Being queer is fraught with challenges – now more than ever with all that’s happening in the world. The times are hard, and we’re out here having to make a decent living, working on living our best life, trying to be our genuine selves while getting through this pandemic.
We have to take care of so many things that our self-care has lagged behind ‘more important’ matters. We tend to forget that self-care is paramount to our survival.
So what is self-care, why is it important, and how do we practice it? Read on, queer ones, and may this assist you as you take on today’s world.
Self-care could mean different things for different people. For some, it’s about premium spa treatments, luxurious bubble baths, and full-body massages. While for others, it’s simply some quiet alone time for reading, restful sleep, or solo play with an efficient Autoblow.
Psychology Today defines self-care as the mindful taking of time to pay attention to yourself, not narcissistically, mind you, but in a manner that ensures you are being cared for by yourself.
While it’s easy to say self-care is self-indulgence, this is not true. Self-care is simply about giving ourselves the care we need. It could be an activity, practice, habit, or a mindset that we take on to bear and deal with stresses, unhappiness, ailments, and other negativities around us and inside us.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, we are sometimes met with strong oppositions towards our lifestyle and preferences. We feel sad, tired, and overwhelmed sometimes, and it’s normal.
Self-care is important because, while it’s normal to have to deal with negative emotions, it’s not normal to have to live with them day by day without some sort of respite. Self-care helps us address the things that are wearing us down and give ourselves relief. It’s important simply because our well-being is important.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all self-care idea since different people have different self-care needs. Self-care support could be about addressing mental, emotional, physical, social, or other needs.
While it could vary significantly from person to person, one thing’s consistent: self-care should be a habit. Following are self-care habits you should start forming as an LGBTQ+ person facing the challenges in today’s world.
1. Being Your Genuine Self
Many of us still hide, unable and unwilling to come out, for fear of judgment or rejection. And while hiding may protect us from persecution, it hinders our self-actualization. It disables us from achieving our heart’s desires, which causes us more stress. So be true to yourself as it’s the first step to self-care and self-love.
2. Embracing Your Sexuality
Being part of the LGBTQ+, sexual self-care is a journey we take to embody our fullest sexual potential. Don’t forget that our sexual self, with our desires and preferences, also needs unveiling. And it’s not just about finding an efficient masturbator for our self-pleasure, but also getting the support we need as we explore this part of ourselves.
3. Spending Time in Reflection
Give yourself space to ponder. Reflection increases our self-awareness and helps us develop a better understanding of other people and what is happening around us.
4. Pursuing Happiness
Happiness looks different to each of us. What makes you happy could be listening to your favorite music, savoring a warm cup of coffee while reading a classic, gaming, or going for a dip in the pool. What’s important is you pursue your brand of joy to veer away from anxiety and stress. Focus on the good, and that’ll be all you see.
5. Seeking Guidance
Look up to your mentors and seek their wisdom. Recognize that you may not be able to find all the answers on your own and seek their guidance and support.
6. Staying Creative
Whether through drawing, collage, knitting, or coloring, pursuing creative activities can benefit our mental health. Being creative improves our expression, gives us a sense of freedom and accomplishment and relieves our stress.
7. Having Faith
Faith and spirituality is a complicated subject and can vary in meaning from one person to another. At the core of this is having your faith anchored on something, anything, as this helps give you respite, especially in times of crisis.
8. Maintaining Healthy Habits
A healthy mind-body relationship is imperative, especially in this pandemic. So taking good care of your health is vital to self-care. This includes eating healthy, exercising, and getting good sleep.
9. Setting Goals and Intentions for the Future
Take the time to explore your deepest desires and set goals for yourself. Make it a habit to be intentional about working towards the fulfillment of your goals and the future you want for yourself.
As we take on the world in pursuance of our heart’s desires, we are met with all sorts of challenges along the way. The world can be unkind, even cruel, especially to those it deems ‘queer.’ But keep your head up, take heart, and care for yourself.