Madison Activity Calendar
In October of 2016. Walden Living collaborated with the Eating Disorder Support Network, and Clearpath Counseling to deliver a Transgender Mental Health Conference called Transforum. One of the reasons we, as three cis- gendered women, felt the need to start educating ourselves and others about competent and ethical care was the number of horrifying stories we heard from trans clients about the abuse, violation, and detrimental “support” they have received. This list of five ways to support your transgender friends, family, clients, etc.. is a summary of some of the things we learned from our amazing presenters at Transforum. This list is very simplified but effective. Please Comment for more tips
1. Use preferred pronouns
Ever been accidentally called a Sir when you’re a Miss or a Miss when you’re a Sir? Doesn’t feel good does it? Pronouns are important because they demonstrate acceptance, respect and dignity to the trans community, not to mention it’s just a common courtesy. If you are not clear on what pronouns a person uses, don’t be afraid to ask, most individuals will appreciate the question, but go about it in a sensitive manner. You can always start with “Hi, I’m Margo, I use the pronouns “she,” “her,” “hers,” taking a proactive approach shows that you are not only respectful, but also willing to educate those around you about the necessity of preferred pronouns. If you are in a group setting, set the tone by asking everyone to share pronouns instead of singling people out.
2. Don’t make assumptions
Understanding that some people’s gender does not align with the gender they were assigned at birth, or their biological gender, is crucial. That being said, don’t assume that just because someone has changed their gender, their sexual and romantic orientation has changed as well, or vice versus. For example, trans women can be sexually attracted to men, women, both, or no one.
3. Don’t generalize
Studies show a high suicide rate in the trans community, however this does not mean that all transgender people are suicidal or depressed! Just because someone is transgender does not mean that they have mental health issues and if a trans person goes in to see a therapist it is not necessarily because they are transgender. The two things are mutually exclusive! Transgender does not equal mental health concern. Having the courage to seek therapy is difficult enough, without the judgement of others.
4. Don’t ask questions that you don’t need to know the answer to
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it’s also harmful to our human relationships. Would you walk up to a cis- gendered man and ask him if he has had a vasectomy done? No, of course not. You can be a good friend and make it clear that you are there to listen if your friend ever wants to talk, but resist the urge to ask questions about surgeries, hormones, and other personal information. Keep your curiosity in check, ask what you need to know, not what you want to know. Remember, what’s important in building relationships is how you make people feel, so ask questions that make the other person feel supported not interrogated or violated.
Watch this video for more:
5. Advocate Kindness
Advocate for your fellow community members, and correct other people’s harmful language and potential denial. We, as humans, have to be the positive change we wish to see in our world. Be not only empathetic towards the transgendered community, but be an advocate as well. It is up to us to intervene and educate others who are speaking negatively of the trans community or even worse, denying its existence. That being said, don’t assume that you are all knowing and always keep on educating yourself.
Following our Transforum event that took place in October, I would like to take a little time to share with you a list of providers in the Madison area that are skilled and comfortable in working with transgendered individuals.
As a coach I’m always hearing (and preaching) about the importance of self-care. I know it’s probably repetitive, that everyone’s answer to depression or a heavy mood is to do some sort of self-care. I often think as much as people are talking about self-healing and self-love, not many people actually dig deep. A lot of people I talk to all have similar ways of self-care; one way that seems to be at the top of many peoples list is Netflix. I don’t in any way want to point fingers by this post, I am guilty of curling up in bed and turning to Netflix or Hulu for a mindless TV show or a movie I’ve seen 10 times already. When I’m feeling down I admit that one of the first things I do is attempt to turn my mind off for those 42 minutes and enjoy an episode of Scandal, and sometimes it works. Sometimes all I need is an escape from my reality for an hour or so, other times when the episode ends I’m exactly where I was before it began. I don’t want to say that using television shows or movies as a means of self-care will never work, I’m just here to suggest an alternative method for using Netflix or Hulu in hopes to dive deeper into ones self and try to heal long term. The alternative I’d like to suggest is motivational speaking, like Podcasts and TED Talks. I know sometimes motivational speaking can be rather annoying, listening to someone else tell you that it’s going to be okay is often not really helpful. I had the same outlook until I did some research and found some talks that I really enjoyed. I want to share some of these with everyone and encourage you to listen to some on your own, find ones that speak to you and use those as self-care on occasion in replacement of an episode of Scandal. 😉
The Importance of Self-Care– this is a playlist of 9 different talks on self-care
Ending the Pursuit of Perfection: Iskra Lawrence
This one I really love; she talks about struggling with body image and how she copes with it.
Happiness is all in your mind: Gen Kelsang Nyema
She is very calming and peaceful; she puts happiness in a very simplistic way
The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong-Amy Morin
She talks about the destructive mindsets that hold us back, about ourselves, about others, and about the world in general. Her personal story is incredible. She is seriously inspiring!
Stay Up J
Life is undoubtedly messy, therefore it is easy to understand why so many of us have such a difficult time staying organized in our homes, offices, and even our minds. Most people would agree that creating and keeping a neat living space is beneficial for our mental and physical state, but how can we keep our environments clean today, when they just seem to get dirty all over again tomorrow?
I believe that being neat and organized has to become more than just an environment but also a state of mind. Below are a few ideas on how you can manage to turn your messy space into a peaceful and organized one!
Love & Light,
Cleaning is a chore, there’s no denying that. But it doesn’t have to be painful; it doesn’t have to be the one thing we constantly put off until the final moments when our apartments look like a natural disaster struck. I remember my mom always telling me tips that I overlooked until I got older and now I swear by them.
The first one is, always make your bed!!! It’s not as hard as one may think, even in the mornings when you are in a hurry. Not only is there nothing better than crawling into a tightly made bed at night but also it makes your room look so much nicer. When your bed is made, I promise you will more inclined to keep the rest of your room tidy as well.
Following the made bed, an important tip in staying on top of a clean bedroom is to always have a big laundry basket. Pick a corner of your room, or in your closet if possible, where your laundry basket can find a home and always put away your dirty clothes. You just have to throw them in the basket, as long as they are not scattered on the floor or tucked between your bed and the wall.
My next tip is to always have cleaning wipes on hand. Have some in the bathroom, some in the kitchen, and even in the bedroom if necessary. Having these available is such an easy way to constantly be wiping the mirror, or bathroom counter, the sink, anything where dirt loves to hang out. It takes 30 seconds to wipe down a counter and it makes the world of a difference to stay on top of the mess.
My final tip, one that I preach and swear by for everything: MUSIC! Have a cleaning playlist or a favorite CD that lifts your mood and makes you want to dance. Pop in your headphones or connect your speaker, turn the volume all the way up, and jam the heck out. Cleaning is so much more fun when you have your jams on. If you want to pair your cleaning/dance session with your favorite tea, chai from Starbucks is my drink of choice; it’s perfect over ice for summer cleaning or warmed up for the cold months when you need to pick up after yourself.
Living in a clean space can help everything from your allergies, your mood, your stress levels, and your focus. Get up and make a positive start to your day by cleaning your surroundings, but never forget ya music!
If you or someone you know needs help navigating the road to recovery in Wisconsin, get in touch with one of our confidential Admissions Specialists.
Telephone: (262) 443-7192
Fax: (262) 244-1434
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