Queer self-care after Sydney WorldPrideMar 18, 2023
Was anyone else completely exhausted by Fair Day with WorldPride? In Sydney we were hosting the Sydney WorldPride event. Normally you have Mardi Gras and that's a great festival. This year we had WorldPride, which was like Mardi Gras on steroids. It was epic. There were events, crossing over left, right and center. There was something on all the time. And if you're someone like me who was performing and hosting and putting on events, it was a full-on time.
I want to invite you in for some self-care post-WorldPride. This counts for any kind of Gay Christmas that you might have had in the past year, including, festivals like Midsumma in Melbourne or regional festivals such as Chill out in Daylesford or Rainbow Wave in Bega, NSW. Even June becomes a full month of Pride. So, I invite you, after any of those kinds of Gay Christmas take time for yourself to practice self-care.
So what is self care?
Self-care is the intentional and purposeful practice of taking care of one's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It involves engaging in activities that promote a healthy lifestyle, such as proper nutrition, regular exercise, adequate rest, and managing stress. Self-care also includes setting boundaries, prioritizing self-reflection and self-awareness, pursuing hobbies and interests, and seeking support and care from others when needed. The goal of self-care is to maintain one's overall health, improve quality of life, and prevent burnout or physical and mental health problems.
Get enough sleep. Aim for at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night.
Make time for regular exercise. This could be anything from walking to yoga to lifting weights.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Add in more vegetables, especially the green ones and drink more water.
Take time for yourself. Read a book, watch a movie like Everything Everywhere All At Once or a favourite tv series like Gentleman Jack, go for a walk, or do any other activity that you enjoy.
Practice mindfulness or meditation. This can help you reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. For a very cool free resource, go to Insight Timer.
Stay connected with friends and family in meaningful ways. Valued social connections can help you feel supported and reduce feelings of isolation.
Set boundaries. Learn to say no to things that don't serve you and prioritize your own needs and wants. Remember, no is a complete sentence.
Seek professional help if needed. If you're experiencing mental health challenges, don't hesitate to reach out to a professional for support. A great place to start is Qlife. QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.
Here are some bonus tips for any kind of after-math of a Gay Christmas - whether that's WorldPride, Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, Misdumma in Melbourne, or regional festivals such as Chill Out in Daylesford or Rainbow Wave in Bega or after Pride Month in June.
1. Every year, BEFORE the start of the LGBTQIA+ festival, schedule a week or two off immediately afterward. Take a break, but schedule it so it happens. And safeguard it. Protect it. Don't let it get encroached on by other people's agendas.
2. Consider taking a break from social media. Scrolling does wonders for our dopamine hits (which become addictive) and can impact our self-esteem through comparing ourselves, experiencing jealousy or envy and adding to feelings of isolation.
3. Rest your body but distract your brain. While you are resting, avoid getting in your head! It's generally not a nice place in there and filled with negative comments, self-doubt or criticism, or bad memories. By-pass this by listening to a favourite podcast with uplifting content or an audio video on YouTube from someone who inspires you. (Don't be tempted to watch however, put your phone face down away from you.)
4. If you can swing it, take a break in a new environment whether that's camping, in a staycation hotel, or in a bush Airbnb. Your environment matters, and sometimes we need to take ourselves out of our everyday worries, concerns and stressors into a more neutral setting to reset and recalibrate.
If you're someone like me who can sometimes need permission, then here it is:
I give you permission to take a break.
I give you permission to rest, and do whatever you need to do to restore yourself.
P.S. If you like this video, you'll love my free gift to you: 5 ways to reignite the spark. In it, you'll discover the #1 problem that keeps queer, lesbian and non-binary couples from having a fulfilling sex life.
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