Self-care

Hiya,

This week I had the good fortune to be asked to run some trans awareness training. Unusually the event was during the evening, so no long lunch was required. Also, and given the time, I checked with the Ever Lovely Mrs J that she was okay about holding the fort and with me going along. All was fine, which is very cool and the peck on my cheek for good luck put a spring in my step. I think there’s nothing quite like acceptance to make you feel loved.

I’m not going to talk about the training or the venue. Maybe I would have posted s snap if I hadn’t been in bloke mode, but you can’t have it all 😉 Anyhoo, one of the numerous questions they asked was off I had any advice on coping mechanisms. The ones that came to mind where:

  • Light exercise – don’t mope about at home, but get out into the open air, as the simple act of regular movement can be a good anti-depressant.
  • Thinking on what’s going right – rather than thinking how big & hairy you are (or the opposite for F2M folk). Look at
  • Stealth Clothing – if we’re talking underwear, for M2F folk, ‘boy shorts’ rather than boxer shorts and a feminine vest under your shirt might help. Equally for F2M people, no lacy knickers but a proper set of blokey kegs.
  • Scent – The right choice of deodorant can – at least for me – make me feel more ‘me’.
  • Mindfulness – Enjoy the here and now when you can. Truly take the time to enjoy the place you are in, the good moods when they come, and the times when your body feels like yours. Dwell on those and don’t worry about the future or the past. Live in the moment.
  • Distraction – If it’s not going so well, do something to take your mind off things. Try a hobby that takes up your attention: baking, painting, writing, video games, etc. Things that fill your attention so the darker thoughts can’t sneak in.
  • Toes – More one for MTF people, but I find that painting my toes makes me feel more me. Even if my toes aren’t visible, the fact that I know they look nice, well, that can help me feel good about myself.

The mindfulness is something I’ve used to promote calm feelings. While walking I’ll run a commentary on my head around what I experience: the shoes on my feet, the wind against my skin, the way the trees move, or the noise of passing traffic. I find it stops me cycling over the certain thoughts by not leaving them any room to sneak in.

I’m curious if the same or similar approach would help me appreciate getting ready to go out in Lynn mode, but that will have to wait until next week.

So, my question to you, is what strategies do you try to keep the blues, or even, dysphonia at bay?

Take care,
Lynn

12 Comments

  1. Just painted my nails. A light coat of a very pale pink. I know they're painted. I doubt if anyone else would notice. It works for me when I need to be in boy mode.

    1. One of our shared activities here is jigsaws, which can be a good distraction activity and a splendid time waster.
      And I find housework can often be a good distraction activity as well, and possibly more productive. I always know when I'm up against a deadline because the bathroom goes all shiny.

    2. Yes, the Jones Crew have a love of jigsaws – particularly when we go away to a cottage or similar. The trick seems to be not buying one that's too hard or two easy. Cue joke about "1 – 2 years and it took me five minutes" 🙂

  2. Wise words, Lynn. Thanks for those thoughts. I'm certainly with you on the painted toenails and I am bold enough to keep my fingernails long, feminine and painted with clear varnish even though it attracts comments from my anti-LGBT sisters. All the better to scratch them with! Sue x

    1. There's an optimum length before breakage becomes an issue. Always keep a nail file handy at all times and any hint of a chip or crack should be smoothed out straight away.
      That said, I have broken three nails this week because of rough heavy lifting work which is really a man's job and can I get a man to help me out? Can I hell! What's a girl to do, sniff 🙁
      Sue x

    2. Ah, the trans tragedy of the broken mail. I felt a great disturbance in the T Force. 😉

      Heavy lifting? One on the advantages of having a rather tall teen in the house aka Wee Man. If he grows a beard, I may rename him to Little John. 🙂

  3. What a terrific post, Lynn. I've written on this subject a few times. I use most of your suggestions. In addition, I use moisturizer on my face daily and I tend to wear fairly tight jeans. I also keep my weight in check. Oh, and one other thing….I love reading books (novels) written by female authors. Women write differently then men and I tend to relate to that.

    1. Thanks Calie. I had overlooked skincare and books, so that's two more excellent suggestions.

      I'm with you on the weight approach, even if it's a challenge some days.

  4. Nice smells. Marseilles soap for the morning shower. Lavender hand cream in my desk drawer.
    And not sure whether the Finasteride I've been on for four years as a bloke of a certain age helps the mood.

    1. If it all helps, that sounds good. Scent foods seem to play quite a part in it. I once had a lemon & black pepper number that both felt and smelled gorgeous. Maybe it's time to invest again, now the cooler weather is here.

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