Friday, July 27, 2018

Me, my husband and OCD

Marriage is Hard! I feel like no one really let me in on that secret before I got married. Or if they did,  I was too busy imagining what the flower girls dress would look like, to listen to them. 

I've been Married to my husband almost 5 and a half years now, and have known each other for about 7 years. We met on an online dating site. He was 28, I was 19. He was funny and cute, and actually had manners. We got along and had a great time dating. 

Before we got married I noticed some subtle signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in my husband. I just thought he was quirky. 
After marriage his OCD progressed, causing us to have a big strain on our marriage. I didn't know he had OCD before we got married,  and he didn't either. I was the one searching online one day trying to find out why he gets so angry when I do certain things he deems as "unclean". 

Just so you know,  I'm very conscious of my hygiene, and habits. I get disgusted easily by some things,  but not to the extent of my husband. 

I found that my husband had contamination OCD.
For those of you who don't know,  contamination OCD is where the person constantly feels things are contaminated with germs. My husband has to wash his hands way more than necessary, and we go through A TON of cleaners and disinfecting wipes so he can clean everything he deems "contaminated".

So yes this all sounds like he goes overboard with the cleaning. But how does it affect our Marriage?
 I have one word... Time! It takes him soooooo much time to do his rituals.. and every winter when someone is sick around him,  he has a breakdown and adds a bunch of stuff to his rituals so it takes him even longer. 

I cannot tell you how much time I have had to waste waiting for him. On vacations, he takes an extra long time cleaning because he doesn't have all his usual stuff with him. So I get to go on my own adventures for a few hours in the morning, and a few hours in the evenings. 
At home, we try to spend time with each other after the kids go to bed. So he comes home from work,  eats dinner fast, has about 5 minutes with the kids,  and then its off to do his rituals for a few hours. By 9 pm he can watch a show. By then I'm usually exhausted from my day spent with my crazy kiddos. But we endure a one-hour episode of one of our favorite shows. Then it is off to bed. 

I love my husband and the time we get together is great. Sometimes it's nice he has to do stuff in the evenings for a while because it gives me a little while to just have some alone time to read,  or surf the internet.
But I do miss spending more quality time with him. 
After 5 years of marriage and two kids,  he finally is going to a psychologist. It's been helpful with some things and has made some of his obsessions worse but I'm just grateful he is trying to help himself. 

The biggest struggle I've had in my marriage with everything is feeling like I'm the only one going through this. I know there are others out there,  but it is hard work being a spouse of a person who suffers from OCD

I'm writing this in hopes I can meet others with OCD or spouses of a person with OCD. 
I also hope to bring awareness to OCD. Did you know that every 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children have OCD? I can't believe how many people actually have it but I only know of my husband and maybe a couple of celebrities that have it. 

If I have a good response with this subject, I may try to have a weekly discussion about my experience as a spouse trying to help my husband,  and also tips on how to survive a marriage with OCD.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

How to Beat Those Birthay Blues

Yesterday was my 26th birthday. For the last month, I've been ignoring the fact my birthday was coming up. 
I don't know why really. maybe it's just the fact I'm getting older that depresses me,  or that another year in my 20's has gone and I feel like I haven't done enough. 

It's perfectly normal to be depressed about another birthday coming up. People who get Birthday blues are usually those who suffer from Depression,  Anxiety, other mental illness,  or those who are introverts. 

So I'm going to talk about how you can avoid the birthday blues,  or at least still enjoy your day even if you're not happy about getting older!

1. Let Yourself Feel Special

Weather your near family and friends or not,  make sure to feel special. I mean your Birthday is the day you were born! You have come into existence! You have changed the world by being here. Even if you don't think you have done anything big with your life. You are still here,  still alive,  and one year wiser to find something meaningful to do. Feel special about that! Celebrate that!

2. Do Something Fun!

I've had many birthdays that I just wasted by staying home because I didn't consider my birthday a big deal. I wish I could have those birthdays back to make up for it,  but all I can do now is make sure I celebrate the rest of my birthdays. 
Make sure whether your broke,  on a budget, or just being lazy, you still need to get out and do something memorable.

 My husband helped me enjoy my birthday by picking out a few bars and activities downtown. And we just went to what we wanted to do out of his list. We didn't make a big deal about money, we just went,  and had a ton of fun. 

3. Make a yearly goal

Just like new year's,  your birthday is a marking point for a big event in your life. Celebrate that by making goals you can accomplish before the next year.
 I'm not talking about the typical "lose x amount of weight", I'm talking about making a goal to save up money to travel where you have always wanted to go or to learn a new language,  or even to start working toward starting that business you have wanted to do.
 It will help you be excited to have something to work towards or look forward to. And it will make your life feel more fulfilled. Just make sure you try to follow through. It will make you a lot happier on your next birthday to know you accomplished something you have always wanted to do. 

