I hear all the time that I spoil my cat. I actually do agree with this. I spend more on his needs than on my own and I’m fine with that. I just love going into Petsmart and picking up things for him. He got a lot of stuff yesterday, as you can see from the picture 😀 I actually love to spoil him. My thinking is, if you adopt a pet, then why not spoil it?
I’ve mentioned this time and again, but it’s true, pets really do bring a comfort and sense of love into the home that might not otherwise exist without them. He keeps me a bit more positive during the winter. Except today he hid in a bag and scratched my foot as I walked by….I wasn’t very positive after he did that…
I am honestly counting down the days until springtime. We are almost just one month away and I’ve heard that the meteorological winter is just about over. I sure hope that’s true. Being stuck inside all the time is not good for the mind or body! Even my buddy Chester is struggling. I took him outside a couple of times, but it’s not the same as being able to sit in front of a warm, open window, the sun beating down on him. I could tell he was getting depressed, so I had to make sure he was getting some fresh air and sunlight, even though it’s cold outside.
As someone with a phobia and who has OCD, winter time is difficult for me. I’ve read on emetephobia help sites that many people with this phobia, which for me fuels OCD, is cyclically worse in winter. With the increase in illness and disease, I try to stay inside my house as much as possible. During the warmer months, I will try to be out in nature as much as possible. It helps to have my kitty to keep me company and honestly, for some entertainment because he is so eccentric and funny.
Remembering to stay positive during these ugly months, especially during an ugly, gray Indiana winter, is not always easy to do. I mean it literally is gray here.
There have been weeks on end where the sun never shined. It was just an ugly, cloudy haze. I hate it. Maybe this helps you see how it’s difficult for me to remain positive here. One thing that I think has been helping me is avoiding things that I know are triggers. By avoiding these triggers, I have been able to better focus on the things that make me happy and that are good and not stressful. These triggers for me make my OCD worse. I perform rituals much more when I am exposed to these things. Here are some of the triggers I’ve been avoiding:
- Watching the news. Seems like all they ever talk about is some sort of disease that’s spreading around. Just, no.
- Going out with friends or acquaintances. I constantly worry about other people’s cleanliness and controlling K’s movements and what he touches as well as doing this for myself. It’s too stressful to handle.
- Have guests in my home. No way. It just seems like anyone who ever comes here ends up being sick with something like the next day. My home is my safe place. I can’t compromise that.
- Looking around while driving. I tend to look around while driving, meaning that my eyes are not fixed on the car ahead. I get this honest from my dad. This has caused me to see things that other people might not see and pay attention to things that I definitely don’t wanna see. I’ve seen people getting sick on the side of the road more times than I care to admit. That traumatizes me for days, so I’ve stopped looking around while driving.
- Eating at restaurants. Food borne illness or just a dirty facility is something I can’t handle thinking about.
- Going to anyone else’s house.
- Eating food not prepared by me.
Avoiding these things has seemed to bring my stress levels down quite a bit. I know some of them are strange to you, but my mind isn’t always rational and these things can spiral out of control in my mind, so it’s best to just avoid them at this time.
I have taken steps to be more positive and to try to enjoy the winter months. I can be pretty grouchy when I’m uncomfortable and that really affects the positivity in my household, thus stress levels skyrocket for both K and me. Here are some things I’ve been working on to make me happier and more positive about life:
- Exercising daily. I’ve already mentioned Blogilates here. Exercising is also good to keep me from dying from heart disease, which all of my grandparents had. Yay…. 😦
- Eating healthier. Since exercising, I feel better about myself, my body isn’t as weak and tired, and I am motivated to eat better foods. Today I am making a slow cooker vegetable soup recipe and it’s so healthy and looks/smells awesome. The other night, I made Cassey Ho’s 2 ingredient banana pancakes. They are so good and easy to make. Here’s all you need to do: Take 1 banana and smash it, beat in 2 eggs, and then cook them like pancakes on a griddle or in a skillet with coconut oil. Voila! You have really easy, healthy, gluten-free pancakes. I added cinnamon to mine because I love cinnamon, especially in pancakes. Mine were not quite as pretty as her’s, but they tasted great. Here’s what mine looked like:
- Increasing my vitamin C intake. EmergenC and orange juice are my new friends. I have so much energy after drinking EmergenC. I just love that stuff.
- Blogging more. It helps fill the void of not going out or meeting people.
- Crocheting more. This is my go-to stress relief activity.
- Smiling more. This is a big one. Fake it till you make it! Believe or not, that really does go a long way.
- Making a conscious effort to not complain and be grouchy. This is a hard one for me. My mom and K know my exact “Megan faces” and they are usually of me grimacing and being grouchy. I need to rebrand the “Megan face.”
What are some ways that you try to remain positive? I enjoyed sharing these things with you. I hope this post was a bit interesting!