by Shane Foster
Reading time approx: 8 mins
For those of us who love to cross-dress, there are many things that are important to us. As part of our journey of discovery, we spend much of our time experimenting with different clothes and hair styles, through to the make-up and accessories we wear. And once we have found the look we are striving for, we choose our name and then hit the town.
But it is vitally important to remember that the journey we have been on has been a long and arduous one. For some, it has been painful, and for others it is simply the final piece in the puzzle of a life waiting to be free. Whatever the case, we have finally made it to where we want to be.
So as we begin showcasing ourselves to the world, we must ensure that we don’t forget one of the fundamental elements to maintaining our new found freedom – that of maintaining a good balance between being who we are and being healthy at the same time. And that’s where self-care becomes quite simply, the most crucial part of our everyday lives.
Now you may be forgiven for thinking that self-care is maybe just about personal hygiene, but there is so much more to it than that. When it comes to self-care there are 2 key points to remember; you will need to maintain a good degree of mental health (sometimes referred to as a good psychological balance), and you will need to think about your physical health as well.
Such self-care must become second nature now that you are exposing your true self to the world, remembering of course that there are still those out there who will feel awkward in your presence. Whilst the vast majority of society now readily accept anyone is not regarded as the ‘norm’, there is still a minority of those who will never accept anyone who is labelled as ‘different’ – whether by creed, colour, sexuality, or the way someone choses to live their life.
This is where the maintenance of good mental health must become a key part of our life, and it’s always best if you have good family and friends that you can confide in. Remember, talking is a great way to release any of the pent up anxiety you may feel. Someone who can listen to you when you’re having a bad day, or someone who you feel confident enough to support you when you need it – maybe by knowing what triggers your emotions, and can help to bring you back to your calm place.
And once you have gotten to grips with knowing how to maintain this balance, you can concentrate on building your self-esteem, as this will help you to build your confidence and will help you to be able to cope better with who you really are. Remember, once you have confidence you will be able to step out into the world with your head held high, and anyone who tries to get in your way had better just watch out!
Of course, when you are out on the town, it’s important to know how you will ensure you don’t become vulnerable, particularly if you find yourself in an awkward situation. There are plenty of ways to maintain self-care in these situations, and the most important is to never put yourself in the line of fire – this may be easier said than done. Especially if your crossdressing persona has a fiery personality, so make sure you take a good friend with you when you go out, someone who can help you to keep safe and out of harm’s way.
When you are out on the town, there are other ways to help when you are in a sticky situation. Many city or town centres now have community safety wardens who patrol when the nightlife gets busy, and these people are there to help you if you need assistance. Some will also be able to point you in the direction of a ‘safe place’ where you can rest and compose yourself, allowing you to escape any potential conflict. For more information you can always visit the Safe Places National Network online at the following link: https://www.safeplaces.org.uk/
Now, once you have mastered self-care whilst you’re out on the town, and you have built enough confidence to be the life and soul of the party, the next thing is to take some time to think about maintaining your physical mental health. After all, the most important part of self-care is simply taking care of yourself so that you can be health and well enough to live each day to its fullest.
The 3 key elements of maintaining physical metal health are hygiene, nutrition and ensuring you seek medical care when its needed. Each of these will help you to keep your stress levels at a manageable level, and can help you to keep your body at its mental and physical peek. And remember, there are plenty of other ways you can help yourself, by being kind to yourself. This can involve getting enough quality sleep, meditating, exercising, or just spending time with nature.
Just remember, whether you are just starting out on your journey of discovery, or if you are an old hand as a crossdresser, self-care is vital to being the best you can hope to be. So get yourself out there, and show them what you are made of!