Being Queer and Establishing Self-Care During the Pandemic
Taking care of yourself, especially in a time where there is a global pandemic, is often a lot easier said than done. This can also be especially the case when you are in an environment or home that doesn’t respect or affirm who you are. It is important that time is taken to maintain and manage self-care in order to make this time much more bearable. Here are some tips in establishing self-care while Queer during the quarantine!
Maintain Meaningful Contact With Queer friends and Allies
While it can never replace having a face-to-face conversation or interaction with someone, sending someone a text, having a phone call, or video chatting through Facetime, Zoom, Skype with someone can go such a long way, especially if you set aside intentional time to talk to that person! When you are in an environment where you feel unsafe or can’t fully express yourself, it is important that you can maintain the community you had at Loyola from a far, regardless if they are other Queer folx or people who affirm you!
Here are some suggestions to maintain contact with friends!
- Creating a collaborative Spotify, or other Music streaming platform, playlist that you keep between you and your friends of new music you have been all listening to.
- Using Teleparty to watch television and films at the same time as your friends through Netflix, Hulu, HBO, or Disney+ and also chat with each other during.
- Using an app called Cappuccino to send brief voice messages, jokes, and tell stories to your friends that they get to listen to every morning at 8 a.m.
Find Community with Other Members of the LGBTQ+ Community Online
There are so many members of the community who want to engage with others online and there are so many platforms to do so! You can find various members of the LGBTQ+ community through TikTok, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also try various forums in order to talk to other members of the community about your experience or anything that binds you! Here are a few examples here:
- Gender Spectrum – A gender sensitive, inclusive, and affirming space that also has online programs, consulting, and groups: https://www.genderspectrum.org/
- Trevor Space – A LGBTQ+ Online Community established through the Trevor Project with discussion forums and writing groups: https://www.trevorspace.org/ Q Chat
- Space – A LGBTQ+ online community for teens to connect with other teens as well as trained staff: https://www.qchatspace.org/
Take Time Away From Social Media
So much is happening every day and changes hour by hour. While it is important to stay informed, it is also important to not become oversaturated by news, especially when so much is affecting the Queer community that may be emotionally straining. Don’t be afraid to limit the amount of time you spend on Social Media each day. It can also feel especially draining to spend all of your leisure time on a screen after spending your time on Zoom for class. Here are some suggestions on what to do while you are off-screen:
- Take a walk: Going out for a walk and getting fresh air is a great way to stretch your legs and get Vitamin D. In order to make it more interesting, don’t be afraid to change up where you watch each way, whether you decide to walk so far in one direction or purposely walk in a new area you have wanted to explore.
- Make or Bake something new to enjoy: Take your time and make a comfort food that you have never made before. Cooking or baking may not be your thing, but there are so many cooking videos on Youtube, Tasty, and other websites that provide videos while you are cooking to help you make more comfortable with preparing your food.
- Participate in Mindfulness activities: There are a plethora of apps to help with meditation online or videos on Youtube, but there are other ways to engage with mindfulness, such as doing breathing exercises, taking the time to actively listen to your favorite song without distractions, and mindfully coloring a coloring book or coloring pages you can find online.
Help Finding Queer-Affirming Health Medical Primary Care and Therapy
Finding Queer-affirming healthcare and mental health treatment is not only comforting, it can also be lifesaving. It is important to have services catered to you by people who belong to the community or are allies. Here are a few resources to help seek out those services!
Loyola & Baltimore Resources
Helps connect you with Queer-affirming primary care providers, specialists, dentists, or therapists
A resource to help connect individuals with local LGBTQ+ Community Health Centers
World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)
A provider directory that helps you search for transgender-affirming treatment (G2G)
A national primary care provider that specializes in LGBTQ+ health concerns.
A resource to help connect people to Queer health practitioners or allies, especially those who specialize in gender-affirming care.
Baltimore Based Queer-Affirming Medical Services:
Provides primary care, specialized care, dental, and therapy for LGBTQ+ individuals
National Mental Health Hotlines:
The Trevor Project – A crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline that is available 24/7 for LGBTQ+ students: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386)
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
Trans Lifeline Hotline: 877-565-8860
LGBT National Youth Hotline: 1-800-246-7743
National Alliance on Mental Illness Crisis Textline: Text NAMI to 741741
Statewide Mental Health Hotlines:
(Delaware Crisis Hotline) Contact Lifeline: 1-800-262-9800
(Maryland Crisis Hotline) Maryland’s Helpline: Call 211 or text your zip code to 898-211
(DC Crisis Hotline) Access HelpLine: 1(888)-793-4357
(Pennsylvania Crisis Hotline) CONTACT Helpline: 1(800)-932-4616
(New Jersey Crisis Hotline) NJ Mental Health Cares Hotline: 1(866)-202-4357
(New York Crisis Hotline) NYC Well: 1-888-NYC-WELL
(Connecticut Crisis Hotline) Connecticut Suicide & Crisis Hotline: 1-800-203-1234
(Massachusetts Crisis Hotline) Samaritan’s Hope: 1-877-870-4673