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On May 16, while walking from the high-end Serena Hotel to a flea market in downtown Kampala, Uganda, Chhitup Lama, a blind Nepalese man, was holding on the elbow of Bau Bautista who was guiding him as they traversed the city.

Out of nowhere, policemen appeared to tell the two “not to hold hands” since doing so was “not allowed”. Apparently, these policemen assumed that the two are in a gay relationship and the “touching” was a PDA (public display of affection), which was a no-no for them.

When told that Chhitup is blind, they backed out. “Oh,” one of them said. “Good job, good job.”

This – in a way – encapsulates what it’s like to live as an LGBTQI person in Uganda…

“The Ugandan system is broken,” Ruth Muganzi said, noting that – at times – LGBTQI people are used as scapegoats so people forget how bad the country’s situation is due to government actions/inactions. “But we volunteer, we sacrifice because we’re fighting to survive.”

WHAT YOU HEAR IN THE NEWS

“The news you hear (about LGBTQI people in Uganda while) overseas, those are true,” said Jay Mulucha of Fem-Alliance Uganda to Outrage Magazine. This is because it’s still a crime (to be LGBTQI) in Uganda; and there is a lot of crimes (directed against) LGBTQI people in Uganda,” including “attacks, being taken to jail… So the situation is (still) not that good).”

Jay, a transgender man, experienced how dire the situation can be in Uganda. He was actually expelled from school after his teammates (while a varsity) found out he’s part of the LGBTQI community. “They didn’t know me as a trans person; they knew me as a lesbian,” he recalled. This news “went around the university and they had to expel me because of who I am.”

But Jay said that this gave him “the courage to come out to everyone”

Because of who he is, “my family is not comfortable with me,” Jay said. Fortunately for him, his only sister sides with him. “She says she will never walk away from me because I’m still a part of the family and no matter what they do, (we’re of the same blood) and she can’t do anything about that so she will still support me. The rest of the family is not okay with me.”

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All the same: “This is me and I don’t care about anything else.”

Isaac Mugisha of Spectrum Uganda, “were still there; we’re still not giving up.” He added that “we believe that it’s the right of every Ugandan to walk everywhere and to get service.”

USING THE LAW AGAINST THE PEOPLE

The laws of the land have repeatedly been used against LGBTQI people in Uganda.

On September 29, 2005, for instance, Pres. Yoweri Museveni signed a constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage equality.

Then on December 17, 2013, the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014 was passed, mandating life imprisonment for aggravated homosexuality. While it was eventually annulled by the Uganda Constitutional Court, it was NOT because the law was illegal; instead, it was on a technicality, and that because “not enough lawmakers were present to vote” on the law. Meaning, a similar law can still be passed… with the needed number of politicians advocating anti-LGBTQI sentiments.

Most recently, in April, Pres. Museveni went on a media blitz to denounce LGBTQI people again, using the erroneous line of reasoning that being LGBTQI is a “foreign” introduction, that it is “wrong” and that “the mouth is for eating, not for sex”.

But according to Isaac Mugisha of Spectrum Uganda, “were still there; we’re still not giving up.” He added that “we believe that it’s the right of every Ugandan to walk everywhere and to get service.”

Isaac is, by the way, helming the organizing of Pride in Uganda, which the government often cancels.

CHALLENGING LIFE, CHALLENGING WORK

Working with the LGBTQI community is – obviously – challenging.

For instance, “you don’t want any LGBTQI people to be affiliated with you” as it could put them in danger, Isaac said.

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But this is also because not many LGBTQI Ugandans come out and are willing to say “I am LGBTQI”.

For Ruth Muganzi of Kuchu Times, “You risk a lot by (coming out and) sharing your story. But it is also very important for us to be very visible.”

Isaac said that “every time mainstream media (released) stories about the LGBTQI community, these were negative stories that (made) other Ugandans react violently against LGBTQI people. When you put out a story that says that gay men are raping children, or that we’re recruiting children, of course it invokes a sense of anger from community members that are (to start) already (not supportive of us because) of the assumed cultural and religious perspectives (that oppose us).”

Ruth is first to say that working for – not just living as part of – the LGBTQI community is “difficult, but it is something that we anticipated.”

