Most of us have an increase in anxiety about getting sick from COVID-19. Then there are people who have previously been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The pandemic has the potential to lead to worsening OCD symptoms. You may be wondering how to cope during this time of extreme uncertainty. The strategies below can help you maintain the progress achieved prior to COVID-19, and maybe even help you progress further.
1- Talk Openly
Talk to your loved ones who may not follow your extra cautious advice. Accept that you can’t control them, but communicate your fears.
Avoidance will only reinforce the OCD. Force yourself to do low-risk activities like shopping with a mask and gloves in an uncrowded store.
Continue to engage socially with your family and friends, even if it is only virtually. Also consider joining an online support group.
Use your extra time to enjoy activities you don’t always get time for. Also remember to keep regular sleep and exercise schedules.
Remind yourself that the CDC and the WHO are using facts to set the guidelines and use your coping strategies when fear makes you want to do more than this.
You want to constantly check the news. Set a limit on the frequency and duration for watching news that works for you and stick to it.
The preventative measures are our new normal but they are only temporary. Until then, we have to be open to change.
Remind yourself that it’s completely normal to be worried at this time. It is not your fault if your symptoms become worse. Take care of yourself and focus on the things you can control.
9- Accept the Unknown
Things are more uncertain than normal. Practice accepting the uncertainty every day. When you manage your stress, you give your body a better chance of staying healthy.
If you are working with a therapist, you have the skills to handle the uncertainty. You are possibly more prepared than people who don’t have OCD. Be confident. You can do this.
Your fear is real and meaningful. Your OCD might act up more than normal right now. Remind yourself that each time you challenge your OCD, you give yourself the best chance of getting through this.
Do you need anxiety counseling? Call (510) 497-4174 to set up your free consultation with one of our anxiety counselors today.