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National Coming Out Day

As we celebrate National Coming Out Day, remember: there is no such thing as a right or wrong time to come out as LGBTQIA+. Coming out is always on your terms; nobody else's. Checking in with yourself (maybe after some self-care!) about who feels safe to talk to can be a hugely empowering process.

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day was earlier this week and with it comes a great opportunity to talk about how LGBTQIA+ youth and allies can practice self-care. At Charlie Health, we’re committed to serving LGBTQIA+ youth in a compassionate, accepting, and safe environment. Our virtual mental healthcare programs are designed to fit each client’s unique needs, plus help their families learn how to best support them as they navigate their journey toward healing and sustainable recovery from a wide variety of mental health disorders. We are acutely aware of the disproportionate rates of mental health issues in the LGBTQIA+ youth population; it is our mission to address these disparities head on through evidence-based, accessible, and personalized care. As part of our virtual intensive outpatient program, our LGBTQIA+ and non-LGBTQIA+ clients and their loved ones will learn skills that will help them better communicate and process their feelings, thoughts, and urges. 

In the meantime, it’s important to maintain a regular self care routine--think of it like personal hygiene but for your mental health! LGBTQIA+ youth can sometimes face more intense body image issues, bullying, online harassment, and even physical threats of violence than their non-LGBTQIA+ peers, so be sure to check in with yourself or your LGBTQIA+ loved ones if you notice an extreme change in mood, personality, or thoughts. And as we celebrate National Coming Out Day at Charlie Health, remember: there is no such thing as a right or wrong time to come out as LGBTQIA+. Coming out is always on your terms; nobody else's. There is no pressure to decide “what you are.” In fact, this many change throughout your life as you continue to discover more about yourself! You also don’t have to come out to every single person in your life. Checking in with yourself (maybe after some self-care!) about who feels safe to talk to can be a hugely empowering process.

Here are 10 ways to integrate self-care into your day-to-day life 

  1. To begin, take a breath and try to tune in to what you really need right now. Getting into the habit of asking yourself in the moment what will best serve you is a great way to get more in tune with the types of self care habits will actually help you, and will help you recognize when certain strategies are more appropriate than others 
  2. Take a hot or cold bath or shower
  3. Block out time for intentional alone time, if that feels safe to you
  4. An idea for your alone time: write a letter to your future self with a series of goals, hopes, and affirmations based on where you are now and where you want to be in the future. Try calling or FaceTiming a friend or loved one. Remember: make sure to surround yourself with friends and loved ones who can validate your feelings, actively listen, and offer support or advice when needed, especially if you’re feeling vulnerable. 
  5. Start a gratitude journal
  6. Journaling in general is very therapeutic and helpful when trying to get in touch with your deeper feelings or in trying to put your experiences into words 
  7. Meditate: there’s no right or wrong way to meditate; no amount of time is too long or too short. Trust yourself.
  8. Reconsider your relationship with social media and consider taking a break. Be mindful of the people you follow on social media. Whether it’s someone you know or a famous influencer, engaging with content that makes you feel bad about yourself in any way can be immensely toxic. Take some time to edit your feed so that it’s full of people who you can relate to or who you admire from a place of positivity, especially in the LGBTQIA+ community. 
  9. Take a moment to evaluate your recent nutrition–are you eating enough? Are you incorporating nutrient dense foods into your diet on a regular basis? And speaking of food–cooking can be immensely cathartic and therapeutic, whether on your own or with a friend or loved one. 
  10. Go outside. Go for a walk or jog or bike ride–getting closer to nature helps many people feel more grounded. 

Reminders

  • Don’t feel pressure to be the resident expert in LGBTQIA+ issues for your non-LGBTQIA+ people in your life. It’s healthy and completely acceptable to set boundaries around what you share about your own journey with and/or your knowledge of LGBTQAI+ issues–for example, “I appreciate you asking, but I don’t want to talk about that right now. I’d rather talk about X TV show or Y what’s been new in your life.
  • Clean or organize your personal space
  • Actively seek out LGBTQIA+ literature, history, television, movies, artists...anything that may help you connect with the broader LGBTQIA+ culture! 
  • Listen to music, whether it’s music that helps you calm down or that pumps you up!
  • Express yourself! 

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