Fittingly, and to no surprise, Southend Psychiatry is shouting out loud and proud for June LGBTQ Pride month! At this practice, we move with the heartbeat of Inclusion and Equality in everything we do and nothing is more core to our beliefs, so times such as this are a joy to celebrate and bring a real and healthy dialogue, at large.
If any of us look up the definition of the word “pride” no doubt we could come back with any number of meanings and variations. For purposes of this article, we do not mean it to refer to a sense of arrogance or over-inflated self worth. This definition below fits perfectly with what we want to share today:
- pride – a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.
You know exactly what Pride Month means to you and everyone has their own connection and enjoys it their own way. One client recalls Pride Month feeling uncomfortable before she was out; she didn’t know what to do with the conflict, the tension inside. But now, it’s a chance to celebrate and be open with issues which are often stigmatized, especially in this current social/political environment. In her own words, “Let’s make it fun! And make everything sparkl-ey! This isn’t a fight for justice or equality here or anything super heavy. It’s lighter, it’s fun.” Maybe you resonate with something in there too.
While great gains have been made in awareness and societal acceptance for the LGBTQ community, it’s no secret there is a current movement in the U.S. attacking LGBTQ rights in legislation, education, and athletics. It is scary and takes a massive toll on the mental and emotional well-being of those being targeted. Or perhaps you’re still deconstructing a big bag of religious issues/trauma from earlier years which still haunt your sense of self. The fact is, the world is a tumultuous and sometimes frightening place, and for this reason we want to promote with all our Southend heart and soul – SELF CARE!!
To get right to the point we simply want you to take care of your body and your mind in whatever beautiful ways are best for you. This is supposed to be intentional on your part but certainly not meant to be a chore. The result will be refreshing and recharging, allowing you to help love yourself all the way! Think about it this way… picture stress as water on a wet dog. That dog needs to shake it out, vigorously, from head to tail, to feel right again. So do we! While actually shaking like a wet dog may not be your thing, we have a few other suggestions to help get you started.
- Sleep : can we just say nothing good happens without sleep?! Our bodies level out physiologically during sleep and it’s a huge part of keeping a healthy mind + body.
- Seek Joy : Light will chase away darkness so find the things which bring joy to your heart. Music. Nature. Old photos. Disney movies…! Give yourself time and space to find joy!
- Seek Guidance : Don’t do it alone! Community is HUGE for LGBTQ individuals and we encourage you to find support, somewhere. Perhaps its spiritual support, perhaps it’s therapy, perhaps it’s mimosas with friends on Sunday morning.
- Creativity : It’s well known in psychology arenas the benefits creative outlets have on mental health. So go get colorful and paint something, get noisy with a new instrument, or build the coffee table you’ve been putting off for six months.
- And most importantly be the best YOU possible!! Keep a sight on who you truly are, which is a bright, beautiful, shining star of a person and let that expression show itself.
We are hopeful this article helps you be a balanced, healthy you in some pretty challenging times. And if June Pride month is where you begin your Self Care plan then even better!
Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.
On a side note, there are now data and trends we can see which indicate higher numbers of individuals who came out during the recent lockdowns. Much of this is attributed to simply a huge increase in time we have spent isolated, and thus more time for self-reflection and a chance for many to really have the time and space to identify who they really are. Interestingly but to no surprise, social media was also significant in this trend as the isolation and alone time allowed people to do more exploring on platforms versus the physical world. Of course, the internet has long been the home of LGBTQ exploration but the current trends and impacts are interesting. This article provides some great expert commentary and data – https://mashable.com/article/covid-coming-out-queer-lgbtq-pandemic.