12 Habits That Will Make Your Transition Easier
These are some bits of wisdom I’ve collected during my transition that would have helped me if I had them when I was beginning this journey.
Transition is difficult, but with the right systems and mindset in place, it can become less daunting.
Transition is a completely unique experience that very few of us in this world get to experience. I encourage you to record what you feel and experience.
You’ll likely only experience this once in your life, and it’s a really special thing to be able to look back on all of those difficult moments and accomplishments.
2. Don’t spend too much money on new clothes
We all want to try out new styles and get that fancy dress or new suit, but frugality should still apply. It can be tempting to go buy every nice article of clothing you see, but that cost can really add up. And speaking from experience, our tastes can change rapidly during the course of transition, what can feel like a great purchase in the moment, may be not so appealing a year later.
Thrift stores are great!
It will help your body grow and change, as well as help you manage stress.
It’s the most effective self care.
4. Know that it’s completely normal to question what you’re doing.. every. single. day.
Asking yourself “Am I crazy for doing this?”
I promise you, a lot of us do it. It doesn’t mean you’re making a mistake, you’re just scared, and that’s okay.
Listen to your heart, and know that many of us have been down this road before you, experiencing the same things. It’s difficult, but you will make it through.
5. Start your legal paperwork as soon as possible
(Not so glamorous and not really a habit, but I still wanted to include it.)
The time is going to pass regardless. Get the process started as soon as you feel comfortable with the decision. It can take several months to change name and gender on legal documents. You’ll be glad to get it out of the way!
6. Couple other goals with your transition
Learn a language, train for a marathon, write a book, learn an instrument… something that you can be proud of, that will make you grow.
It will take your mind off of the painfully slow process of transition, and you’ll have accomplished so much in the meantime.
7. Don’t spend too much time imagining what family and friends will think
We think we can predict how people will react, we envision how the conversations will go, who will cry, who will yell, who will never speak to you again; but it’s wasted energy.
People can react in the most unexpected ways, both in a positive or negative way. Save that energy for when those conversations actually happen.
8. Always keep an extra month supply of hormones
Pandemics happen. If you can afford it, try to always keep at least an extra month’s worth of hormones. If you have insurance, check to see if they will cover an extra amount ahead of time; due to the pandemic, some providers have changed their policy to allow for this.
9. Don’t focus on other peoples’ transitions
A lot of us love reddit. Communities like that can be a great resources but it can also create comparison and impatience. Everyone’s bodies are different, and everyone is at a different point in their transition.
Try your best to just focus on you, and appreciate your own beauty and progress.
10. Limit your ‘mirror time’
It’s tempting to stare in the mirror trying to notice every change transition is bringing, but it can often lead to self judgement.
Do your best to not asses your value in the mirror.
Before I look in the mirror I try to ask myself “what is my intention with doing this? Am I going to asses my value? Am I going to judge myself?” if the answer to those is yes I’m looking the mirror to judge myself, I’ll try to avoid it and wait until I’m in a better head space.
11. Learn to be okay with the fact that people aren’t going to like you
Life threatening situations aside, some people just aren’t going to like you, whether you’re trans or not. It’s important to not connect your self worth with the approval of others.
It’s a skill that takes time to develop, but I promise you, it makes life a lot easier.
12. Practice gratitude
Transition is a difficult process. When everything seems to be against us it’s important to find solace in what we do have, whether that be our health, family, or simply the ability to transition.
I hope some of the knowledge I’ve gained during the course of my transition can be helpful to anyone who is struggling or just beginning their journey.