How do you stay clean with OCD?

Ways to Manage OCD by Keeping House Clean

OCD is a mental health condition where an individual is flooded with intrusive, disturbing thoughts that push them to perform specific repetitive activities or compulsions, for many persons with OCD, obsessions, and compulsions are centered on cleanliness, germs, and things being in order. Keeping your living space clean is undoubtedly important, but someone with OCD might take the cleaning activity well beyond its ordinary, manageable level. Here are a few tips for how you can keep your home environment clean without worsening your obsessive-compulsive symptoms:

Consult a psychotherapist

One of the best treatments for OCD is the kind of cognitive-behavior therapy called exposure and response prevention (ERP). Exposure demonstrates to the patient how to resist compulsions by confronting the triggers individually. A therapist who focuses on the treatment of OCD can guide you through these exercises and lay out a treatment plan tailored to you. The therapy can help teach you coping mechanisms and reframe your obsessive thoughts.

Set Realistic Cleaning Goals

It’s easy to fall into perfectionist cleaning routines when you live with OCD, but remind yourself: A home doesn’t have to be germ-free to be clean or safe. Set attainable cleaning goals for yourself, such as vacuuming once a week or wiping down high-touch surfaces daily. Do not set impossible standards that will only fuel your obsessions.

Cleaning Products

Break Tasks into Manageable Steps

Cleaning often seems overwhelming, mainly when OCD makes the stakes feel impossibly high: breaks cleaning tasks into small, concrete steps. So, rather than writing ‘clean the bathroom’ on your to-do list, you might list each step: ‘wipe the mirror,’ ‘scrub the sink,’ ‘mop the floor,’ etc. Tackling one small task at a time can make cleaning seem more approachable.

Know When to Outsource

If your OCD makes it impossible to keep up with cleaning, it’s perfectly okay to ask for help. You might want to consider the services of a cleaning company like Sparkly Maid Austin. A cleaning service can help ensure that your home is consistently clean without causing you to experience extreme stress. Sometimes, the best way to deal with OCD is to delegate tasks that trigger your symptoms.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska:

Be Mindful

Mindfulness is all about watching your thoughts and feelings pass by without getting too involved or being judgmental. In other words, take note of how your OCD thoughts are starting to build up again, but don’t act on them. For example, you can silently say to yourself, “There’s my OCD again,” and then gently turn your attention back to what you were doing. Remember, thoughts are just thoughtsᅳthey don’t necessarily reflect reality.

Be kind to yourself

Living with OCD can be quite challenging, so self-compassion is critical. Celebrate every success, no matter how small, and never beat yourself up because of OCD. It is a journey toward recovery and every little step counts. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who know your condition.

With the proper treatment and coping strategies, it’s possible to manage OCD and maintain a clean home. Therefore, if obsessive-compulsive cleaning is ruining your life, remember you are not alone, and help is out there such as house cleaners in Austin. Organizations such as the International OCD Foundation offer resources and support to those living with OCD.

Leave a Comment