Jay, of course, said that even the local LGBT community still needs to be educated – e.g. it is still not very familiar with trans issues, leaving many issues of the Ugandan trans community unattended. Not to different from a country like the Philippines, in Uganda, “many people think that a trans person is (just) a gay person,” Jay said. While – yes – a trans person can also be gay, the very idea of being trans is still completely foreign to so many people.

Still not many LGBTQI Ugandans come out and are willing to say “I am LGBTQI”.

FINDING ONESELF… IN CHALLENGING TIMES

Spectrum Uganda’s Sultan Muyomba said that there was a time when he tried to “convince myself that I am not this or this,” he said. Until one day, “I said, I can’t fight myself; it’s like fighting nature.”
It remains hard, Sultan said. One time, for instance, he and a friend had to bribe another “friend” who – upon knowing that they are gay, could have put their lives in danger by blackmailing them.

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“The Ugandan system is broken,” Ruth said, noting that – at times – LGBTQI people are used as scapegoats so people forget how bad the country’s situation is due to government actions/inactions.

Incidentally, Uganda still has numerous “traditional” practices many may find “antiquated” – e.g. during pamamanhikan (that is, when the groom-to-be visits his would-be in-laws), he is not even supposed to see (much more touch) his mother-in-law. The reason? Because he may end up eloping with her, not her daughter.

“But we volunteer, we sacrifice because we’re fighting to survive,” Ruth said.

HOPE FLOATS

“Are we hopeful? First of all, the Ugandan LGBTQI movement has done a lot. In 12 years, we (now) have our own clinic, we have our own outspoken advocates, we are providing our own legal services… We’ve done a lot of advocacies that has allowed us to get this far. We’re not the same movement that we were 12 years ago,” Ruth said. “There is hope. We just need to keep pushing. Every day is about pushing.”

Jay seconded Ruth, saying that in 12 years, a lot of change has happened. “The LGBTQI community members stood up to raise their voices.” In fact, “a lot of LGBTQI community has come out and learned to fight for their freedom.”

And to continue this fight, Jay said that the help of other LGBTQI communities (perhaps in other countries) can give them a boost. Having said this, Jay isn’t a big fan of so-called keyboard activists (i.e. those who just “sit back”), but those who come and give them support (even if it’s only to share notes on activism, and how to move forward) are always welcome,” he said. “This strengthens our work and keeps us moving.”

“The LGBTQI community members stood up to raise their voices,” said Jay Mulucha. In fact, “a lot of LGBTQI community has come out and learned to fight for their freedom.”

For those interested to visit Uganda, you may apply for a visa HERE. The visa is also available on-arrival at Entebbe airport. Rates start from $50. Note that only those with yellow fever vaccine are allowed into the country (the yellow fever card will be checked upon arrival).
There is always a threat of civil unrest (particularly 50 km of Uganda’s border with the DRC and to the Karamoja region, and within 50 km of Uganda’s border with South Sudan). Similarly, there are health notices on the Zika virus and Ebola.
Though of course, there, too, is the issue of the treatment of the LGBTQI people, particularly those whose gender expression is not aligned with their assigned sex at birth, just as there are issues with PDAs…

The founder of Outrage Magazine, Michael David dela Cruz Tan is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) of the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. Though he grew up in Mindanao (particularly Kidapawan and Cotabato City in Maguindanao), even attending Roman Catholic schools there, he "really, really came out in Sydney," he says, so that "I sort of know what it's like to be gay in a developing and a developed world". Mick can: photograph, do artworks with mixed media, write (DUH!), shoot flicks, community organize, facilitate, lecture, research (with pioneering studies under his belt)... this one's a multi-tasker, who is even conversant in Filipino Sign Language (FSL). Among others, Mick received the Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) in 2006 for Best Investigative Journalism. Cross his path is the dare (read: It won't be boring).

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What it’s like to be trans in Taiwan

Tamsin Wu visits gay-friendly Taiwan, where she meets Abbygail Wu, founder of Intersex, Transgender and Transsexual People Care Association (ISTSCare), who said that the country is still failing its LGBTQ citizens, and particularly lags in promoting trans rights.

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Photo detail by Thomas Tucker from Unsplash.com

Taiwan may be the most gay-friendly country in Asia, but according to Abbygail Wu, founder of Intersex, Transgender and Transsexual People Care Association (ISTSCare), the country still receives a “failing mark” when it comes to LGBTQ equality. Transgender people, in particular, usually bear the brunt of sex-based discrimination.

