It can be tough to be a queer person in this world. While society has made such great improvements in many areas, we still hear so much negativity all the time. Not to mention that people are still literally losing their lives over being queer. It’s a lot to take in. No wonder it can take a lot of work to access our inner joy. I have been working hard at this, and even named my coaching business “Finding Joy”, of course, with my work focusing on queer folks. I am passionate about this because I believe we all deserve joy and happiness, no matter who we are or where we are in our life. Today I’ve put together some tips on how to find your own queer joy (and yes, I do believe these tips can work for straight folks as well 🙂 . Here goes.
- Become a self-care master
Ahh, good old self care. We hear so much about it and it sounds great in theory, but in practice, it can be quite difficult. The hardest part for me is that even if I schedule it on my to-do list, (the only way things get done!) I’m still worried about the hundred other things on my plate. How can we have effective self-care this way? My suggestions are to be in the now. How do we do this? Focus on what’s going on right in front of you. When you feel those thoughts of worry about what else you should be doing, practice soaking up your environment. Make it pretty, make it you. I like to put a circular blanket on the floor and make it my ‘safe space’ for the time being. I light a candle, I bring my favorite crystals, I bring a battery operated string of star lights to set around my things. I make it very ‘me’. It’s easier for me to be in the now while enjoying my favorite things I’ve placed right in front of me. Sometimes I put my phone down or away in the other room, but most of the time, my phone is a part of my self-care. Maybe your self care is a bath, reading a book, doing tarot, napping, it can be so many different things. With practice I’ve found that it becomes easier and easier to actually enjoy my time, and find the right ways for me to fill up my cup. When we do this, we can find our joy easier, even in the tough moments.
2. Find your queer circle
Easier said than done, I know. Especially if you’re new to the queer community, or just realizing you’re a part of it. There are so many awesome things going on virtually these days, and I think that can make it a bit easier to get out of your comfort zone and around new folks. Look up the hashtag #queercommunity on instagram or facebook. Try the town you’re in or the one near you, for example #QueerBaltimore or #QueerHouston. Engage with folks there and see what events pop up. There is a group for everything these days. Into the podcast “My Favorite Murder”? There’s a gay facebook group for that! Rainbow Murderinos. Get creative in searching for your interests. There’s a ton of queer book clubs that meet virtually. I’ve been meaning to start one and finally made the instagram @QueerBookOfTheMonth… coming soon. (And by soon I mean who knows when!?!?) Finding my chosen family has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. Where did I meet most of mine? Dating apps. Even if you’re not looking to date, you can make a profile and put that you’re just looking for friends. This is a great way to find people in your area! We’re not meant to do life alone, and having your own little community supporting and sharing with you is sure to bring lots of joy.
3. Consume Queer Media
Read all the queer books! Listen to the podcasts (Might I recommend my podcast Queers Next Door? LOL!) . Find the queer artists on instagram or your favorite social media platforms. Make a queer playlist on spotify to listen to as you get ready in the mornings. This can be very affirming and help to know you’re not alone in many experiences that you’re going through. Especially if you’re not out yet, it can feel very isolating and like you’re the only one who’s dealing with certain new feelings. I can assure you, you’re not. <3 There are SO MANY AMAZING ARTISTS OUT THERE! They are only a google search away.
This is a little longer than I anticipated, so I will stop here for now. All of these things have helped me so much when I’m down or need to find myself and my joy once more. I’m always here if you need some encouragement. I live for this stuff. I hope these tips can help or inspire you in some way. Let me know if you’d like to see more.