The past two years have been hard for everyone, but there are groups in our society that have been especially hit with the pandemic and its regulations. When turning on the TV, LGBTQ+ people can hear countless incidents of human rights being threatened; people being targeted, abused and used; stories of sexual assaults; stories of members of our community being killed, etc. All of this is enough to make even the strongest persons feel hopeless. However, there’s always hope. Here’s how LGBTQ+ people can practice self-care that will give us the strength to fight and stay afloat. 

Mediate or gas yourself up

Meditation is great for your mind, emotions, stress release and mind/body connection. It gives you time to reflect and sort out all the negative and intrusive thoughts. If you can’t calm your mind, you can try a different strategy—gassing yourself up. It’s similar to meditation, but it involves actively thinking about your values, your morals and your authentic self. It’s a small inner pep talk that can prepare you for the day and remind you of your worth. 

Leave social media

Social media is an amazing thing that gets unfairly villainized, but every now and then, we all need a break from it. A social media detox is great for mental health and self-care, especially if you decide to leave platforms like Facebook and Twitter that are filled with negativity and toxicity. Instead of scrolling, you can grab your partner and do a few couple activities like exercising, massaging and pillow-talking. If you’re not ready to leave the internet altogether, a short social media break will be just enough to recover while you use the internet for smarter things like learning, healthy communication and pure entertainment. 

Complete the stress response cycle

When an antelope is being chased by a predator, it either runs, fights back or plays dead. If the poor thing manages to escape, it shakes off its body to release the stress and complete the stress response cycle. Many LGBTQ+ folks are in a constant state of stress due to issues at work, moving cities, watching the government make mistakes, etc, but not many of us are completing our stress response cycle. To release some of the triggered stress, try breathing exercises, working out, jumping and dancing, or just doing what antelopes do and shaking our arms and legs. Movement is very important for self-care and self-improvements so practice any type of it daily. 

Draw and create 

Art is a practical and affordable outlet for many LGBTQ+ people, whether it’s art, writing, dance or crocheting. Photography is a great hobby available for many. You can practice it alone with your phone and your mirror or do something more advanced by attending photography courses and getting real tips on the art. These courses are also a perfect way to meet like-minded people and expand your network. If you can, be sure to write, draw and photograph queer people to create more representation for the community. 

Invest in therapy

Therapy is very expensive, especially if you don’t have insurance. But if you have the means to invest in this, it’s will prove to be the best self-care practice. It’s helpful to have a professional listen to you rant, talk through your feelings and thoughts and put you back in balance. You will receive no judgment or bias, just tried-out advice for a healthier lifestyle and proper help for depression, anxiety or any other mental health issue.  

Clean and decorate your space

No matter if you love or hate it, cleaning and decorating is a very effective way to practice self-care. Living in a clean, organized and personalized environment can bring a lot of clarity into your life. When you feel overwhelmed, declutter and clean to sort your home and your thoughts. 

Watch a funny show

Here’s a simple and affordable way to practice self-care suitable for those who are suspicious of self-care and improvement—watching a funny show. Watching shows with queer characters living their lives, freely existing and loving is such an uplifting experience. 

Being LGBTQ+ has never been easy, but we can definitely see improvements in our lives. Don’t let this stressful period bring you down and put a stop to your self-improvement. Practice these self-care tips and activities, and you’ll manage to handle every problem head-on and continue to werk and slay every day.