Conquering OCD Turns Three!

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:

  1. A very busy home life
  2. 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

Consistency is the key to change

So we’ve made it to the end of January, hooray! Doesn’t it always feel like the longest month ever (apart from the last month of pregnancy of course, which is officially the longest month ever)!  Every year I find January a bit of a slog, I’m not sure if it’s the cold,
the dark, the post Christmas blues or a mix of all of these put together but it sucks!

The start of a new year always feels a little pressured to make change and be a ‘new you’.  It’s very tempting to try and make dramatic changes such as; crash diets, going to the gym every day, planning to run a marathon, giving up alcohol, going vegan, you know the sort of thing.  We all want to see a quick fix, why wouldn’t we?

Unfortunately it doesn’t normally take long for the motivation to die and for us to realise making significant changes is actually very, very hard work.  Anyone recovering from a mental health issue will of course already be very aware that there are no quick fixes but it doesn’t stop us hoping.

So here’s the bit you probably won’t want to hear. 

To make positive change you have to be consistent, you have to make small daily changes which you stick to, they can’t be massive changes as they aren’t maintainable.

Of course if you are recovering from something like OCD or maybe an addiction of some kind you really have no choice, you have to make the changes and attempt to stay on track.

The trick is not to give yourself a hard time, you will mess up now and again and that’s OK.  Never loose site of the path you’re on, no mater how slowly you’re walking it.  Accept that there may never be an end goal, it’s all about the process of moving in the right direction and getting closer to where you need to be.  Where you end up may look nothing like the way you thought it would when you get there and that could be a good thing.

I’m looking at moving careers very soon and I’m starting some training in March, it all feels very overwhelming at the moment but I just have to remember to do a small amount each day and it will eventually pay off.

Changes don’t have to be an all or nothing thing either, you haven’t failed if you slip up  or make changes gradually over time.

I’ve wanted to be meat free for a while now and more recently I have started removing meat from more and more of our weekly meals.  In the next couple of months the meat will disappear completely but for now if there’s a tin of tuna in the cupboard I’m not going to get stressed about it or throw it away I’m just going to use it up and not buy anymore.  I know even the small changes I’m making are heading in the right direction for me and over time they will pay off.  There is no big rush, life is a marathon not a sprint.

It’s very easy to just think about the goals and not enjoy the journey you’re on but we need to be more mindful about where we are in life and appreciate what is going on around us.  If we are living in the future then we aren’t really living, make every day count.  Go to bed each day feeling like you’ve taken a little step closer to where you want to be and that you are heading in the right direction.  Be kind to yourself and know you are doing the best you can.  Lets make 2020 a good one!

As always, Stay Strong xxx

You’re not going to win everyday!

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