Wearing a binder is a love-hate relationship. Putting it on can make you feel great, help to affirm your gender identity, or simply give you a silhouette that makes you feel more, well, you. At the same time, it's the absolute worst.
We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community who bind how they take care of themselves, while also making the routine just a little less of a struggle. Here's what they shared:
1. If you can't take a deep breath, your binder is probably too tight — it should feel like a hug, not a choke hold.
2. It's not a great idea to hit the gym while in a binder; try a tight-fitting sports bra instead.
3. Master a few simple stretches and make them part of your daily routine.
4. Take a sick day off, literally.
5. Set an alarm on your phone that reminds you to take a few deep breaths or complete some short breathing exercises throughout the day.
6. Get in the habit of taking a water bottle around with you to ensure you're always hydrated.
7. Keep your binder, and yourself, squeaky clean and totally dry. You'll feel better and your binder will last longer.
8. If you know it's going to be a scorcher, try and wear loose-fitting shirts made with breathable fabrics to avoid skin irritation or infection.
9. Make time for relaxing activities, like taking a hot bath.
"I try to take long hot baths to help my muscles loosen up."