As you probably guessed from the title, it's Mental Health Awareness Week. We know that LGBTQ+ people experience more mental health problems than the general population, and the Covid-19 pandemic is only making issues worse for many people. This is why it's so important to keep ourselves connected, and keep the conversation about our mental health going.
That's why we'd like you to share your stories below, or just tell us how you're doing. How are you finding lockdown? What are your mental health struggles? Have you found something that's been getting you through the past few weeks?
Usual rules apply: be kind, be sensitive, and support one another!
I am doing relatively well. I am used being at home most of the time, so in many ways it's not too different for me. I am very sensitive to noise so am enjoying the outside world being much quieter than it usually is but I am aware it is a sign that people are losing their jobs in the process, sadly!
Last year I was in a bad way in the time leading up to my mother's death in September. It was very hard for me to understand exactly what was expected of me and I had a few meltdowns. I went to see my doctor and she gave me some good advice. Part of that advice comprised warnings that social media can be a negative impact on mental health and that I should be very careful about how much time I spend on Facebook, for instance. Also, be careful who and what I follow and stick to innocuous subjects. I usually do - I love anything to do with plants so am in many groups with flowers. Some groups I left because although they were about plants and gardens - people were often arguing - something I always find upsetting. There were a number of so-called 'Friends' I either unfollowed or unfriended because they were so often contentious. So it's been a case of protecting my mind from unnecessary stresses like that.
In addition, my lovely doctor told me to go barefoot on grass everyday for 10 minutes! I am lucky to have a garden, I know. I don't know what it is, but it really has helped me relax and barefoot on grass is just a lovely feeling. Sometimes cold and wet, other times warm and dry - whatever the conditions, I think it has done a lot of good for me and I look forward to it.
Hopefully some of what I have been doing will be a help to others on here.