ISTSCare has a one-woman 24/7 hotline service. Abby has dealt with calls concerning struggles related to suicide attempts, job insecurity or homelessness, and even domestic violence. To provide support and assistance to hotline callers, ISTSCare also partners with NGOs and other LGBTQ-related organizations.

Aside from the hotline service, the organization does its advocacy work through protests, by maintaining an online presence, as well as directly communicating with political figures and trans-friendly journalists to rouse awareness and discussion on transgender and intersex issues.

ISTSCare in Taiwan

In 2014, four years after the first official notice regarding gender reassignment procedures in Taiwan was issued, the Ministry of Interior (MOI), with the support of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), announced the easement of legal requirements on changing gender identity. MOI promised that it would immediately work on letting transgender citizens change their gender marker without having to go through rigorous psychiatric assessments, sex reassignment surgery (SRS) and parental approval. However, MOI backtracked since then.

“MOI, which is handling the national ID cards, they said there are still a lot of research to do about the gender issue and they try to get some professional opinions, but MOHW already said this is not a medical issue, it’s an internal affair issue. So MOI, they’re just under the pressure and paused a lot of meetings… and now the issue is still under research for four years,” Abby lamented. “We’re the first Asian country to pass the bill but it’s not implemented.”

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Despite MOHW already stating that medical professionals should not have a say when it comes to determining one’s gender identification, transgender citizens are still presently forced to consider SRS. Besides that, they are also required to seek the expensive involvement of psychiatrists and, outrageously, the consent of their parents. Otherwise, their gender identity cannot be legally recognized.

Abby clarified that not all transgender people want the help of doctors to validate their gender identity. Hence, SRS is especially discriminatory towards transgender citizens who do not wish to undergo surgery. “What is gender? Is it just based on our anatomy? Or is it in our behavior? In our mind? Or in the way we dress?… There are a lot of factors that influence what gender one identify as, but society focus on the least publicly visible aspect – our sex organ.”

Abby continued, “There are risks to surgery and that is one of the reasons why not all transgenders want to go through it. And also, they may question themselves, ‘Do I really want to have surgery or is it just for the sake of getting this ID?’”

Abby standing beside the transgender pride flag.
Photo credit: Ketty W. Chen

“One day before the presidential election, I went to the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) headquarters to talk with the Department of Woman. I told them, ‘tomorrow is already the day for voting, are you going on stage and advocate for transgender rights? This has been neglected for the past 3-4 years. Then they just told me, ‘this requires social consensus’… I went out of that meeting deeply upset,” Abby shared.

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With lack of funding, community support and societal understanding of trans issues, how could transgender rights obtain social consensus when this feat requires acceptance and approval from the status quo in order for the relevant social change to take effect? Why should the rights and well-being of a minority group fall in the hands of the majority? Currently, both the public and the government possess inadequate knowledge in dealing with transgender issues, which exacerbates the struggles transgender citizens face.

Prejudice against transgender folks can also be felt within LGBTQ communities. On one hand, some non-transgender members of the LGBTQ community question the gender identity of trans people. On the other hand, there is also internalized transphobia.

“A lot of transgender are more binary [in the way they see gender]. They think a man should act and look a certain way and that a woman should act and look a certain way… ISTSCare does not condone this kind of thinking,” Abby said.

Trans activist Abbygail Wu and her partner in a protest for their marriage right.
Photo credit: Ketty W. Chen

When asked why ISTSCare is run by only three people (including Abby and her partner), she shared that many transgender citizens in Taiwan find it difficult to prioritize doing advocacy work because their life situation is oftentimes mentally and emotionally taxing. On top of having to deal with an unsupportive family, they often face discrimination in the job market. Hence, there’s a high level of difficulty for them to get a good job, gain professional working experience and make a decent living, let alone have the financial resources to go through SRS. As of now, they’re in this loop of societal discrimination and economic vulnerability with no recourse.

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Another reason for the lack of transgender-focused activists in Taiwan is attributed to the problem of privilege. Abby adds that well-off transgender citizens tend to be exclusive in their social group. Post-surgery and after assimilating in heteronormative society, they also tend to ignore the struggles faced by less fortunate transgender citizens. They would rather not get associated for fear of being found out and face discrimination. Albeit joining Pride Parades, they are at other times nowhere to be found when it comes to advocating for transgender rights.

