Coping with Christmas
For many trans people, this can be a challenging time. At our recent support group meeting, members wrote down their best tips for getting through the holidays . . .
1. Subtitle: Coping with Family/Events
2. Try and make sure people know in advance what you need, how you identify, etc. So you don’t have to keep explaining.
3. Be prepared & have a plan if something goes wrong – e.g. practical things like how to get away/ where are my car keys? Money, research hotels, transport . . .
4. Remember some family members will be secretly admiring your self honesty. If one or two members are not supportive, try not to assume that all feel that way.
5. It’s OK if you feel a bit “Meh” about get-togethers & can’t get into the spirit
6. Try and find a family member who can support you
7. Have some firm boundaries about what you’re able to put up with
8. Xmas: I tried to just ignore misgendering for the 1 day. Not a good solution for all but worked for me
9. Prioritise your own safety
10. Don’t feel bad if you have to take yourself out of a family situation because you can’t cope
11. Subtitle: “Sensory Xmas Overload” Strategies
12. Practicing meditation or mindfulness to find inner peace to weather the storm
13. Quiet Space
14. Wear something comforting like a hat or jumper to help create your safe space on you
15. Shop in small towns – all the crowds are in Nottingham!
16. Wear headphones with my own music
17. Retire to a quiet space, sit down and watch people walking past
18. *Notice* you’re overloaded & give yourself permission to retreat
19. Go places with someone you feel comfortable with that could help get you out of a situation if needed
20. Shop online to avoid crowds, noise . . .
21. Subtitle: Coping with Loneliness
22. Reading a book, watching a film, playing a video game, taking a leisurely walk. Contacting a close friend, listening to songs I adore.
23. Phone, message or see one person a day who you trust and who matters to you
24. Ring D! [special person] Listen to music. Go out for a walk
25. If you have pets, spend some time with them, and give them a cuddle. My dog always helps if I’m lonely
26. Avoid TV or other commercialised pressure. Make it your day not theirs
27. For Xmas a friend says that he buys a bottle of red wine and some good cheese, turns off the phone and listens to classical music all day
28. Find time by myself to be me and not be someone other people want me to be
29. Supportive groups on Facebook are: Notts Trans Hub*, Transiness, TMSA-UK *Notts Trans Hub will have volunteers covering the group for Xmas day and Boxing day. If you need to chat, put a message on the group and someone will respond.
30. Others are in the same boat – so say it out loud!
31. Birmingham LGBT Centre is open Xmas day, 2-7pm
32. Subtitle: positive affirmations to get us through
33. Be with friends
34. You’ve made it through this before, along with everything else life has thrown at you
35. Give yourself time and take some loving self-care
36. You deserve love
37. Give money or time to charity
38. You’re really important and there are people who love you. We’re in this together even when apart
39. It’ll be over before you know it. Hang on in there and we’ll be meeting up together again soon. Let’s all think of each other on Xmas day 🙂
40. You are who you say you are
41. Buy yourself a treat
Please take care of yourself and each other over the festive season.
Remember, Notts Trans Hub Facebook group will have volunteers on hand on Xmas and Boxing Day
Samaritans: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year 116 123 firstname.lastname@example.org
SANEline. 6pm–11pm, 365 days a year 0300 304 7000.
Switchboard, the LGBT+ helpline 10am–11pm, 365 days a year 0300 330 0630
Best wishes from us all at Trans Space Notts