How to fight those post-Mardi Gras blues (because what matters? You matter)
As the sun dawns bright across Sydney, it is with a hint of sadness that we start our days. Is it Mondayitis? Potentially. Although, perhaps more likely, it is the fact that Mardi Gras is once again over for another year.
The colours, the glitter, the bees (hi UTS, we see you) have been packed up and the city is again back to its usual 9-to-5 routine. But while we go back to the daily drag, it’s important to focus on some self-care, self-love, and self-development – after all, if you don’t invest in yourself now you won’t have the foundation you need for personal and professional success later on (and career planning is important, yo).
Plus, the mental health statistics for LGBTIQA+ people is worrying, with LGBTIQA+ people twice as likely to experience anxiety, and three times more likely to experience mood disorders when compared with the broader population. So if you’re a part of this community (or an ally wanting to help), here are some ways you can take care of yourself in this post-Mardi Gras season.
Take advantage of UTS resources
If the end of Mardi Gras and the start of the uni semester could prove challenging for you, now is the perfect time to get in contact with some of the resources UTS has available.
For a fun and safe space to forge friendships and expand your community, UTS’s Queer Collective is a great place to go. With a dedicated (and private) queer space, the Queer Collective is your go-to place on campus to wind down, find support, or attend regular social events.
UTS also has counselling and self-help services available to help you navigate any personal, psychological, or study-related issues you might be having. Hot tip: now is the perfect time to make an appointment, as it tends to get a little busy once semester begins.
The Equity & Diversity Unit can also provide specialty support, as they’re committed to creating an accessible, inclusive, and diverse environment for UTS staff and students.
Reach out and surround yourself with love
Whether it’s following some life-affirming, LGBTIQA+ insta accounts to brighten up your feed (we recommend @abcqueer, @them, @sydneymardigras and @aconnsw to name a few), or connecting with communities and services available in your area, it’s important to find yourself (or your friends) a safe space to decompress and talk about what’s important to you.
In NSW, there are a number of organisations you can reach out to:
- Twenty10: Helping people between the ages of 12 and 25 with housing, mental health, counselling, and social support.
- ACON: Providing health support for LGBTIQA+ people, and people with HIV.
- The Gender Centre Inc.: An information and support provider for trans and gender diverse people in NSW.
- Intersex Human Rights Australia: Offers support and education by and for people with intersex variations and traits.
- Headspace: A national online, phone and face-to-face support and counselling service.
(Check out @abcqueer’s Support highlight on their Instagram page for more nationwide and state-specific resources).
Lean on your community
Self-care is a team support. It can be extremely cathartic to talk through any issues or concerns you’re having with people who understand where you’re coming from, which is why taking support from your community is so important.
Try organising a group dinner/lunch/games night/book club/whatever you want to provide your LGBTIQA+ friends and allies a safe and low-pressure environment to support each other. This will have the added benefit of strengthening your connections beyond the work and social boundaries, and maybe even provide a networking opportunity.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Social Media Intern
Lily Cameron is a writer and editor based in Sydney. She is a Communications (Creative Writing) student at UTS, Fiction and Online Editor for Vertigo magazine, and current Social Media Intern at UTS Careers. She is passionate about telling stories, both hers and others’, and the way digital and social media is changing the literary landscape. Her writing has appeared in Vertigo, Filter, and The Brag.
By Mia Casey