- You are not alone
- Practice self-care
- Remember that this will pass
3 Key Points
Content curated by Juan Jauregui, MSW intern
The global impact of COVID-19 has added a significant amount of additional stressors to our daily lives. While it has without a doubt impacted everyone, we know that there are differences in how the pandemic is being experienced from person to person. If you are someone who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community, there may be unique challenges you are facing during this time.
You are not alone
First and foremost know that you are not alone. There might be moments of increased loneliness or sadness that you are having right now, and that’s a completely normal and valid reaction given everything that’s happening in the world. Some people who are LGBTQ+ may also be currently stuck living in a space with someone who isn’t affirming of their LGBTQ+ identity. If this is something that you’re experiencing, know that there is a whole community out there that loves and accepts you. You are valid.
During this time, it may be helpful to schedule phone and video calls with friends and chosen family who are wholeheartedly accepting of who you are. The Trevor Lifeline, Trans Lifeline, and LGBT National Hotline are also great alternatives if you are struggling to find someone to talk to or want additional support.
What does self-care look like to you? Now is the time to use all the wellness strategies that have worked for you in the past or take the time to try out new ones. Practicing community care might also be helpful during this time; community care is rooted in the idea of focusing on the physical and emotional well-being of a collective group. You may do this by forming a small network of people who make the intentional effort to routinely check-in on one another for support and share in experiences that bring you joy.
Disconnecting from social media/computers/phones/tablets for one day or even a few hours in a day might be a different strategy to try that can also have a positive impact. Our brains were not designed to process all the information that we’re currently being exposed to everyday and it can feel very overwhelming.
Make the time to take care of yourself whether that be through journaling, going for a walk, drawing, making sure you get enough sleep, taking a shower, getting out of bed—celebrate each small victory because they are just as important!
Remember that this will pass
In a world currently filled with so many unknowns, what we do know is just like any unsettling or overwhelming emotion, this too will pass. There are many researchers who are working on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Each of us doing our part to flatten the curve is also important. However, we recognize that you may be having struggles now that are still difficult to cope with.
If you are transgender and were seeking gender-affirming treatment before the Stay Home, Stay Safe orders went into effect, you may have had appointments cancelled as a result of COVID-19 that temporarily blocked access to these treatments. It’s completely understandable to feel mixed emotions from this including feeling angry, powerless, anxious, or devastated. Now more than ever is the time to reach out to supportive people in your life—whether that be friends, family, chosen family, or a mental health professional—and engage in any self-care practices to get you through this.