Finding the balance between staying in reality and acknowledging what’s happening.
So like right now, there are two really horrific things happening for trans folks here in the States.
The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill just passed in Florida.
In Texas, the Attorney General and Governor’s Office have put forward official guidance that giving transgender kids gender-affirming medical care is child abuse and that those parents should be evaluated for having their children removed.
So that’s part of reality, right?
There’s no escaping that that is reality.
There is still a pandemic happening.
Omicron is still with us.
Numbers are decreasing but still relatively high in a lot of places.
So how do we stay balanced with reality, which can be really hard for us and putting that aside at least long enough that we can find joy or happiness or something worth looking forward to?
I think for most of us, it has been two years at this point of trying to figure out how do I handle this?
What do I do?
How do I live in this world where there’s danger all around me, where there’s unclear guidance, where what I think is a good set of practices versus what the people who care about me think is a good set of practice might be very different?
And there’s not an easy answer.
And so, I think it’s about checking in with yourself.
Like am I just doom-scrolling and exposing myself to a whole bunch of negative news?
Is that helpful for me?
It is important to stay up-to-date about what’s happening in the world but am I doing that in a way that actually feels good for me or am I doing that in a way that feels harmful?
I think too, there’s a way to check with yourself about am I engaging in stuff that is like about numbing myself to what I’m feeling versus enjoying things and engaging with them in a way that feels good for me?
Like for instance.
I love food but sometimes I’m eating food because I don’t want to feel other things.
That’s not necessarily always a bad thing.
We all have coping strategies that are a variety of degrees of healthy.
But I think it’s important to just be mindful of which coping strategies are we using?
How often are we using them?
Are they actually helping us or are they harming us?
And just being aware of that and balancing that as well as you can.
So when it comes to like taking care of your mental health in the pandemic, just check in with yourself a lot.
Are you tuning in?
Are you tuning out?
Are you finding a good balance?
Are you going too far to one side or the other?
Which coping tools are you using?
Which ones aren’t you using?
And just find community, find support where you can to make sure that you have as much support as you can muster so that it’s not just you alone out there trying to like white-knuckle through every day.