Anxiety and OCD are closely related. They are so intertwined, in fact, that it takes a thorough exploration to tease out the strands of what is anxiety and what is habitual OCD behavior. While working on resolving the causes of anxiety and OCD (as well as other mental illnesses and disorders), practitioners should also address the additional strands of a person's mental health. How is this patient's general well-being? What different areas could be improved to support the patient's mental health? While medication can help immensely with the physical and psychological strain that comes with mental illnesses, it is essential to be aware of other contributing factors and how they can be resolved to enhance the quality of recovery.
Lifestyle modifications, self-care routines, healthful diet, mindfulness, and alternative treatments are all practices that could bump up the quality of a patient's recovery from anxiety and OCD. By integrating these practices into their daily lives, patients can heal holistically and flourish while continuing to benefit from medication for anxiety and OCD.
Essentially, self-care means providing your body with what it needs in a purposeful way. For example, an exhausted parent might take a few minutes to read a book, have a walk, or ask for help on the weekend so they can sleep in. A person who is stressed from work might leave the office early, adopt a new hobby, prioritize exercise, and disable emails while at home. Self-care is never selfish and doesn’t have to be particularly indulgent. It simply means taking the time to reflect on your needs (physical, emotional, spiritual) and fill them. Experts agree: self-care is crucial to maintaining good overall health.
What’s necessary for good health is a balanced lifestyle. By giving your body the vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and carbohydrates it needs, we are practicing self-care and balance, crucial elements to healing.
Small steps toward healthful eating are particularly important for people with OCD and anxiety, when sensory sensitivities, worries about weight gain or loss, and stomach pain or nausea often limit patients to a narrow diet. A robust, healthy diet is the gold standard, and progress toward that goal should be celebrated!
Identify one area of your diet that needs work and make a goal to improve it. Take small steps toward your goal. Perhaps start taking supplements for Omega 3 and Vitamin B12. Focus on staying hydrated. A bite of broccoli today, a piece of steak tomorrow, and soon enough, your body will be better able to support its own mental healing.
Mindfulness can be complex, despite how simple it sounds! Being mindful means being mentally present in the moment and accepting emotions, thoughts, and physical feelings as they arise. Practices that support mindfulness include yoga, meditation, and walking. These activities give us the space to practice mindfulness, focus on breathing slowly, and acknowledge the sensations and feelings in our bodies.
Sometimes traditional therapy, holistic practices, and medication don’t fully support treating a person with anxiety and OCD. Other forms of treatment, like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, and CBT, offer enhanced outcomes for treatment-resistant depression and anxiety. These therapies are often used with medication for anxiety and OCD and offer hope for those suffering greatly from mental illness.
There are many paths to wellness. Regardless of the disease, the best outcomes for patients tend to come about when a focus on holistic health is emphasized. It is no different for people who take medications for anxiety and OCD. By integrating self-care, a healthful diet, mindfulness, and alternative therapies, therapeutic teams can support patients on their journey to mental wellness. Contact Bella Jace today for more information about the intersection of medication, therapy, and holistic health.