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?