Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Focus on Summer Beauty and Fun-

   OCD can interrupt the flow of our lives - even when the weather is nice and everything is green. In fact, for many, the hotter weather triggers bouts of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.)
    Certain summer activities can cause some of us anxiety...going away on a vacation, family gatherings at a BBQ, having the children at home from school, the extra activity and din of the season. BUT...we can alleviate the symptoms we have - be they obsessive not-so-good thoughts, or a fear that seems to be sticking like glue to our psyche.
       Get outdoors. Even if you feel tired and nervous. Choose the time when you feel most anxious, and make that the time you go outside...maybe for a walk in the local park, a car ride to a place of nature in your area, or if you live in a big city, to where people sit outdoors at tables to have a soda or coffee. Bring your lunch, breakfast or a light dinner, depending on the time you go. Be part of the positive energy all around you.     
     And don't feel restricted due to having the kids at home...take them with you on some of your outings - you might all have a wonderful time.  I see many moms taking their brisk walk in the park while pushing a baby in the stroller. Others have their toddler in a bike seat as they take a ride on the bike path. 

  You might like to join a bird watching group. Even city parks and nature centers have them. Or get yourself a good book and simply read under the shade of a tree or a beach umbrella near the shore. 

     Invite a close friend or relative for lunch and make a summery one...checkered tablecloth, a burger, frank (vegan will do too,) some corn on the cob, and water melon for dessert.

     And don't forget the local street fairs, farm markets and flea markets. Always a nice way to spend an afternoon.
        Think...'uplifting' - and do what works best to lift you out of the dark cloud of rumination and anxiety.
   If you need extra help and can't afford a therapist right now...check out my book on:
   Confronting The Bully of OCD by Linda Maran

   Also, see Dr. Steven Brodsky's OCD web site, at:
He addresses other anxiety issues as well.   
    And in the meantime, create some special moments this summer...even smelling a fragrant rose is one of those good moments to savor.
     A 'good moments' journal with photos, if possible, is another wonderful way to deepen your joy of each season, your hometown, your city, mother nature, or your family and friends.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Enjoy the Winter Weather-

Winter tends to keep many of us cooped up indoors which can compel us to turn inward and ruminate on things. OCD just loves to creep in at those times. Best to get out, even on cold snowy days.

Dress warmly in layers and always wear a hat and gloves, where most heat escapes when uncovered.

If you're afraid of slipping, then just go on your front porch, stoop or in the backyard and admire the white beauty. Breathe in the cool refreshing air. Wear winter boots or snow sneakers to decrease your chance of slipping.

Have a friend join you for a short walk to his or her house and then back to yours. Have a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate with your friend after the walk. Company gets us out of ourselves.

Some folks have dogs and walk them each day regardless of the weather. The dog gets them out every day and in the process they meet other dog walkers and get in some socializing too.

Find a hobby that interests you so that when you can't get outdoors, you can have something to distract you from turning inward and having OCD pick on your thoughts.

Take up painting, scrap booking, writing stories, or cooking hearty stews and wintry meals. And don't forget that good novel.

Look at winter days as cozy days instead of dreary ones. Each season has a beauty of its own, including winter. And if those OCD thoughts start brewing, picture yourself throwing snowballs at a bully - which is exactly what OCD is.