David Sowinski ’25 (He/Him) & Anaya Patel ’25 (She/They)
For queer youths, being around family can be one of the most anxiety-inducing things we experience. In some instances, students are not out at home, so being there can be damaging to their mental health. If that’s the case for you, congrats on making it through Thanksgiving, and here’s to mentally preparing for a (maybe agonizingly) long winter break. If it’s usually a time of pulling your hair out and biting your tongue, we’ve put together a non-exhaustive list of tips to get you through the holiday season.
Keep in contact with your queer friends. Many queer and trans people can relate to the struggle of a judgemental home, even if you feel like your experiences are entirely unique. Reach out to your queer friends for advice and, if nothing else, someone to vent to who has an idea of what it’s like to be in your shoes. It may even help to schedule time for chats based on how you might react to specific gatherings or situations to give yourself a preemptive getaway.
Weigh your options. Everyone’s homelife is at least a little different. If you find yourself in an anxiety-inducing situation, think about ways to minimize that anxiety. Maybe it’s phoning a friend. Perhaps it’s having a meaningful conversation with your family. If that’s out of the question, you might consider removing yourself from that environment entirely. It’s up to you to pick your battles, so make sure to consider how productive and worthwhile each conversation may be.
Make time for self-care. It’s important to decompress after stressful situations that may bring up negative emotions, so make sure to give yourself space and time. Read a book, enjoy a nice bath, or book a therapy appointment. Just keep your needs in mind!
Be honest with yourself. Being in a place where you can’t be yourself can be an invalidating experience. Remember that you are a unique and beautiful person, and the perceptions of you held by people who don’t know the real you should not compromise your self-worth.
All that said, enjoy your winter break! Find your safe spaces, ride out those stressful situations, and stay true to yourself. Happy Holidays, and we’ll see you in the spring!