By: Samuel Smith, Columnist
Don’t get me wrong, I love being transgender and bisexual. But it’s stressful. Sometimes I feel like I have to set a good example for every LGBT person, for fear that if I set a bad example, it will look bad for all folks. I’m scared to say my name sometimes, for fear someone will tell I’m trans and not take too kindly to that. It’s stressful. It’s also stressful being a full-time student. Self care is incredibly important in college. That is especially true if you’re a minority, when our lives sometimes feel like our activism. So, take a step back, relax, and use these self care tips to make your life just a little bit easier.
Read a book that’s not for class. Read some brain candy. Read a book on a topic you’re passionate about. Participate in #readdiverse2018 and pick up a book written by someone who isn’t cisgender, white, or heterosexual. Reading a good book can help you escape from your daily life and reading diverse books can make you feel more connected to the world around you.
Spoil yourself. Buy yourself that latte you like, or a book from your favorite bookstore. Splurge just a tiny bit on yourself. I know that buying things is just a quick rush of energy, but buy or invest in something you truly enjoy, and savor it. This is especially great for Fridays, because it sets the end of the working week and starts the weekend on a high note, but don’t be afraid to spoil yourself any day of the week.
Meditate. Take a few minutes out of your day and become mindful of your surroundings and your emotions. Process these emotions, whether they be negative or positive. Ask yourself why you are feeling this way. Are you stressed? Happy? Nervous? Why do you feel this way? Process these emotions, and process the reasoning for these emotions.
Journaling. This goes along with meditating, but I feel like it should be on its own. Journal your thoughts and feelings at the end of the day. Even better, journal how you’re feeling before and after meditating. This can assist in decompressing and processing your thoughts.
Take a social media detox. These days, the media can be toxic and it can be stressful to deal with when you’re also dealing with school, work and other daily stresses. Taking a social media or news detox can help you feel less stressed in your day to day life.
When your break from social media is over, follow some body positive accounts that are diverse and intersectional. I personally love following feminist accounts because I get to read up on the news, hear about what’s up and coming in feminist theory and get positive messages in the same account. It’s a win-win!
Whether your idea of self care is taking a bath with a luxurious bath bomb or taking a mental break from the news, taking care of yourself and giving yourself a break is much needed for mental and physical health as a minority. While it’s difficult, if impossible, to escape systemic injustices, you can make your life just a bit easier with a bit of pampering and love.