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How to Handle an OCD Spike During Holidays

test1Why is it that every time a holiday is near we get more and more anxious?
Depending on what exactly triggers your OCD, your fears may be different. However the high anxiety is a common thread. It also seems that the closer you get to the main event, the more stress you feel.   Anyways, this is true for me every time. I remember that I started to anticipate the Christmas season in the fall and by the time we were close to it I was in full panic mode. So having been through a few of these “OCD Holidays” I have decided to offer some of the things I found to be very good at reducing OCD related anxiety.
1. Create a list of OCD related triggers and responses. This should be something like this:
It is possible that during my holiday party someone will touch the food, and contaminate it with dirty hands.
If this does happen I will take a deep breath and remember that there are probably many other times this has happened and everything is fine. After that I will find something else to focus my attention on.
2. Do not worry about making everything perfect, being a perfect guest or a perfect host. Remember that you are human who not only has a lot to deal with but also has OCD and you too deserve a break. Even if someone thinks that you could have done more, think about this, what is more important a random opinion or your mental state?
3. Sometimes it just gets to be too much. It can be something unexpected that happened or just a crowded room but in case you feel like you can’t take the party anymore, plan a way to get away. If you are a guest come up with a great excuse ahead of time or if you are a host remember to “forget” something that you have to make a quick trip to the store for. The point is to give you enough time to be alone to regain your composure.

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