The Lens

4 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for the LGBTQ+ Community

This is the time of the year that many of us in the LGBTQ+ community commit to getting healthy. This could look like finding an affirming doctor, entering a treatment program, finding a therapist or being part of a social club. What can we commit to doing this year to know we are taking care of our bodies, minds, and souls? 

Find An Affirming Doctor

For many of us a visit to the doctor can be challenging. Sometimes it is because we feel judged, in other cases it is simply because our doctor does not seem to understand where we are coming from. This means we must go the extra mile and find affirming doctors. Finding a good doctor will help us know how we are doing and what we can do to stay healthy long into the future. 

If we have a physician who establishes an environment in which all patients feel welcome, they can better satisfy our sometimes complex health care needs. No matter if we just need our PrEP renewed or if we need gender affirming care, it is critical to find an affirming doctor. While it might take some time and require us to ask lots of questions, if we are able to find the right doctor, we will be able to thrive.

Find A Treatment Program 

For some of us we know we are struggling with our health. We might have disordered eating patterns, we might use substances, or we might tend towards risky behaviors. In such cases it is important we recognize that we cannot do it all on our own and that we need to seek professional help. There is a large range of treatment program options such as attending this Yucca Valley treatment center. For starters, most treatment programs require us to undergo a comprehensive assessment. This means they explore our experiences including biological or genetic characteristics that may signal a higher risk of addiction. Such treatment programs also aid in the identification of any mental health struggles that may be contributing to our substance use. When choosing a treatment program, it’s important that we choose one that focuses on personalized care and ensures that no one gets left behind.

Find an Affirming Therapist

Therapy is intended to be a secure environment in which we are free to express ourselves and our feelings without fear of being judged. Having a therapist on our side who can relate to our experiences can aid in our growth in self-awareness and treatment sessions go more smoothly. Members of the LGBTQ+ community may benefit from the services of an LGBTQ+ therapist or a gender therapist. These therapists may be members of the community, or simply have substantial experience counseling members of the community. As LGBTQ+ people, we frequently encounter unique situations, for better or worse. Some of these situations might be tough to navigate, which is where an experienced LGBTQ+ therapist comes in. A competent LGBTQ therapist can help us navigate the difficult waters of societal stigma and persecution.

Finding Our Tribe/Found Family

We all understand the importance of finding our tribe to feel connected and celebrated. One way we can all connect with others no matter if we are in a large city with lots of community groups or a small town where we are unaware of any other LGBTQ+ folks in our community is through social media. LGBTQ+ folks can create community and have a place to turn to for help by forming or joining social media groups. While social media support groups cannot replace professional LGBTQ+ counseling, they can make people feel loved and respected. 

For example, by visiting social media pages, we can meet other LGBTQ+ people or discuss our coming out experience. Most of us need such a community because we don’t want to struggle alone. The more we can lean on those who have come before the better we will be able to handle the challenges that we face. Social media has also enabled parents, family members, and friends to reach out to the LGBTQ+ community and provide their support. By connecting online there is no reason we can’t make 2023 the year we learn to be our most authentic selves. 

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Tags: health

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