4. Don't ask for presents, ask for experiences

Presents are always nice on your birthday but that's about the only time you're excited about them. Instead of asking for presents, tell your family or friends that you would rather they spend their money on an experience with them. This will give you a lot more happy memories with the ones you love. That's a better alternative than getting clothes that you probably won't wear.

5. Spend that Birthday money!!

Most people are probably really good at spending money people give them. I am not.
I get money for my birthday and think oh I'll buy myself something nice with this. Then I put in my wallet,  don't touch it for 6 months and then find it and put it toward groceries or something lame.

DON'T BE LIKE ME! If you get money,  spend it that day on whatever you're doing for your birthday,  or go shopping ASAP to make sure you buy something for yourself. 

I may have started my birthday off with some sadness, but I ended my birthday with an awesome night of fun,  and lots of excitement for what I'm going to accomplish as a 26-year-old!
How do you celebrate your birthday? Leave a comment about how you celebrate,  so other readers can get some fun ideas for what they can do on their birthday!
I hope you're fighting off those birthday blues this year.

I have finally gotten around to setting up a Facebook page. Come to check it out and like my page!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

How to Boost your Self Confidence

I was walking my dogs around my neighborhood yesterday and every time I would walk past someone, I'd analyze how I was walking.  making sure I wasn't walking funny,  or doing something weird that someone might look at and judge me for.  
Then I started thinking,  is there really a right way to walk? Why should I be so concerned about what these people see anyway? 
The chattering thoughts in our heads tell us that people are constantly looking at us, constantly judging us for every move we make. 
Do I notice people walking their dogs when I'm outside? Sometimes, but do I evaluate them on what they are doing with their hands, or how they walk.. usually not, unless they are trying to do something that doesn't look right.. which doesn't happen very often. 

Everyone deals with being self-conscious. I believe self-consciousness can be a good or bad thing depending on what you do with it. It's people with mental disorders such as anxiety,  and depression that get the bad part of being self-conscious. These people are more likely to listen and believe the negative chattering thoughts in their heads.

The good news is, even if you are very negatively self conscious, you can do a few things to help.

Comparing Yourself to Others:

With social media being so popular,  it's hard not to follow your friend's lives and be envious of what they might have that you don't. Thinking that others may be better than you,  or have more than you will erode your self-confidence. 

Try to remember that everyone is running their own race and life isn't a competition. 

Challenge Your Thoughts:

Sometimes the chattering voices will try to put you down. They might tell you your not good enough for that promotion, or that you're too out of shape to work out. Challenge those thoughts by doing what your brain says you can't do!
 It's ok to make mistakes or to be anxious sometimes. The most successful people had to make a lot of mistakes to get to where they are. 

Don't let your thoughts make you someone you're not. 

Take Care of Yourself:

Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally is the most important thing you can do. If your or if shape, you're going to be self-conscious about it. Start exercising and give yourself some goals to work toward. When you accomplish a goal it will build your confidence in yourself. 
Make sure you continue to read books and teach yourself new things. When your growing your knowledge your not focused on everything that's wrong with you,  your focus on the subject your learning. Plus I feel like when I learn something new,  I'm more confident in having conversations with others. 

Being negative toward yourself will only hurt you more. So make sure you are staying positive when you mess up.

If you can work on these things,  you will find that you won't be as negatively self conscious. You will be proud of yourself and feel confident in yourself.

Thanks for reading my blogs! I'd love to hear from my readers so please comment with ways you have found to help build your self-confidence. Or feel free to ask questions. I will always respond! 

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Apps I use to make money!

Did you know that fights about money are the second leading reason for divorce? That is such a crazy thing to me that a material good that we created is causing us to fight and divorce.
I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mom. I've constantly searched out ways to make money while staying home, so my husband doesn't have all that weight on his shoulders. Of course, if you have looked for at home jobs that allow you to still watch your kids,  you will realize there are very few jobs like that. So I've resorted to any other way I can save our family some money. 

In the 4 years, I've been a stay at home mom, I've tried out many apps that pay you money,  or give you rewards for using the apps. I've found a few that I can trust so far. Its been really nice to have a few different apps I use to put a good amount of money toward Christmas or birthday gifts, or even groceries. 

Here I have a list of a few apps I have consistently used, and that have some great rewards. 

