It’s the holiday season again, which for a lot of the community means familial rejection or worse. Even for those of us whose families don’t reject our LGBT identities, holidays are a time when tensions rise and domestic violence incidents skyrocket - something which the bi community is particularly at risk of experiencing. Christmas and other winter holidays are also a high risk time for people suffering from mental illness or addiction as the pressure surrounding them can easily exacerbate symptoms or bring on a relapse.
Taking care of your physical and emotional health during this period is so important, and so is your safety, so we’ve compiled a list of self-care resources and suggestions to get you through the season as well as some emergency ones just in case.
Emotional Support and Mental Health
Robin Rice runs Your Holiday Mom, where a group of mothers write open letters to LGBT people whose families have rejected them, welcoming them into their own family celebrations.
Autostraddle runs holiday open threads where you can vent about your day and talk to other LBT women, many of whom are also balancing their own emotional well being with pleasing their families.
Welpy a free mental health app that’s tailored to the needs of the LGBT community.
Trevor Space an online community for people twenty four and under.
Mind’s masterpost of guides to various mental health conditions which include self-care tips for sufferers.
Keeping a Recovery Journal even if you don’t already keep one, starting one now can help you keep track of your mental health and stay on track when it comes to keeping up with healthy habits during this break in routine.
Coloring Book Fun Free pages to print and colour. It says its for kids but sshh. If you’d rather draw freehand or engage in some other creative activity like crochet instead it’ll serve the same purpose.
Emergency Kitten A new one every time you refresh the page. Maybe keep this on your phone for infuriating family gatherings.
Deep Conditioning Hair Mask a DIY hair mask for natural hair.
Bubble Baths Also a great excuse for alone time (everyone has to get clean) and a chance to read in peace.
Stay hydrated. Its easy to forget to drink water when you’re running around doing holiday prep or travelling, but if you spend a day drinking nothing but coffee and wine (not that I did that last year of course) you’re going to feel terrible. Try carrying a water bottle around with you and making sure you have water with every meal, not just coffee or wine.
Apply hand cream and lip balm not just when you’re feeling dry and chapped but when you need a little boost. The knowledge that you’re doing some small thing to take care of yourself can really help your mood.
If you can, go for a short walk every day. It’ll give you time to yourself as well as an endorphin boost and, if you can go early enough, exposure to real actual sunlight which irritatingly enough is really important for mental health.
If your family are driving you up the wall text your frustrations to your friends. Chances are some of them are in the exact same situation and looking to share their pain.
Finally, as its also still prime cold and flu season here’s a recipe for a good soothing throat tea
LGBT friendly Domestic Violence Helplines:
If you feel even remotely unsafe it’s a good idea to have a safety plan worked out in advance, no matter how unlikely you think you are to need it. Some good guides to making one below:
This one gives details on safety planning for specific scenarios, including what to do during a violent or escalating incident.
*None of this is meant to replace actual medical or legal advice, and if you’ve consulted with a proffesional always follow their instructions first.