So conquering OCD is three years old today and that’s a pretty momentous thing for me. Thank you to to everyone who follows me I so appreciate your support. Passing 100 followers towards the end of 2019 was a pretty magical moment for me as it was always a little target I had.
When I started this blog it was mainly to try and share some of the things I’d learnt along my OCD journey. Things that had helped me in the hope that it would be able to help others too. Unexpectedly for me it has also turned into a sort of therapy tool, somewhere I have come to process my thoughts, make sense of them, separate myself from them and then turn them into something useful to share with others – wow, I really didn’t see what one coming.
Over the last 18 months I haven’t spent as much time writing posts as I’d have liked, this is for two reasons I think:
- A very busy home life
- I haven’t been suffering as much with my OCD as I used to, yay! I’m not a therapist so I don’t like to just preach, I like to have experienced something. Then I am able to share how I made my way through it and out the other side, then hopefully that can help someone else too.
I have started my yoga teacher training now, which is amazing. I’m hoping in the future I will be able to share some of the skills and practice I am learning to help deal with calming the mind and relaxation – we definitely all need a bit more of that at the moment.
For now, thanks again and as always,
Stay Strong xxx
OCD and anxiety can be so isolating at times and the more time you spend alone the stronger their hold on you becomes. One of the things we need to fight constantly is to keep going out to places, being social and interacting with people. This of course is more easily said then done.
One of my biggest hang ups has always been supermarkets, I hate them. I hate the carparks full of people walking in any direction they fancy, the busyness inside, people walking into you with their trolleys, having to make decisions on food choices and
ignore all the associated OCD thoughts. I will admit for a long time I avoided them completely, I’ve only recently started to go back into them now and I still wouldn’t dream of doing a whole weeks shop. This is something I’m working on and in the mean time I am so grateful for online shopping!
Anyway I’m digressing, if you are an OCD or anxiety sufferer I am sure you have places that trigger similar thoughts for you, whether it be the car, driving, shopping centres, wherever.
Unfortunately there’s never an easy fix for these things (sorry!) and what we have to do is reprogram our minds and get to the root of what is so anxiety inducing about these situations. I know for me there are a lot of OCD triggers in supermarkets but I am slowly working my way through them, taking time to breath when someone knocks into me and knowing I will be OK. Picking up the first carrot I see rather then wondering what each little mark on it may be and giving myself time to let the anxiety fade as I know we cannot stay in an elevated state permanently.
A new strategy I’ve recently learned which I am starting to try in the hope it will help is to smile, sounds simple I know.
The brain is suspended in darkness and can only react to the feedback it receives from the senses. If you are heading towards a situation that would normally make you anxious or you are experiencing some anxiety/OCD thoughts for whatever reason then try and smile your way through it. It is reassuring for the brain, it thinks you are happy and it helps to reprogram your automatic responses to situations.
There’s also the added benefit that a lot of the time if someone sees you smiling then they will smile back and then you get more positive reinforcement for your brain that you are safe and happy and that there is no need to trigger any fight or flight anxiety inducing responses.
It’s so simple and so easy to do and can be so powerful. I know sometimes smiling probably feels like the last thing you want to do but just give it a try, I know I’m going to.
I hope it helps and as always,
Stay strong xxx
Life is full of up and downs and I think we probably all know this, so why then do we give ourselves such a hard time on the days we aren’t quite ‘feeling it’?
As a mother of two, who works part time and is studying as well I often feel like I’m not quite doing everything up to my self imposed ‘standards’. I beat myself up if I’m not cooking from scratch or I’ve forgotten to buy the present for Jamie’s birthday party on the weekend but ultimately I just need to give myself a break.
You’re not going to ‘nail it’ every day no matter who you are I promise! We all need to remember this, there will be days where everything goes to plan and you feel like you’re winning at life but there will also be days when nothing seems to go your way and for some reason you’re feeling a bit crappy about yourself or life. You know what that’s OK, that’s what makes you human and the world is not going to fall apart if you have an off day.
I think it’s very easy to catastrophise the bad days and forget about the good ones. We are very often our own worst enemies and we have to stop doing it and be kinder to ourselves, I know I definitely do!
How to help with the bad days
- I know on the bad days it’s incredibly hard to think positively so maybe do some prep in advance for when they hit.
- Write a list of the good things in your life so you can read it through when you’re feeling low
- Make a list of the things you have achieved and if you do something that makes you feel good write it down so you can re visit it when you feel down.
- If you’re fatigued/burnt out then allow yourself to rest and don’t feel guilty about it – I’m terrible at this – you are allowed some down time.
- Talk to people, I’m sure they will have a much better opinion of you then you do of yourself on a bad day, they’ll help you remember how amazing you are.
- If you’re feeling mentally low then get out of the house and get moving, exercise can normally help shift a bad mood.
- Don’t look on social media and compare yourself to others – this is a highlights reel which is not achievable.
- Socialise – loneliness is your worst enemy and will only make you feel worse
- Know what makes you happy and do it even if you don’t feel like it, this is exactly what I do when I feel low now. Even if I don’t feel with it mentally I make myself physically go through the motions, so I’ll go for a walk, eat something I enjoy, talk to someone, socialise with friends, exercise, eat healthily, write blog post. Basically all the things I know help me and eventually one of them will start to work.
- Be kind to yourself – give yourself a hug, you’re doing great.
I have had low periods for as long as I can remember and some times they last for several days but you know what I’ve learnt from experience, they always, ALWAYS pass and if you do the right things they’ll pass quicker.
I hope today at least you’re all having a good day,
Stay Strong xxx