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Practising self-care and prioritising your mental health

June 17, 2024
Kate Tilbury

Be kind to yourself

The way we talk to ourselves about who we are and what we’re worthy of matters. It has a direct impact on our self-esteem, the way that we live our lives and how we act in our relationships.

Everyone has an inner voice - it might be friendly and motivating, or you might experience more self-critical thoughts. If you notice your inner voice being overly harsh, see if you can step back from this, even slightly. Ask yourself what you’d say to a loved one if they’d had these thoughts about themselves or consider if there are perspectives that you are missing/not considering that might be more balanced and kinder. If you notice yourself getting into a battle with your thoughts, notice this, it might sound like; ‘I’m noticing I’m spending time having a battle with my thoughts’ and see if you can bring your attention to your surroundings and/ or breath.

Remember that we all deserve love, acceptance and compassion. You can read more about how to be a better friend to yourself here.  

Celebrate being LGBTQIA+

People who are LGBTQIA+ may have experienced times when they have felt isolated or uncomfortable in their environment. Celebrating being LGBTQIA+ (whether that’s in private or in public) can help you to feel part of a community and happier within yourself. You could get involved in the PRIDE celebrations, watch a film featuring LGBTQIA+ people, or find people who inspire you to look up to, whether that’s in politics, music and so on. This year Pride is celebrating historical LGBTQIA+ members in medicine and health care.

Set boundaries

Setting boundaries can help us to protect our energy and wellbeing. This might look like saying no to plans or favours when you don’t have the energy, or limiting contact with people who don’t make you feel good.

If there are people in your life who aren’t accepting of LGBTQIA+ people, give yourself permission to limit your contact with them or step away when they make you feel uncomfortable or disrespected. This can be hard, and it’s important to put your own mental health first; absorbing other people’s negativity can take its toll.

Do something you enjoy

When you’re going through a stressful time, doing something that you enjoy can give you a break from negative feelings and help you to focus on something positive instead. You might want to catch up with some supportive friends, read a book, get creative or go to the cinema. As long as you’re genuinely enjoying yourself, you’ll feel the benefits.

Journal your feelings

Journaling is the process of writing down our thoughts and feelings. Expressing our thoughts freely allows us to process and reflect upon them to understand them better. From there, we can take ownership of the situation by making a plan of what to do next. This helps us to work through negative thoughts, rather than dwelling on them.

Look into peer support

If you’re going through a challenging time, it can help to be around people who can understand and relate to your experiences. Do you have anyone in your life who is LGBT+ that you could talk to? If not, you could look into regional LGBTQIA+ support groups via Consortium’s website. Remember, you don’t have to ‘come out’ if you don’t want to or you’re not ready.  

Try talking therapy

If you’re struggling with your mental health, you may want to consider talking therapy. At ieso, we offer typed cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for a range of mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression and PTSD. Patients can speak to a therapist online by typing back and forward, or we can offer video calls in some locations. Our service is non-judgemental and accepting of everyone. Find out more about what we do.

Mental health support and resources for LGBTQIA+ people:

LGBT Foundation: https://lgbt.foundation

Pink Therapy: https://pinktherapy.com

Stonewall: https://www.stonewall.org.uk

Mermaids: https://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/

ieso Online Therapy
This blog has been written by a member of the clinical team at ieso.

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