Following the presidential election of Donald Trump, the LGBTQ community has seen setbacks, one of which was the ongoing battle on Trump’s behalf to reinstate the transgender military ban. Despite numerous military officials speaking out against it, on January 22, 2019, the Supreme Court allowed Trump’s transgender military ban to go into effect. This disheartening step backward for our country has left many feeling hopeless and outraged, an all too familiar feeling within our community.
Times like this make it is so easy to get caught up in negative downward spirals, so it is crucial that we take the time to step back and practice self-care. There is nothing more revolutionary than loving yourself in the face of adversity! If you are feeling the pressure of the world around you, consider following these bits of advice to help take that weight off your shoulders.
Feel Your Feelings
Feel Your Feelings: Self-care isn’t about bottling up the emotions you may be feeling right now. What you’re feeling is perfectly valid, and as counterintuitive as it may seem, letting yourself feel and work through these emotions is the first step to moving on. Acknowledge your emotions and address why you’re feeling them. One tried-and-true cathartic process is writing all your frustrations out on paper, and then tearing it up afterward. Some people go on to safely burn the paper, creating a powerful statement of release.
Celebrate Our Victories: In light of recent events, it can be easy to lose sight of just how far the LGBTQ community has come. Spend some time looking up the heroes of our community, past and present. Learning about those who shaped our history can really put into perspective how much progress has been made! Discovering the inspirational people within our community today who are working hard to brighten up the world in countless ways is not only motivating but truly heartwarming.
Unplug from Social Media: Social media is part of most people’s daily routine, but it can be a toxic place to dwell. Just seeing the bad news being recirculated by friends and family can get overwhelming and give the impression that things are worse than they truly are. Walking away from those spewing hatred online doesn’t make you less of a person, and not sharing every article you see doesn’t make you less of a member of the LGBTQ family. Take time to disengage; read a favorite book, take a walk, and recenter yourself without the pressure of a fired up news feed.
Don’t Isolate Yourself: While taking a break from social media is definitely healthy, that doesn’t mean you should bar yourself off from the world. Now more than ever is a great time to find like-minded communities to throw yourself into. Reach out to supportive friends, family members, and think about joining in-person or online LGBTQ groups. Talking to people who understand where you’re coming from will help you feel less alone and helpless.
Spoil Yourself: Don’t be afraid to indulge yourself if you’re having a particularly rough day! Grab your favorite ice cream, bake your favorite brownies, throw on some PJs and curl up to binge watch some of your favorite lighthearted shows. Doing something to celebrate you is an important part of self-care. It could even be taking a hot, cleansing shower with some soothing soaps – if you struggle with dysphoria, many trans individuals have found it surprisingly helpful and relaxing to shower with the lights dimmed or turned off altogether!
The world can be a difficult and disheartening place to navigate, and there are times when it feels like we are unwelcome in this world. Take the time to take care of yourself, and don’t forget that, in the words of American poet Max Ehrmann,
“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”
Reaching Our For Help
It can be a good idea to contact a therapist if you need to process your feelings for this ban or other current events that can affect you right now and in the future. True You Southeast has several caring, progressive therapists to help with these feelings. You can reach us at 404-800-7586 or via email here.