Holiday Happiness tips for our LGBTIQ+ communities
Are you or anyone you know feeling distress, or feeling like you want to talk to someone? Yarning and talking to your friends, chosen families and family members, taking stock and asking for support and company if needed can help you feel better and be beneficial.
People can get caught up in busy lives and commitments, especially around the festive season, so feel free to ask if you need something.
Remember, you can also call 13 YARN to talk to someone on 13 92 76 or QLife on 1800 184 527.
You are allowed to take care of yourself. Too often, we get the message that as LGBTIQ+ people, it's our responsibility to always be "on" - We can set and maintain boundaries that keep us safe, happy, and healthy.
Communicating your boundaries to your family beforehand might work well for you, or you can decide on them yourself and engage them
Remember, you shouldn't be made to feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Give yourself permission to leave if you want to. When you're stressed or scared, and you need advice or to vent, have a friend or two on standby that you can reach out to. Step away for a minute; take a minute to breathe. Gather your thoughts and keep being you. Better yet, it’s easy to look up some mindfulness breathing techniques to help you relax or take a good 5-minute walk.
We're told that spending time with our families of origin is the only "proper" way to spend the holiday. It is so important to celebrate the holidays with the people in your life who are supportive, like friends, groups, allies, and special chosen people in your life. Celebrating each other as a chosen family in a safe and encouraging way is a lovely way to spend the holidays.
Discover Things To Do
Is there a skill or hobby you’ve been wanting to explore? Are there any local clubs or groups you had your eye on? Is there a skill you wanted to learn forever but just never had the time or the resources? Maybe there is a holiday activity, museum, art gallery, or show you’ve been putting off or haven’t thought about in a while.
Now is the time! Check out local search things to do on social media and search engines on your phone. You might be surprised at the number of things out there and at this time of year. Volunteering can also be a great way to meet people and help you feel positive by giving something back to others in need.
We all have something we do that can make us feel good about ourselves: a relaxing bath, a clean shave, baking a tasty cake or newly manicured nails.
Whatever your thing is. We’ve all had a big year being ‘on’, so find the time to go the extra distance for a lovely time this holiday season. Get out and about and treat yourself to a special gift, a nice meal, or a trip to the movies. Maybe staying in and relaxing, being away from crowds, is your thing, so get some pleasant scented fragrances and curl up on the couch with an excellent book or movie at home.
Remember, if you or anyone you know is feeling distress at any time, there are some helpful contacts listed below for you.
13 YARN (13 92 76), 24/7 national crisis line support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
QLife on 1800 184 527 or on web chat at https://qlife.org.au 3pm to midnight, 7 days a week.
Lifeline on 13 11 14 Lifeline Text 0477 13 11 14
24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Lifeline web chat is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800 https://kidshelpline.com.au available anytime
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636 https://beyondblue.org.au available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
QC has been asking folk across this vast country of Queensland, the very simple questions of "What Makes You Happy?".
In a collaborative partnership that is centred in Reciprocity (otherwise known as - the 2Way Street), The Queensland Council for LGBTI Health (QC) and Queensland Health (QH) have the shared goal of understanding.... What makes you happy?
We know that happiness looks, feels, tastes and sounds different to each and every one of us. It comes from our memories and life learnings, it comes from unexpected moments and planned events, it is held onto and used to sustain us when times are harder and we need something to get us through.
We know that happiness changes over time.
We know that sometimes it can’t be put into words and it is just a feeling that we have.
We know that happiness sits differently on different faces, and in different bodies.
We want to know – what does it look like for YOU!
Chances are that the Happiness Wall has been to a location near you already, or will be coming to an event near you soon.. when you see it, come and say hi, add to our wall of happiness and let us keep advocating for the things that bring a smile to our face, or a spring to our step, or a tune to the world.
Let’s make this a thing....
What we want to do with your “happy”..
We want to empower you and your communities with the resources to make happiness a growing thing in our world. Come and ask us about our Happiness Notebooks!
Want to know more about the logic and thinking behind the Happiness Project? Read on...
We have a Happiness Wall!
Why a Happiness Wall?
After a rough couple of years, it was clear that our communities were needing a big boost of time and energy and we weren't the only ones seeing this - the folks who look at data could see that our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Sistergirl and Brotherboy communities and people in Queensland were experiencing disproportionately far greater levels of poor mental health outcomes, compared to the folk who didn't fit within the diversity of definitions of our communities.
The lack of expert support services were also considered to be a key factor in higher negative outcomes for our communities. But what to do and where to invest in such a large state where our community members are EVERYWHERE?
These experiences, both historical and current, mean that these ongoing impacts are far greater, bigger, louder, more intense and more impactful. The noise inside our heads can be overtaken by negative self talk and so we wanted to have a role on working proactively on that with our communities.
We have been facilitating one-on-one conversations across different regional locations in Queensland where we use our Happiness Wall as an interactive place where folks are invited to share their thoughts about happiness if they want to.
These conversations start with the simple question: ‘what makes you happy?’
#HappinessWall and Reciprocity
QC have been visiting a range of regional locations in Queensland, working with local LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy folk to conduct the consultations safely and effectively. These events are community led and community driven. QC’s facilitation is interactive, with staff attending and hosting conversations with people one on one in a culturally safe and interactive way, inviting people to share their thoughts and answers in either a public or confidential way if they want to.
This is accompanied by a large 3-meter ‘media wall’ showing the intersex inclusive progress pride flag, displayed at each event and placement cards available for people to write down their responses to questions about their mental health, and stick it on the display to visually show a collective vision about mental health.
We now also have resources that folk can take away now and help us Champion the spread of happiness in our worlds.
Come and tell us, we really want to know, What Makes YOU Happy?