Making a self-care plan
It is important to learn how to combat your own mental distress whether it is depression or social anxiety or anything else by making note of what works for you.
What works for one person may not work for another. Of course you’re not going to know from the offset what is most useful so you have to try things out.
It’s always a good idea to stay open to solutions and to try things out. Once you can recognize strategies you can identify how to take care of yourself and put in place an effective self-care plan.
This is a list that we put together based on discussions with other young trans people. Not all of them will work for you. Some of these things even contradict others. But that’s okay.
If you have solutions and strategies that you want to share be sure to get in touch and we can add them to the list!
Ideas that might help you feel less distressed/anxious/down:
- Speak to someone
- Do something that you enjoy - for example eat Doritos with Nutella
- Listen to music/watch a film
- Recognise and congratulate yourself on how far you have come so far
- Focus on SHORT term solutions for now
- Remember that things can change and things can get better
- Work in steps: concentrate on small things that are achievable
- Create a safe space for yourself – somewhere that you feel is your own and can control
- Be in a public space/be with others
- Be in a tidy/calm space
- Look at the big picture and your vision for your future
- Acknowledge that life is a roller coaster
- Recognise negative environment/words/people. It may be others that are responsible for you feeling distressed
- Keep yourself busy
- Focus on being a good friend - be there for others
- Trust that people love and care for you
- Remind yourself of reasons for living
- Try to resolve specific anxiety eg, if you’re stressed about upcoming exams then revise
- Do what’s right for you
The University of Michigan has a guide to self-care (for depression) that breaks self-care down into key areas: educating yourself; sleep; exercise; nutrition; sticking with your plan; positive messages to yourself; journaling (writing down your thoughts); spirituality; support systems; coping at work; setting goals.