type of urge (especially useful if you have multiple types)
  2. Type of emotion behind the urge or activity (feeling sad, guilty, angry, lonely, wanting sensation, etc)
  3. Amount of time the activity takes (5 min, 10 min, 15 min, 30 min, 1 hr, over 1 hr)
  4. Amount of money you’d have to invest (ie, totally free things, things you can spend $1 on, things you’d have to spend $5 on, etc)

How to use:

  1. When your urge hits, pick a color or colors to represent what you need. For example: red for me are things to get anger out, so if I’m wanting to purge because I am angry, I will choose the red sticks.
  2. Pick one stick of that color. Do that activity, and put the stick to the side. If, after you’re done with the activity, the urge is still there, pick another stick.
  3. Keep choosing sticks until the urge is gone (or you have other things you have to do)
  4. If the urge hasn’t gone away, but you are done with your sticks: choose another color and keep going.

Ideas for what to write on your sticks

  1. 101 things to do besides binge
  2. More binge alternatives
  3. Alternatives to binge eating/purging
  4. Alternatives to self-harm
  5. More alternatives to self-harm

Idea based off of: Coping Bank and Binge Jar

anonymous said:

what are porn alternatives?

You need to take a step back, critically assess your attachment to porn and most importantly, stop thinking about yourself and your own orgasms.

Anti-porn activisim is not about you and it is not about how you can continue to consume (mostly) women as a commodity free of guilt. If you feel guilty about consuming mainstream porn - you should.

But don’t you dare rack up the nerve to ask me about alternatives. This is not because I think sex is wrong, that masturbation is wrong or that sexual exploration is wrong. It is because I do not, for a second, want to draw attention away from the mass abuse that is occurring within the mainstream sex industry right now. That’s not what I am here for and that is not why I am doing this.

People are being raped, beaten, coerced and abused. 12 year olds are learning that physically and verbally violent sex is ‘normal’ and ‘to be expected.’ Sex trafficking still exists, child trafficking still exists, sexual slavery still exists, women are still being bought and sold as commodities and still do not have full bodily autonomy and you are asking about porn alternatives?

There’s a lot more to this issue than me telling you to go read a vanilla manga for the sake of your guilty conscience. 

Think critically. And don’t draw attention away from the atrocities that are happening every single day in the porn industry.

These women’s lives come first; your precious orgasms come second.

anonymous said:

I found a good alternative to self harm. Bananas. No really. You can cut their peels with razors or safety pins or whatever. Carve things into them. I like to "tattoo" drawings onto mine with a sewing needle. The skins oxidize and go brown where they've been pierced. It's pretty satisfying and, when you're done, you can peel it and eat it and it's delicious and healthy. It's weird, I know, but if I find it helpful, someone else might too. :)

Thank you!! 


These are called mandalas, which comes from the sanskrit word meaning circle. A mandala is a simple geometric shape with no beginning or end . Within its circular shape, it can promote relaxation, balance energies, enhance creativities, and support healing. Basically, they can be a form of meditation.

They range from very simple to very complex. You can print them and color them. It’s very calming and can be used as acoping skill or alternative to self-destructive behaviors. I have begun a ritual of coloring one color a night instead of pulling. 

There are so many designs out there. You can find printable mandalas on Google images, printmandala.com, Pinterest, mandalacoloringmeditation.com, and many more websites.