OCD and Coronavirus: Be kind to yourself
The coronavirus situation is scary because there’s so much about it that’s unknowing and uncertain.
First recognise that if you’re anxious about coronavirus, that’s normal and you’re not alone.
Cut back on constant news checking
We all know that it’s difficult not to check the news about Coronavirus and how it’s developing.
To combat compulsive checking, restrict your news intake to a frequency and duration that works for you.
For instance, you might only check once a day for a maximum of five minutes, or once a week you might watch the evening news, or you might decide not to check news at all.
Do whatever is most helpful for you.
Give yourself permission to follow coronavirus guidelines
Many people in OCD treatment are trying to reduce compulsive cleaning rituals.
While those in recovery may have hand washing and other cleanliness routines that are less stringent than those of the average person, because they are trying to keep contamination compulsions in check.
However, because of the present situation, give yourself permission to follow the World Health Organization, and guidelines created by professional and medical authorities in the UK or in your country.
For example, you could wash your hands as directed by them but no more than that.
The feeling of dirtiness or contamination may still linger even after you’ve done the recommended wash.
This gives you an opportunity to practice allowing those feelings to be there without doing compulsions.
Be kind to yourself in this triggering situation
The situation is making many people fearful, even people who don’t have OCD, so you’re not alone.
Allow yourself to feel anxious and realise that your anxiety might not go away while the situation is still unfolding.
If you’re experiencing an increase in OCD symptoms, it’s not your fault!
Do what you can to keep your compulsions in check without trying to be perfect.
If you need support, schedule an extra session with your counsellor or therapist or reach out to a support group.
For practitioners: You can offer clients the option to meet online If and When your clients or you need to self-isolate. Our Counselling Online Guide reflects professional and ethical guidelines and includes ready-to-use Consent Form sections to cover practical / legal issues around online practice. Thus keeping you and your clients safe.