For those undergoing a gender transition, the mental toll can often be even greater than the difficulties surrounding the physical changes. Keeping yourself mentally healthy during the transition phase is essential, but it can often be difficult. Here are four of the best tips to maintain your mental health as you transition.
Develop a Strong, Supportive Social Network
Most transgender people face some form of opposition from members of their family of friend groups, but there are also usually people who will be supportive and even encouraging. Try to cultivate closer relationships with these people, since they can provide stability and positivity during your transition.
Try to Connect With Other Transgendered Individuals
While supportive friends and family members are important, they’ll never be able to fully relate to your experiences as you transition. For this level of support, it’s a good idea to connect with other people who have gone or are going through the same process. Many cities have transgender support groups, while a multitude of sites and social media groups can be found online for people who want to connect digitally.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Out Professional Help
In some cases, seeing a therapist or counselor may help you manage your mental health as you transition. This kind of professional support is especially important for people who undergo some form of transgender surgery, since it can be a bit difficult to process the sudden and dramatic physical changes that accompany such an operation. If possible, try to find a mental health professional who specializes in counseling transgender individuals.
Maintain the Hobbies That Make You Happy
While transitioning is obviously going to be a huge step in your life, it’s important not to let it become all-consuming. Be sure to make time for the hobbies and activities you’ve always enjoyed. Doing so will not only help you stay happy but also provide you with a certain level of familiarity during a period that will be defined by changes. If possible, it’s even a good idea to devote a bit more time to doing the things you love as you transition.
While a gender transition can bring out mental health challenges, following these four tips can help you deal with them as they come up. Most importantly, never let yourself feel isolated or cut off. Whatever you may be dealing with at any given time, there are always people and resources that can help you get through it.