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How does the LGBTQ+ Community handle the holidays… especially in 2020?

How does the LGBTQ+ Community handle the holidays… especially in 2020?

How does the LGBTQ+ Community handle the holidays… especially in 2020?

It’s no secret that the holiday season can be a stressful time for all of us.  Add in the last 9 months and current conditions of pandemic-mania, and it can feel downright hopeless.  Now, throw in an extra layer of anxiety that many of our LGBTQ+ humans may experience; whether it be from specific family actions, or perceived fear of dreaded “what ifs”... it’s enough to be thankful for mandatory stay-at-home orders!

But fear not.  Below are some tips and tricks to help you, or anyone else struggling this year, face this holiday season with PRIDE.  

  1. Are you letting others steal your joy?

DON’T.  Or, try really hard not to.  If you love watching Home Alone on a rainy December evening by yourself - do that.  If you find peace in wrapping gifts in rainbow unicorn wrapping paper, with all the bells and whistles - do that.  If zooming with friends or taking a walk for some fresh air calms your soul - do that.  Whatever it is that fills you up, and makes your heart sing - DO ALL OF THAT.  Your joy is yours, and should be protected.

  1. Have you lost sight of who you are as a human?

The outside world seeps in.  It’s unavoidable.  But as a community, sometimes we surround ourselves with like-minded others, and heading back to our hometowns (pandemic-permitting), or virtually interacting with family we don’t see often, can have a dulling effect on who we really are.  The opinions of family, nuclear or extended, do not define us, and are frankly none of our business.  You know who you are, deep down.  You know you are a loving, kind, giving, caring human, who deserves to live unapologetically as your unique, wonderful self, regardless of what anyone has to say about it.

  1. Do you feel unconditionally loved?

Many of us are predisposed to believe that blood is thicker than water.  And sometimes our families prove that to be true.  But overwhelmingly, the LGBTQ+ community is forced to form our own versions of “family”.  Instead of focusing on the negativity of this concept, think of how rad it is to have the courage to purposefully surround ourselves with humans that love, and accept us for everything that we are!  You get to choose who is worthy of your time.  Whether you’re choosing to spend your holidays with your family of origin or your family of choice, remember that unconditional love is what makes a family. 

  1. Are you uncomfortable with the religious nature of the holiday season?

No matter if you are a spiritual person, or to which religion you or your family may belong, don’t let anyone use religion to belittle who you are as a human.  Ignorance plagues religions of all kinds, but the truth is simple and will always prevail.  You were created perfectly.  You are loved.  By God, a higher power, aliens, whomever! 

  1. Do you feel more compelled to give?

2020 has definitely flipped the script.  For some of us, it has brought the important things in life into laser focus.  Big things seem smaller somehow, and the little things provide a warmth within us that maybe we couldn’t feel before the craziness.  One way to fill ourselves, is to give.  There are many charitable operations that could use a hand during these difficult times.  If you are able to donate, that is a perfectly pandemic-safe way to provide support.  If you live in a community that is allowing volunteer work at local shelters, or youth homes, they would welcome the help with open arms.  It’s cliché’, but the amount of joy we get in return for participating in philanthropy far exceeds the effort.  Hey, all of our psyches could use a boost!

  1. Are you taking care of YOU?

If this year has taken an especially hard toll on you, and you just don’t feel the holiday spirit, allow yourself the grace to sit this one out.  BUT, be sure you are isolating for all of the right reasons - rest, reset, reemerge.  During your isolation, try to find ways to perk up your spirit.  Being alone can be refreshing and restorative, but can also have devastating consequences to our mental health over a prolonged period of time.  Remember… you are a deserving, worthy, human; which takes some effort on your part by checking in with yourself, and being honest with how you're feeling, why you’re feeling that way, and seeking help to improve your mental health.  Always reach out if the lows feel too low.  And check in with those we care about, too.  

The holiday season can be rough, but it doesn’t have to be unbearable. 

Be prepared, repeat your mantras, and BE YOU.  

We love you!

Credit to HRC.org

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