Taking care of your mental health – Pride Month 2024

Being LGBTQ+ isn’t a mental health problem, and it doesn’t cause mental health problems.

But those of us who are LGBTQ+ often face difficult experiences, like discrimination and stigma. These experiences can affect our mental health.

Navigating your sexuality, identity and experiences can be especially challenging, and it’s important to look after your mental health and wellbeing during this time. Here are some friendly, straightforward tips to help you take care of your mental health:

Find support

  1. Talk to a friend: Share your feelings with someone you trust. It can make a big difference to just get things off your chest.
  2. Join a group: Look for LGBTQ+ groups in your area or online. Being around people who get what you’re going through can be really comforting.
  3. See a counsellor: If you can, find a counsellor who knows about LGBTQ+ issues. They can give you a safe space to talk and help you find your way.

Learn and understand

  1. Read up: Learn about different sexualities and identities. The more you know, the more you can understand yourself.
  2. It’s normal: Remember, questioning your sexuality and identity is totally normal. It’s okay to take your time figuring things out.

Take care of yourself

  1. Do what you love: Spend time on hobbies and things you enjoy. It’s a great way to take your mind off stress.
  2. Get moving: Exercise, even just a little bit, can boost your mood. Try a short walk or a fun workout.
  3. Try meditation: Practices like meditation or mindfulness can help calm your mind and reduce anxiety.

Create a safe space

  1. Set boundaries: Stick with people who support you and distance yourself from those who don’t.
  2. Choose positive media: Follow LGBTQ+ friendly accounts, and watch or read things that make you feel good about yourself.

Reflect and accept yourself

  1. Write it down: Keep a journal about your thoughts and feelings. It can help you understand what’s going on inside.
  2. Be kind to yourself: Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s okay to feel confused or scared. Your feelings are real and valid.

Connect with your local community

  1. Join events: Take part in LGBTQ+ events or community activities. It can help you feel like you belong. We’ll be at Portsmouth Pride on 6th July so come and see us.
  2. Volunteer: Helping out with LGBTQ+ organisations such as Portsmouth Pride, or maybe volunteering to support our LGBTQ+ Peer Support Group, can give you a sense of purpose and community. 

Look ahead

  1. Set small goals: Take baby steps, like talking to a friend or exploring your identity. Every little step counts.
  2. Picture the future: Imagine a future where you’re happy and comfortable with who you are. It can make the journey feel less scary.

Get help if you need it

  1. Reach out: If things get really tough, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We hear you and we’re here to help.  Call us on 02392498916 or email [email protected] 

Remember, everyone’s journey with their sexuality and identity is different. Take your time, seek support, and be gentle with yourself. You’re not alone in this.

Posted on: 7th June 2024

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