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Tips for living with OCD



Well-known member
Jul 29, 2021
1-Journal your thoughts, at least the thoughts you feel comfortable writing down. Share your thoughts with your therapist.

2-Distractions are very important because they teach us to replace our compulsions with something better. When replacements begin to occur, the obsessions can begin to fade.

3-Treat yourself when you have ignored a compulsion or realize you want to ignore a compulsion.

I think #2 and #3 overlap so here are some examples that might help:
-read something inspirational
-sit in the sunshine
-paint your nails
-learn a new language
-cook a meal
-treat yourself to take away
-buy yourself a piece of jewelry or a new watch
-send a birthday card to someone
-keep individually wrapped candies/chocolates around and eat one when you need a sensory moment
-call an elderly friend/relative
-one-by-one maybe over time begin setting aside donations for a charity
-decorate a space in your house for the change of the seasons
-string up some lights somewhere in your house especially now that the days are getting shorter for some of us on this forum
-buy/light a candle
-buy yourself some flowers
-plant an herb and put it in your kitchen
-visit your favorite shop
-if you like inspirational phrases/images, hang one on the wall
-organize one small space that has stressed you out
-take a bath
-go to the beach
-take a walk at a park or in nature
-download music that you enjoy
-try creative journaling - colorful pens, pencils & markers, washi tape, stickers, etc
-give a small gift to someone who means a lot to you
-watch a new show, documentary or movie
-brush your dog or cat
-buy your pet a treat
-listen to podcasts or audiobooks
-go for a drive
-go out for dessert
-frame your favorite photo
-play with an adult coloring book
-when I need to get back to sleep, I tell my OCD monster that I don't want to engage and to leave me alone. It works sometimes. :)
-learn to draw, paint, make pottery, make jewelry, knit/crochet, wood-working, etc. Visit a craft store for inspiration.
-buy a book of poetry. Poetry is usually short and quick to read.
-subscribe to a new YouTube channel that teaches you something you've wanted to learn
-practice self-assertiveness. For me, this is what begins to set me free little by little from the monster. It's about me recognizing my own boundaries then correcting people who brazenly cross them and hurt me. This has been my hardest realization about OCD. It takes introspection and practice to overcome this fear. OCD doesn't want me to be self-assertive. It wants me to doubt my worth and my abilities. And it wants me to believe that everything is my fault and to be a doormat for others' word vomit and for their anxieties. For me, this is facing the OCD beast itself because I have to exercise tact and strength with someone else to get what I need.

If anyone has other ideas they'd like to add, then please do so!