Abby clarified that not all transgender people want the help of doctors to validate their gender identity.
Photo credit: Abbygail Wu

Abby said that ISTSCare’s main goal right now is to push for a non-discriminatory, comprehensive gender identity law in Taiwan.

“We hope to be like Argentina. Just file [required] papers to the courthouse and they will assign the legal gender change. No need to go through any kind of medical process.”

Having a well thought out gender identity law may not help solve all transgender issues and alleviate them from all of their struggles. However, getting the said law done and implemented right would be one significant progress for the recognition of the human rights and dignity of, not only transgender citizens, but also intersex and non-binary people.

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Health & Wellness

Only 25% of trans youth feel care providers are helpful about their sexual health issues

Only 25% of transgender youth feel that their primary care providers (PCPs) are helpful about the sexual health issues of gender and sexual minorities (GSMs).

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Photo by Chris Johnson from Unsplash.com

Only 25% of transgender youth feel that their primary care providers (PCPs) are helpful about the sexual health issues of gender and sexual minorities (GSMs). This is according to a study that explored trans youth’s perceptions regarding encounters with PCPs related to GSM identity and sexual health.

In “Perceived Barriers to HIV Prevention Services for Transgender Youth” – written by Celia B. Fisher, Adam L. Fried, Margaret Desmond, Kathryn Macapagal and Brian Mustanski for LGBT Health – it was posited that many trans youth lack access to trans affirming care, which may put them at risk for HIV.

So researchers surveyed youth ages 14–21 (N = 228; 45% trans masculine, 41% trans feminine, 14% gender nonbinary) on GSM identity disclosure and acceptance, gender-affirming services, sexual health attitudes and behaviors, and interactions with PCPs involving GSM identity and concerns about stigma and confidentiality.

A factor analysis yielded three scales: GSM Stigma, Confidentiality Concerns, and GSM-Sexual Health Information. Items from the GSM Stigma scale showed that nearly half of respondents had not disclosed their GSM identity to their PCP due to concern about an unaccepting PCP. One-quarter of youth were less inclined to discuss GSM identity and sexual health with their PCP due to concern that their provider would disclose this information to parents; these concerns were greater among adolescents <18 and those not out to parents about their gender identity.

Only 25% felt their PCP was helpful about GSM-specific sexual health issues. Youth who were out to parents about their gender identity and had received gender-affirming hormone therapy were more likely to report receiving GSM-specific sexual health information.

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Transgender youth may not discuss their GSM identity or sexual health with PCPs because they anticipate GSM stigma and fear being “outed” to parents. As such, “PCPs should receive transgender-inclusive training to adequately address youths’ sexual health needs and privacy concerns.”

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Health & Wellness

1-in-4 girls, 1-in-10 boys report self-injury or attempt suicide due to fighting, bullying or forced sex

Adolescents were more likely to report deliberate self-injury if they noted being sad or thinking about or attempting suicide. Drug and alcohol use were also associated with self-injury, as was fighting, being electronically bullied, or having experienced forced sex.

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Photo by Brandon Zack from Unsplash.com

One in four (1 in 4) high school girls will deliberately injure themselves by methods as extreme as cutting themselves or burning their own skin, and about one in 10 high school boys deliberately hurt themselves without trying to kill themselves.

This is according to a new study from the University of Portland released in the American Journal of Public Health. Frank Deryck, M.A. initiated this study. Co-writers included Martin Monto, Ph.D. and Nick McRee, Ph.D.

Consistent with other studies, adolescents were more likely to report deliberate self-injury if they noted being sad or thinking about or attempting suicide. Drug and alcohol use were also associated with self-injury, as was fighting, being electronically bullied, or having experienced forced sex.

The study, the first of its kind to use weighted probability sampling, revealed significantly high levels of deliberate, non-suicidal self-injury among large, representative, non-clinical samples of high school students (n=64,671). The study used data from the Centers for Disease Control from 11 states in the US collected in 2015. Individual states had substantially different rates of self-injury, with boys ranging from 6.4% (Delaware) to 14.8% (Nevada) and girls from 17.7% (Delaware) to 30.8% (Idaho).

