All Rights reserved
5 Tips to Handling Holiday Stress When You’re LGBTQ+
The holidays can be a difficult time for many LGBTQ+ people -- from college-aged individuals to older adults. Here is some advice from Point Foundation Scholars on managing the holidays if you're LGBTQ+ and headed into a season of stress.
Point Scholars are LGBTQ+ college and university students across the country selected by the Point Foundation for their strong academic achievement and proven track record of leadership and community involvement.
1. Make space for yourself
"The holidays can definitely be a stressful time, but don't forget to make space for yourself. You are allowed to take a step back and find time for self-care, and you are allowed to feel the way you are feeling - whatever that is. Just remember, you are intelligent, empathetic, powerful, loved, and revolutionary. Your intuition will guide you through the experiences you need, especially if you take the time to listen to it."
- Darid Prom, Swarthmore College
2. Create a Place for Your Anxiety
"I believe that one of the most vital things you can do going into the holidays is making peace with the fact that you may experience bouts of anxiety and discomfort, especially when in a non-affirming space. By no means am I saying to accept harmful conditions for what they are, rather, prepare for possible unease by remembering that there are countless others who relate to you and will support you. It is also helpful to plan for a way to touch base with the folks who see and understand you. It is true that holidays are for family, but familial ties transcend biological origins."
- Kelvin Moore, Jr., University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine
3. Remember Your Value
"Whenever I enter a space that isn't very affirming to queerness, I find it helpful to verbalize statements that remind me of my value. For instance, I repeat the following affirmations: 1. My identity and my worth are not determined by external approval. 2. This environment is temporary, while my value is permanent. 3. It will be okay. These simple reminders help me to garner strength during isolating times."
- Jenna Smith, Duke University
4. Ask your friends to chip in
"Being in a household that does not support you or affirm for LGTBQ+ identity can be overwhelming, and the most important thing is for you to stay safe. Reach out to people in your support system and ask them if they could send you some gender-affirming praises in your preferred name and pronouns. Messages that remind you that you are valid, and you are loved from people who really see you can make a big difference during difficult times."
- Pilar Garcia, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
5. Consider Getting a Professional Evaluation
"There are many things we try to solve ourselves that are better addressed with a healthcare professional. If holiday stress is impacting your ability to function or becomes a pervasive thought, then it probably behooves you to talk with a provider.
"The holiday season may ignite underlying and perhaps undiagnosed mental health issues; there are also additional conditions that may be at play, such as seasonal affective disorder. Knowing the accurate root cause of any unease is the first and most important step towards healing. Access to mental health resources, of course, can be both cost and time prohibitive, so, to learn about free mental health resources (including trans-specific care) please click here."
- Manuel Faria, Stanford University
About Point Foundation
The Point Foundation has awarded more than 400 scholarships, making it the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ+ students of merit. Point Foundation works to promote change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training.