In honor of Pride Month, we wanted to do a series of LGBTQ+ posts. This is the first in a series. First up, self-care for LGBTQ+ Youth! Self-care is essential for the well-being of LGBTQ+ youth. As one of the most vulnerable populations with a high rate of suicide, homelessness, and other issues, self-care has to take a front seat.
Helpful Self-Care for LGBTQ+ Youth Ideas
- Educate yourself: Learn about LGBTQ+ history, rights, and resources available to you. Knowledge empowers you to navigate challenges and advocate for yourself.
- Practice self-acceptance: Take ownership of your identity and embrace it. Self-acceptance is a building block of proper self-care.
- Take care of your mental health: You don’t have to be battling stress, depression, or bad feelings to take care of your mental health. In fact, mental health is just as important as self-care. They are often intertwined.
- Express Yourself: This is one of my favorite Madonna songs and for LGBTQ+ youth, it’s a powerful one. Take steps each day to show up as your authentic self. How does this relate to self-care? Being able to express your true self helps you keep your mental health in good order and by doing so, it can be a fun way to practice self-care. For instance, wear something fun, throw on some makeup, or just share a piece of yourself with others!
- Stay connected: Look for and connect with LGBTQ+ support organizations, online communities, or local LGBTQ+ centers. Doing so can help you to build connections and find resources catering to your needs. Try to find programs that truly accept you and not just say they accept you as you are. Remember, actions speak louder than words!
- Practice self-care routines: Establish healthy habits like regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and balanced nutrition. In addition, try to engage in meditation, or other self-care practices. Taking care of your physical and mental health will help you take better care of yourself, especially when things get tough.
- Set boundaries: Learn to say “no” to situations or people that make you uncomfortable or compromise your well-being. Prioritize your own needs and surround yourself with supportive individuals.
Remember, self-care is unique to you. Take some of these ideas and incorporate a couple into your self-care routine.
If you’re looking for a place to start and get ideas or help, check out the Trevor Project. They have counselors that can guide you and/or your child for additional self-care ideas. Finally, check out my article on How to Live Authentically. Until next week, be well and Namaste!