Among the patterns the study revealed was that the behavior was more commonly reported among 14-year olds and diminished with age. Rates were higher among students identifying as Native American, Hispanic, or Whites than they were among those identifying as Asian or Black.

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The findings are timely, as public concern with adolescent mental health has grown. Additionally, though deliberate self-injury is different than suicide, persons who self-injure are also more likely to consider and attempt suicide.

The authors argue that self-injury among adolescents is so widespread that clinical and therapeutic interventions may be insufficient to address this public health problem. Since many other health risk behaviors are associated with self-injury, efforts to address the problem should be incorporated into broader efforts to address mental health among children and adolescents.

A study done in 2012 actually also similarly noted that female students are more likely to have suicide behavior. In the Philippines, for instance, they are more likely to have suicide ideation than Indonesian students. However, Indonesian students with suicidal ideation were more likely to express their ideation by making a suicide plan (53.5%) compare to the counterparts (40.6%). Psychosocial factors, gender and school grade are important factors in students’ suicide behavior. Therefore, policy strengthening in counseling in the junior high schools is needed to prevent suicide.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

3 Threats that are on the rise for LGBT teens

We need to talk more about our experiences with threats, as well as what can be done to fight them, and see justice when it’s too late.

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The lives and wellbeing of LGBT teens have improved dramatically over the past two decades thanks to the tireless work of advocates, lobbyist groups, and lawmakers, both within the community and allies beyond it. However, with the rise of popular hateful rhetoric and the glacially slow pace of social change, many of our LGBT youth still face drastic threats from both the society at large and those closest to them.

IMAGE BY ANEMONE123 FROM PIXABAY.COM

We need to talk more about our experiences with these threats, as well as what can be done to fight them, and see justice when it’s too late.

Hate crimes

Going against the general trend, hate crimes have been shown to increase for the past two years in a row. With more politics-driven violent crimes taking part at protests, it’s easy to chalk this up to an aberration. Indeed, there has been a 400% rise in homicides targeting LGBT individuals, but also a rise in similarly targeted assaults that end up accidentally fatal. Wrongful death cases, of which you can see more here, can help the bereaved find justice in such cases, but hate crimes need to be treated more seriously to stop them from getting to that point.

A part of the general ignorance surrounding this topic is the widespread underreporting of anti-LGBT violent crime in news media, compared to other violent crimes.

Stress

LGBT youth are under significantly greater stress than any other demographic mentioned in recent studies, as you can see here. Besides creating a culture that is becoming more and more difficult to find comfort in, this has led to what could be called a suicide crisis for LGBT teens. In a National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, over 40% of high school students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or questioning reported suicidal thoughts. The same study had no stats for transgender teenagers, but many are concerned they face a similar, if not higher, risk.

Homelessness

One of the issues very little discussed when it comes to LGBT people is their higher rates of homelessness than other demographics. Homelessness is on the rise in general, with 2017 being the first year to see a rise since the Great Depression. However, 20% of homeless youth are LGBT, which is double the 10% of LGBT teens in the population, which you can read more about here.

In part, severe family conflict lies at the root of most LGBT homelessness, as well as an increased risk of sexual abuse before the age of 12. Homeless shelters need to do more to accommodate their queer beneficiaries. Improving awareness of this over-representation can help shelters focus on training to protect LGBT individuals and to keep discrimination from some of the few safe spaces available to teens in that kind of predicament.

As progressive politics become a more common talking point, it’s easy for many outside the LGBT community to believe that we live in a world that is, by large, post-bigotry. However, we know that’s not true and we must continue making the case for the marginalized and the threatened, especially those too young to properly defend themselves.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

The kiss and the fist: Getting to the cause of abusive relationships

Of course, long-term relationships are prone to their ups and downs and while there are so many abusive relationships in the world, to understand some of the root causes underneath this, may help someone out there that’s having difficulty in this very scenario.

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Photo by Sydney Sims from Unsplash.com

It’s still a problem in society that is tolerated behind closed doors. Abuse occurs in many different forms, from the physical to psychological and emotional. But, getting to the cause is something that, if done right, can help to support the abuser and the abused. But are there any common traits in the behaviors of abusers and why they may do this?

