Tag Archives: wellbeing

Stay Warm This Winter With a Free Self-Care Package

Winter is especially hard for many LGBT people. In addition to having to endure holidays with less-than-welcoming family members, queer people must contend with freezing temperatures, lots of darkness and sometimes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). And, of course, Donald Trump becomes President this January.

Everyone Is Gay is here to save the day.

They’ve released an online self-care package in order to help you get through the long winter ahead. The package, Where the Love Light Gleams, is free and available to download whenever you need it.

This package is full of goodies. Listen to a Jenny Owens Young-curated playlist featuring everything from Mariah Carey to The Shins to Ella Fitzgerald. Read their advice about getting through the holidays and practicing self-care, or their essays about LGBT life. The package also includes professional resources that you can access in order to get help.

At the risk of sounding like an infomercial: That’s not all.

You can write your thoughts on the printable journal pages or shade in the coloring pages. Fill out the holiday+queer-themed crossword puzzle. Finish the package by reading the world’s most adorable winter comic featuring a cat in long johns and Uggs.

According to its creators, Where the Love Light Gleams exists “so that – no matter what – you get a dose of love and kindness (and coloring and music and crosswords…)!”

There’s only one thing that this care package cannot provide: friendship. If possible, spend as much time as you can with your friends this winter, especially if you cannot or do not want to visit your family. Support each other. Encourage each other. Find a close community as the temperatures drop and the Inauguration comes and goes. Companionship is vital during these (literally and figuratively) dark months.

When you’re done with the care package, check the official Everyone is Gay website for continued self-care. The site features essays about identity and politics, advice about activism, gender and religion, and lists of professional resources divided by state so that you can find LGBT organizations near you.

Apparently You Can Buy Your Happiness, But There’s A Catch

According to a new study, conducted by researchers at University of British Columbia, material gifts produce more prolonged happiness, than joyous experiences.

In the study, researcher gave one group of participants $20 to spend on either a material gift or an experience, like a concert, trip or sporting event.

The other group’s members were told to simply recall a material or experiential gift they received for Christmas.

All participants were then instructed to write down how their overall senses of happiness changed each day in the weeks after they received their gifts.

Researchers discovered those who received material gifts, such as skateboards and articles of clothing, had more consistent levels of happiness during the weeks after the gifts were given.

Recipients of experiential gifts appear to have experienced the peak amounts of happiness out of all participants. However researchers saw the joys of these experiences faded.

In contrast, recipients of material gifts constantly revisited the happiness of first receiving their gifts as they continued to use them.

Aaron Weidman, researcher at University of British Columbia said,

Consider a holiday shopper deciding between tickets to a concert or a new couch in the living room. The concert will provide an intense thrill for one spectacular night, but then it will end, and will no longer provide momentary happiness, aside from being a happy memory.

In contrast, the new couch will never provide a thrilling moment to match the concert, but will keep the owner snug and comfortable each day throughout the winter months.

So, when deciding what kind of gift to get someone, Weidman suggested, you should consider whether the recipient would prefer a limited but overwhelming feeling of happiness or smaller doses of happiness over a longer period of time.


This study was originally published in Social Psychological & Personality Science.

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Women Give Their Younger Selves Advice That Really Hits Home

According to Sanctuary Spa – a UK-based skincare brand and health spa – we live in stressful times.

And in a recent survey they conducted, nearly half of women reported feeling “moderately or extremely stressed”, while another 40 percent said they feel like they’re “about to burn out”.

Those are troubling figures have lead them to a new campaign urging women to #LetGo.

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As part of the campaign, Sanctuary Spa created a short film in which older women detail the advice they’d give to their younger selves.

The women all share similar ideas, focusing on the pressures of our modern culture and the ways technology has exacerbated our anxieties.

They suggest we unplug and unwind to allow ourselves to escape the constant pressures, if only temporarily.

We need to, as the video says, “spend more time being — not doing.”

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Check out the video up top and learn more at Sanctuary Spa.

Befriending Scheme For Older Lesbians Is Launched In The UK

The Labrys Trust is a registered charity run by older lesbians, and works to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of older lesbians living in the Calderdale and Bradford areas.

They have recently set-up a befriending scheme for isolated and lonely older lesbians living in Calderdale and Bradford in the UK.

“As older lesbians ourselves, we recognise that growing older may bring social isolation and this may be particularly felt by older lesbians in a heterosexual world. The Labrys Trust Befriending scheme enables lesbians and bisexual women to be open about their sexuality and talk to a befriender who is also lesbian. 

Any older lesbian, bisexual or any woman questioning their sexuality can be introduced to one of our befrienders who will then visit you for an hour or so each week, usually in your own home. This companionship could help to reduce feelings of isolation and enhance confidence and wellbeing.”

The Labrys Trust

The trust also provides support and services to address the needs of older lesbians.

“We have a confidential telephone line to answer questions and provide information, and host a social group that meets in Todmorden. 

We network with other lesbian organisations so that we can direct you to related services and we carry out research to enable us to influence change. You can find out more about the Trust and its work on our website, www.thelabrystrust.com.”

The Labrys Trust

If you would like to find out more please take a look at The Labrys Trust website.