Sunday, July 18, 2010

Holy Nails!

Nailbiting and skin picking is something I've always struggled with, even before I knew I had OCD. I have ugly hands with nails that dip way down past the quick. They sometimes bleed, and I pick and chew the cuticles and the skin around them, too. (Do you see the irony in this?! I'm a person whose OCD sometimes pertains to contamination, yet I have a nailbiting problem that leaves me with open wounds on my hands. But we already know OCD is illogical!) Perhaps it's an overlap into trichotillomania, I don't know, but there's definitely a nervousness-->compulsion-->satisfaction component involved.

Anyway, I was on vacation from work this week. That meant less time sitting at the computer, less time feeling frustrated by the people I work with, and less time worrying about whether I'll find a new job any time soon. It was simply free time during which my husband and I relaxed, went bicycling, paddled down a river in a canoe, and had lots of good dinners. All of this added up to the longest fingernails in a long while!

I'm hoping I can keep them growing. If anyone else out there has the same issue as I do, be it OCD-related or not, here's the most helpful advice I can offer: interrupt your fingers! While it's hard sometimes to interrupt your thoughts, it's easy to interrupt your fingers. To do so I stop and "play" a C scale on my trumpet (air trumpet, of course). The only enemy of this distraction is inattention; the air scale will work for me as long as I focus hard enough on it.

Wish me luck! : \

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Three Ways I Handle Job Anxiety

"Whew." That's how I feel after every day at work. I've got a lot of stress at my job right now, so I thought I'd discipline myself enough to recognize three things I can do to handle it when it gets bad. Maybe it will help you, too.

1. Eat a good breakfast. On top of that, eat a good dinner! Today was particularly stressful. I'm talking crying-in-the-bathroom stressful. I didn't sleep well last night, which probably amplified my emotions. I didn't sleep well because I didn't eat well yesterday. To top it all off, I didn't recover by eating a little more today to even it all out. It sounds silly, but I know my body and my mind get a little bit off kilter I dfon't eat well enough.
2. Take time to pause. I have a pause button, and it's my husband. Today I called him to vent, about to react inappropriately to something. Just that little bit of time speaking with him diffused my frustration a little. It didn't take the frustrating issue away, it just helped me to step back and take a break.
3. Know where to find a friend. In the middle of a bad day at work, I know I can trust my friend to "meet me in the second floor bathroom." There we hash it out away from the rest of the people in my office (we're on the 5th floor).

If tomorrow is like today, I'm going to keep these things in mind.