Managing Pandemic OCD

Courtney Barich | Marketing:

As a 26 year old woman living in New York City, I was having a hard time the first few months of this pandemic. I am used to being in a routine. On a regular day, I wake up, I go to work, I workout and then I go to dinner with a friend or cook dinner at home. Without this routine, my anxiety and OCD have been spiraling, leading to Pandemic OCD. My mind is consumed with many questions:

“What am I going to do today?”
“How do I prioritize my work this week?”
“Should I organize my clothing for the 10th time today?”
“Are my parents gong to get COVID-19?”

I have much more free time to sit around and ruminate. I think about things from my past that I cannot control. I have a difficult time staying present and focusing on things that I can control. On a daily basis, my thoughts surround my family’s health and how I cannot protect them from this horrible virus. I see a t-shirt in my closet that is not folded perfectly and I internally freak out. I have anxiety going into an elevator that other people have been in that day. The worries go on.

A month ago, I decided to take control of my life. I was not going to let myself continue to spiral. I wanted to take control of my mind. So, instead of sitting home contemplating these thoughts, I have worked to shift my mindset.

I am learning to control what I can control and let go of the rest. One thing I have worked on is staying present. I started to meditate, I meditate 10 minutes every morning to get myself ready for the day. I have retrained my brain to think of the positives in my day. At the end of each day, I write down three positive things that happened in my day. Whether it is a successful Webex call, a good therapy session or a nice outdoor dining experience with a friend, I am now celebrating the little successes. I have worked on a list of tasks I can complete now that I would not be able to if there was no pandemic. I have picked up a new hobby- knitting and am taking advantage of the time I now have.


If you want to learn more about OCD, check out our past webinar: OCD: Do I have it and what does treatment look like?

If you are currently struggling with OCD, contact us for more information about your treatment options.

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