Merriam Webster’s definition of thriving is ‘characterised by success or prosperity.’ We define it as ‘a communal and individual act of continuous self-fulfilment in any and all areas of your life’. At QAN, thriving means supporting our members to self-actualise in all areas of their lives i.e. forming meaningful relationships, connecting with relevant opportunities and accessing affirming content.
For us to thrive, we need spaces that receive us whole and are dedicated to our growth. Continual participation in these spaces promotes our wellbeing and builds our resilience. One example of a thriving space would be the virtual platforms used by queer people to provide relief from isolation and be affirmed in our existence. Online communal spaces such as hashtags, comments sections, private messages and public/private groups. An example of a physical queer space is the wrist band many Kenyan queers wear to signal to others and to assert themselves. Online or offline, we are especially good at creating spaces where we can be free from isolation (even for a few moments) and be affirmed in our existence.
Here are some tips from the QAN team on how you can thrive in your life:
- Care for your physical health: Our bodies root us to this reality. Ensure you’re eating food that is nourishing to your body and you have a physical activity you engage in to keep you grounded. This will go a long way toward your overall wellbeing.
- Do something you love with those you love: Carve little pockets of time and space where you do something that affirms your existence. This could mean cooking with family and friends, watching shows together among others. The important thing is that you share activities you enjoy.
- Challenge yourself: Thriving is about continuous growth. Challenging yourself in big and small ways provides a pathway to expansion. Try something you’ve never done before and relish in the experience. Who knows what you might find?
- Cultivate self-awareness: Check in with yourself without judgement. We’re always caught in capitalistic patterns that alienate us from ourselves. Taking time to journal will help you be more in-tune with yourself. Journaling can take many forms eg. drawing, dancing, singing, voice recording, writing, photography and scrapbooking etc. We all have different methods.
- Find your community: There are many social gatherings for queer people to choose from both online and offline. Find those that are comfortable to you and attend them. You may meet a really good friend, end up with professional networks and even learn something new about yourself! QAN’s virtual events are a great place to start.
Remember that thriving is a journey and not a point of arrival. Depending on your goals, your definition of thriving will always shift. Keep a mental and physical note to check in with yourself periodically to ensure that you are in line with your vision. If you have a valuable tip that we have not captured, comment below to share with our community.