19 Little Ways To Take Care Of Yourself If You’re Not Out

    Because self-care is extra important when you can't or don't want to come out.

    It can be hard when you aren't able to share your sexuality or gender identity with everyone in your life, so finding small ways to take care of yourself can make life a little easier.

    Sometimes you're all the way closeted; sometimes you're out to some people and not others; and for many people, you have to keep coming out in some way or another for most of your life. To help deal, we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community how they take care of their mental health as an LGBT person in the closet. Here are little things you can do — no matter what being in the closet looks like to you.

    1. Escape to fictional worlds with plenty of representation.

    2. Wear ~subtle queer things~ that people like you will recognize — but other people probably won't.

    3. Say it out loud to yourself when you know people won't hear you.

    4. Get a personal tattoo only you will see or understand the meaning of.

    5. If it's appropriate, take part in queer spaces as an "ally."

    6. Limit time around people in your life who don't support the LGBT community.

    7. Write everything down.

    8. Check out an online forum like Trevor Space.

    9. "Come out" in tiny safe ways that might relieve some tension you're feeling.

    10. Find a therapist who knows LGBT issues.

    11. Be honest with yourself about your thoughts and feelings, even if you can't share them with anyone else.

    12. Listen to upbeat music that makes you feel good.

    13. Don't be afraid to have a good cathartic cry every once in awhile.

    14. Celebrate your other features so you don't accidentally start defining yourself by what you're keeping secret.

    15. Have a group text with your LGBT friends where you can rant and rave in private.

    16. Carve out alone time to relax and ground yourself.

    17. Pour your feelings into a creative outlet that can express what you can't say.

    18. If it helps, concentrate on the plus side of being in the closet.

    19. Take your time, be kind to yourself, and remember your health, safety, and happiness are most important.

    Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.