A Lack Of Empathy

While we think of a lack of empathy as something associated with the mentally unhinged, such as psychopaths, in actual fact, it’s not just something that is exclusive to these types of people. In fact, you can look on AConsciousRethink.com to see an insightful article on how a lack of empathy isn’t just in sociopaths and narcissists. A lack of empathy is something that we are all capable of from time to time.

From the perspective of the abuser, a lack of the ability to interpret the actions of the abused means that the relationship is unable to get past this stage. For example, the abuser could interpret the fearfulness in the abused as a lack of emotion, which could be why the abuser continues to punish.

Abuse occurs in many different forms, from the physical to psychological and emotional.
IMAGE FROM PXHERE.COM

Deep Rooted Trauma

One of the more common reasons behind a person and their predilection to abuse is a complex childhood trauma. Because someone can grow up in an abusive environment, without having addressed the problems later in life, they can view this as normal behavior. Although, a lot of people are aware that what they are doing is wrong, they are unable to rectify their attitudes, because this involves addressing their traumatic past.

Being Unable To Tolerate Injury

Something that is common in abusers is that they are quick to retaliate if they have their feelings hurt. It is something that can be learnt in childhood; if someone hurts you, you hurt them back. But if this behavior accelerates throughout life, the abuser is unable to learn how to tolerate injury. In relationships, being hurt can happen a lot in an emotional sense, but it’s important for these abuses to learn how to process it without acting out physically, which is a common trait in assault or battery cases.

You can learn more from KLGDefense.com about the differences between assault and battery, and the underlying causes. But what is surprising, is that this behavior is more common in boys, especially those that have grown up learning to not show their emotions.

Not Taking Account For Their Actions

The world of abuse is one where the abuser believes that it’s okay to hurt others when they are hurt. Because people believe they are entitled to this, it can become a well-worn behavior that spirals out of control. A feeling of entitlement and believing that they have the right to not be hurt or embarrassed is then fueling the likelihood of punishing the person when this has been compromised.

Of course, long-term relationships are prone to their ups and downs and while there are so many abusive relationships in the world, to understand some of the root causes underneath this, may help someone out there that’s having difficulty in this very scenario.

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Health & Wellness

4 Things you can do today for your mental health

We can definitely do more to keep the conversation going, including taking care of our own mental health.

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Photo by Sydney Sims from Unsplash.com

Mental health is being talked about more than ever, which is an amazing thing. Having open and honest conversations can help us to all deal with mental health better, and stop the stigma that surrounds it. Just like normal health and varying states of it, we all have some state of mental health, and some need more help than others. We can definitely do more to keep the conversation going, including taking care of our own mental health.

But what are the best ways to take care of it and keep it balanced? Here are some ideas for you. Hopefully, this can help you and people that you’re around.

We can definitely do more to keep the conversation going, including taking care of our own mental health. PHOTO BY ROBINHIGGINS FROM PIXABAY.COM

Take Care of Physical Health

Poor physical health and mental health are closely connected. So if there is one thing that you can take away from this, it is that you should be taking care of yourself. Avoid bad habits like cigarettes as they can make you feel worse. Exercise where you can, which can be done in a gym or from home. Get some equipment like the best power rack for your home if needed. Or go running or do yoga. All can help you to deal with stress and poor mental health better. Drink plenty of water, eat well, and sleep well. All of the standard answers, but they do work.

Practice Mindfulness

We all lead busy lives, and as a result, we can all get overwhelmed and stressed out. This can lead to anxiety, as well as other mental health issues. So learning to be mindful, to take one thing at a time, is a really great skill to learn. Do you eat breakfast, while watching the news and scrolling through your phone? That is a lot to take in. Do one thing at a time, like simply eat your breakfast, and then you will be on the way to learning to be more mindful.

Set Goals

Setting goals can be a great thing for your esteem and confidence. It can do wonders for your mental health too. The key is setting yourself realistic goals, though. Think about where you want to be this time next year, and then look for realistic ways of getting there. Do you want to be in a different job or in a happier relationship? It could just be to get fitter than you currently are. Start small and go from there.

Break Up Routine

Routine can give us some confidence and help us know what we are meant to be doing and when. But it can be really quite dull and can bring you down when it is endless and repetitive. So although you can’t change everything, think about taking a different route to work, planning a road trip, or going to somewhere new to eat. Try some new things, and do different things, to make your normal routine a little more varied and interesting.

What else would you add to the list? It would be great to hear what you think.

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