Top 10 Self-Care Tips for Successfully Managing Your OCD

One of the Leading TMS Treatment Centers in MD Offers Advice for People Living With OCD

Living with OCD can be challenging. But it isn’t impossible. By seeking professional help and following prescribed treatment plans, it is possible to have a normal life. In our latest blog post, The Psych Associates of Maryland, one of the top TMS treatment centers in the state, offers 10 tips for managing OCD. Check them out now!

10 Tips for Managing OCD

Mental health and counseling concept

1. Avoid Black and White Thinking

During your treatment, it can be tempting to fall into a black and white thinking pattern. But this all-or-nothing thinking can be more harmful than helpful. And it’s important to recognize that one slip-up doesn’t mean you are a complete failure. In fact, it is normal for OCD patients to make a mistake or perform a compulsion. Instead of seeing the mistake as a failure and relapse, you need to see it as a temporary lapse. You will always have a new chance to improve and do better.

2. Exercise Regularly

Performing aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day can help OCD patients reduce symptoms like obsessive thoughts or compulsions. Patients have also found that exercise helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, which sometimes accompany an OCD diagnosis. 

Need some workout inspiration? While classic aerobic exercises like jogging or biking are effective, they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re looking for an extra challenge, try a HIIT class. If you want to try some low-impact aerobic exercises due to an injury or pain, you can try rowing or swimming some laps. 

3. Try Turning to Peer Support

For some OCD patients, connecting with other people who share similar struggles as them can be beneficial for their treatment. You can ask your physician or mental health counselor for support group recommendations. That being said, the pandemic has put a halt to most in-person group therapy sessions. As a result, you’ll probably be meeting your peers virtually. Of course, this doesn’t lessen the quality of your sessions or the relationships you form with your peers. 

4. Challenge Your Fears

Challenging your fears can also help you manage your OCD symptoms. Take a moment and think about your fears. Ask yourself whether or not they are realistic. Question yourself if any of these thoughts are accurate or if you could be confusing your facts. By challenging your fears, you can open yourself up to healthier thinking processes. Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy techniques like this one can be especially beneficial for OCD patients.  

5. Practice Journaling

Try keeping a journal to record your thoughts, rituals, and compulsions. Writing down unwanted and intrustive thoughts in your journal can allow you to look at your thought patterns from an objective angle. That said, you are at risk of becoming self-obsessed with your intrusive thoughts. Before starting a journal, you should ask your mental health counselor for tips on keeping a journal to help manage your OCD treatment. 

6. Try to Start Delaying Your “Ritual”

If you find that you must perform a ritual, try to at least delay it. For example, if you need to wash your hands after touching something, try to wait a little before performing this ritual. Start with waiting one minute, then two minutes, then three minutes, and so on until you can feel comfortable not doing the ritual at all. 

7. Practice Relaxation Techniques at Least Once a Day

Relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing exercises can help you reduce stress and anxiety. Not only can stress trigger OCD symptoms, but it can also lead to health problems like high blood pressure or headaches. So it’s important to take care of your emotional health. Try following a guided meditation or practicing deep breathing exercises a few minutes a day. 

8. Nourish Yourself on a Healthy Diet

Following a healthy and nourishing diet can also help you manage your OCD. Nuts, eggs, meat, fruits, and veggies are all essential components of a healthy diet. You should also avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine. While alcohol may temporarily reduce stress and anxiety, it can actually worsen your mood after your buzz wears off. Smoking nicotine can also harm your health and OCD treatment. 

9. Don’t Forget Your Homework

Some therapists assign “homework” for their patients. Make sure you stay on top of your assignments. Reviewing them at the start of each day can help you ensure your are making proper progress with them. When doing them, you should give them your full attention. 

10. Remember to Take Your Medication

While taking your medication sounds like a no-brainer, it can be easy to forget to take it regularly. Try setting daily reminders in your phone or downloading an app that can help you track your medication intake. 

Living with OCD can be challenging. But it is possible to lead a healthy and happy life with OCD. Are you looking for professional support and treatment for your OCD? The Psych Associates of Maryland, one of the top TMS treatment centers in the state, offer treatments and services for patients struggling with OCD. Contact the team today to schedule an appointment!


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