I had kind of an epiphany the other day–it’s mainly thanks to a close friend who also struggles with OCD, and the same aspects of OCD as I do, but I just loved it and wanted to share, you know when that happens? And you just are like WOW that’s the most helpful thing I’ve ever heard! 🙂
Anyway, I have known for the great majority of my life, ever since I can remember, that down time is hard for me. I always prefered to be busy, because I was happier when I was doing other things. And I think that being busy is really important for everyone, especially for those of us who suffer when they have too much time to sit around and think/obsess/etc. But down time was getting increasingly harder over the years, and last semester, the weekends were so hard, because I didn’t have classes and just had lots of free time. So I would try to structure my free time but still, the down time was getting worse and worse.
So my friend explained to me something she learned, and put into practice: it’s CRUCIAL for those of us who struggle, to have some down time built into our days. It’s necessary to have a balance between keeping busy but also building in time to relax, unwind, and clear our heads. Because what she used to do, which is what I’ve been doing forever, is being so busy, which is good in the moment because then I wasn’t getting OCD-crazy, or anxious, but then it was all building up, I just wasn’t letting it out–so as soon as it was the evening or the weekend, it all exploded and I was miserable. So she said to build in some time during the day, even if it’s just five minutes here to stretch and five minutes there to check my email, so that all the anxieties and OCD and worries and everything can unload, I can refresh, and then once I do have a chunk of downtime, it won’t be as bad because there isn’t that huge pile of built up feelings/emotions/obsessions.
I just thought that made so much sense, and it really explained a lot for me, so I wanted to share in the hopes that it helps one of you.