Sunday, April 13, 2014

Don't Let Springtime Trigger Anxiety and Fears

Spring Can Sprout an OCD Flare-

    It seems this is the time of year that lots of people with OCD tend to flare up a bit. Maybe it's due to having been holed up in the house due to the colder weather outdoors, or feeling cozier indoors reading a good book and watching TV during the shorter days.
    It seems 'safer' than coming out to all the extra activity. Even if we have jobs that require us to be out each day, the atmosphere is changed to a more invigorating one.
     The birds are chirping and building nests, flowers are beginning to bloom with colors filling the landscape and butterflies soon make an appearance. The buds on the trees are about to burst forth with new greenery, more folks are out and about, and even the ice cream trucks begin to make their rounds
     It's all very stimulating, and sometimes stimulation, even the good kind, can trigger the OCD. So, try to keep in mind that whatever thoughts or fears might be blossoming along with the flowers, they're only temporary; just a side effect of the mental stimulation from all the activity that this season brings to our senses.
    Then, take the time to enjoy it. The wonder of a flower. The comeback of various species of birds. The bare trees suddenly full with leaves. The happy faces of children playing outdoors. It's all good. And even though some of us with OCD prefer to avoid too much activity, crowds, and interaction, it's time to come out with the rest of creation and partake in the miracle of rebirth.
    Take walks in a local park or around the neighborhood. Observe the flowers in the gardens you pass. Better yet, if you have a Botanic Garden in your area, these next few weeks are the ideal time for seeing all kinds of new blooms, from daffodils to tulips, followed by glorious cherry blossoms.
     Cook a spring time meal to celebrate the season. Take a mini weekend vacation to a place that instills calm and beauty, even if it's just an hour away or at a relative's home in the midst of nature. If you're physically able, try some bike riding. Go bird watching at the local park. Many parks and nature centers have bird watching groups that meet each week with their binoculars to view the migrated birds all year round.
     Whatever you choose to do, do it with a sense of gratitude for the ability to see, smell, and hear the melody of the spring season. And don't let the OCD 'bully' get the best of you.
      For additional help, check out the book: Confronting The Bully of OCD on Amazon.com