So the last couple of weeks I’ve been struggling a bit. I’m not sure how other peoples OCD affects them but I tend to find – having dealt with it for years – that day to day I do OK. It no longer stops me getting out and doing things and I’m pretty good at dismissing the thoughts when they pop into my head.
However every now and again a new thought will appear and for whatever reason, I’m not feeling quite as strong as usual and it manages to creep in. Now I find – and I would be interested to know if this happens to anyone else – that once this has happened, even if I can dismiss the thought that same day, in the days that follow I seem more susceptible to my OCD. I’m not sure why and so this is what has happened over the last few days, my walls have been weakened so to speak. So when this happens, what do I do?
Well it’s a good question and I am still learning myself what works. I have in the past tried anti depressants and I know they help a lot of people but personally they’re not for me. So I try the natural approach, here are some of the things I like to do:
- Get Out – For me it’s important to get out in the air, go for a walk, anything so I’m not cooped up in the house.
- Socialise – If I feel up to it, I socialise. I know this isn’t always easy, believe me, but there’s no better distraction than being in the company of others. It can really help to normalise a situation
- Talk to someone – If you have someone you feel comfortable talking to about your OCD then talk to them, don’t bottle things up. This is how the thoughts escalate out of control
- Exercise – I try to Exercise, go for a run, go to a class at the gym, get those endorphin’s moving. It maybe the last thing you want to do but it will help.
- Be mindful – live in the moment, remember, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, live in the present“.
- Distraction, distract yourself with an activity, something you enjoy and find absorbing, you will be surprised that your mind will completely forget the thought. I always think if I am able to forget about the thought then it can’t have been that important in the first place.
- Meditate – I’ve always found this one tricky as it involves clearing the mind, not always easy when you have OCD!
- Watch what you eat and drink – I think we’re probably all aware that caffeine, alcohol and too much sugar are not going to help mental health. This one isn’t always easy admittedly but even small steps towards eating and drinking better will help. Just one less coffee a day, one extra piece of fruit, baby steps.
- Remember to like yourself – remember who you are, you are good enough.
- Write it down – when I started this blog – admittedly not long ago – I did it to try and help others with the little I had learned over the years, however surprisingly I’ve found it therapeutic to write and so I now use this very blog as one of my coping strategies as well.
I have to admit when you’re feeling low any of the above can feel hard to achieve, it can be much easier to stay in and mope. Also the results can sometimes take a while to happen, I had a conversation with my other half just this week about how I was doing all the right things and I was still feeling anxious. I ended up going for a run in the rain at 9pm, just to try and get rid of the anxiety that was sitting on my chest. It did work, but was a huge effort.
I will continue to build my list and as I find new ways to help the OCD pass I will share them. I hope this list can help when you’re feeling low, maybe keep the link saved so you can refer to it when needed. Stay strong people!