How to navigate OCD during the holiday season: Therapist shares tips | Health

How to navigate OCD during the holiday season: Therapist shares tips | Health

  24 Dec 2023

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental condition where a person experiences repetitions and compulsive thoughts. Engaging in repetitive behaviours and significant distress are some of the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. With the holiday season being here, it can be increasingly difficult for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder with stress and anxiety looming on them. “Holidays can exacerbate OCD due to increased social interactions, changes in routine, and the pressure for perfection. This can trigger heightened anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and compulsive behaviors,” wrote Therapist Melissa Jermann. She further added, “For individuals struggling with OCD, the holidays can become a triggering time with increasing levels of anxiety and stress.” Here are a few tips to navigate OCD during the holiday season.

How to navigate OCD during the holiday season: Therapist shares tips(Unsplash)

Plan for triggers: It is important to understand the triggers and predict them in order to be prepared on how to react when things make us uncomfortable/ during the holiday season, we may meet people and situations that we do not feel safe with. Knowing about them beforehand can make us prepare for it.

Be mindful: Practicing mindfulness and self-awareness can help us to pull ourselves out of situations that we are not happy with. Mindful skills can help us to feel better and focus on the present and bask in the joy of the holiday season.

Practice compassion: It is important to not be harsh on ourselves, and understand our behaviour patterns better. This will ensure that we are more kind to ourselves, more patient with ourselves and focus on feeling safe.

Acceptance: One of the mistakes we make is overthinking prior to the holidays that we will not be able to enjoy them because of the OCS symptoms we have. When we have OCD, we need to accept it and find ways to control our responses and still have a good time.

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