10 ways for trans women to deal with dysphoria!
Stress is one thing that no one in the world can truly avoid. From work deadlines to family issues to budgets, everyone faces stress in their daily life. However, most transgender people have the added stress of dysphoria, a distressed state arising from conflict between a person's gender identity and the sex the person has or was identified as having at birth. And unfortunately dysphoria can't usually be helped by a hot bath or a sweet treat.
Paint your nails and put on makeup
Sometimes it's the littlest things that make the biggest difference. Putting on a fresh coat of nail polish or try out a new eyeshadow can be the little kick needed to push through your dysphoria. And, if you're still not out of the closet, it's easy to wipe off later, or use neutral colors that people aren't likely to notice. Strengthening polish, for instance, gives the slightest shine which can even be covered up with a layer of matte clear, and can be brushed off as necessary. Even if it's all but invisible, the weight and thickness will still be a reminder that it's there.
Grow your hair or use a wig
If you haven't had the time to grow your hair out, you can't do so because you're not out of the closet yet, or you simply don't want to, a wig is a great tool. Whether you go for something that mimics your natural hair, or something bright and wild, the weight and feel of long hair as well as the look and the different styling options can really make you feel like the gorgeous woman you are.
Read a book with a girl or woman as the main character
Reading a book means getting into the head of the main character and seeing a world, fictional or real, through their eyes, their mind and their body. You can also watch a show or movie with a female focus for the same effect.
If you've transitioned or are in the process, take a peek into the past
Look at old photographs or videos of yourself, or make a list of all the changes that you've already made. Remind yourself of how far you've already come. You can also follow other people's transitions on youtube or blogs to help you envision the road ahead.
Sometimes it helps to remind yourself of what your body can do, and to focus on the feel of it moving rather than how it looks or everything that's "wrong" with it. Dance, take a run, or try some yoga.
Wear something cute
Try on a new dress or wear your favorite outfit for a walk around town. If you're staying in, you can even put on some lingerie. Not out yet? Try some cute panties or a necklace you can tuck out of sight under your shirt, something you'll know is there even if others can't see it.
Draw yourself how you see yourself
If you're an artist, take a little while to make a self portrait of yourself how you see yourself, or how you want to look after you transition. If you're not great at art, you can always write a description of how you'll look, commission an artist online, or make a collage with magazines and photographs.
Talk about yourself in third person
Tell a story to a friend or narrate your life in third person, making sure to use the name you like to go by and the pronouns you identify with.
Use breast forms and other items to help you pass
Breast forms, gaffs, prosthetic vaginas, and all sorts of other items exist to help you pass the way you want to. When it comes to fighting dysphoria, it's generally best to choose items that are natural in their look and feel, rather than exaggerated and performative.
Hang out with friends
Find some friends who use the right name and pronouns and get together for coffee or a shopping trip. A sense of community and companionship is a great way to deal with any kind of stress, and being around someone who respects who you are it a great way to distract yourself from your dysphoria.
Bonus: Remember, it’s okay to feel like this, and it will eventually pass
Dysphoria sucks, there’s no question about that. But it will pass eventually, and until it does, do your best to remember that having dysphoria doesn’t invalidate your gender. You’re allowed to feel this pain and you have every right to express it however you need to provided it doesn’t cause anyone harm. You are valid, beautiful, and loved.