This is a fun app to have. It works with Android and iOS phones. It's a game where you earn rolls by watching videos and taking surveys, you use the rolls to earn tickets. The tickets you accumulate can be used to get Amazon products. 
The downside is it doesn't always have everything Amazon has.  But gift cards are redeemable with your tickets so you can get amazon gift cards to buy whatever they may not have with the app. 
If you decide to try this app out,  use my referral code and you will get 30 rolls to start! 
Referal code: 513485

I really love this grocery app. You can make good money from this one if you often buy name brand products from the grocery store.
They have lots of grocery stores they use like Smiths, Walmart, Sprouts, Sam's club etc.
You make your grocery list,  and before going shopping, look at the Ibotta app and it will tell you what products you can earn money back after buying. After you grocery shop, it has you take a picture with your phone, of receipt and the product you bought. Once it verified that you bought that product, you get some money back. Once it adds up,  you can get gift cards and put them on your next shopping trip. They also have Amazon and some clothes shopping places that you can get money back. I highly suggest you check it out! 
Use my referral code if you decide to sign up! 
Referal code: hvokosm

This one I'm a little newer to but I just used some points for a $5 gift card. 
This app gives you 10 points a day for unlocking your phone. You can also watch videos to earn more points. 
It took me about a week to get used to it but once you get used to it, you won't even notice it anymore. It runs ads on your lock screen as soon as you push a button to turn the screen on. You unlock your phone and use it as normal. You don't have to even really look at the ads at all. 
If you choose to download the S'more app,  use my referral code and you will get 25 points to start!
Referral code: SHNGQU

These are the only ones right now that I'm using and it's paid for a good Christmas for my hubby and kids last year,  and I'm planning on using my earnings for Christmas again this year!
If you sign up for these now, you will definitely have some extra money for your Christmas as well!

Don't let money become a fight in your home, always budget and live below your means so you can enjoy the other things that life has to offer you. 

If you are using any other money making apps,  let us know what they are and drop your referral code so we can sign up too!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Don't Let Clutter Take Over

As a person... living in a house. I have quite a bit of clutter. Unless you jumped on the Minimalism bandwagon, you probably have clutter in your home, car,  or at your office. 
 There are a few ways that clutter can cause you stress and unhappiness in your life. 
How can this mess affect your life?

1. Embarrassment:
I hate when there is a mess when people come to my house. I always like a heads up from people coming to visit so I have time to hide all the crap sitting on my kitchen table.  But usually, I don't get that heads up,  which means people come in and see kids toys everywhere, junk mail sitting on the counter,  and at least 3 unfinished craft projects on my kitchen table. I find it embarrassing which gives me anxiety. I just sit there and can't focus on my guests because I'm thinking about how people are looking at how messy I live. I know people that just aren't phased by the clutter in their home so it doesn't cause any embarrassment for them, and I find that great. I truly wish it didn't bother me as much as it does. 

After years of clutter building up, you decide to tackle some of the mess. Where do you start? Once you're in it, you find all these things that you bought thinking you would use but never did or things you misplaced and haven't seen in forever. So,  you decide to hold on to the majority of your stuff just because it might be useful "someday" and by the time you go through the clutter in one room, it's been 4 hours and your only throwing away a few things.

I have found myself in this situation many times. I hate the amount of time it takes just to go through all my junk.
I also feel like when I have a lot of clutter, it takes more time to find things. If you put your keys down on a cluttery table,  it takes you twice as long to see where they are because the clutter distracts you from seeing what is right in front of your face.

3.Anxiety levels:
According to the principles of feng shui, clutter drains you of your positive energy. 
Especially those that suffer from anxiety feel more anxious when in an untidy area.
 I cannot relax at night until all the kid's toys are put in their proper spots, and I have organized a bit in my living room. If I don't,  I'll be watching TV but not able to enjoy myself because all I see is clutter everywhere!

So what's the solution? Get rid of your crap. Try to organize one room at a time. Go room to room and make 4 piles. (I like to get a box for each pile so it's easy to move after I'm done). Pile them by things to donate, things to throw away, things to keep, and things to store. If you haven't touched it in a year, then consider getting rid of it.
After you get everything separated, immediately get rid of the toes away and do hate piles or else it may just sit in your house longer taking up space and causing more stress.  Find a good designated spot to store them.

Organize everything in the keep pile so it looks tidier. This will help make the area look less cluttered,  and help you feel more relaxed in your home. 

My favorite organization products:

Once you have everything put away and organized, try to keep it that way! 
A few things that help me keep my clutter in check is to try to put things away after I use it, and I do quick light cleaning every evening after the kids go to bed. 
I also try to do a more thorough cleaning once a week. If you don't have time for that, it might be worth hiring someone to do it for you!

Enjoy your organized minimally cluttered home! I enjoy it by inviting friends over. They always seem amazed at how clean my home looks and it motivates me to keep it clutter free. 

Tell me how you keep your home clutter free! Leave a comment with tips for my readers to use to help them.

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

My review of The Mindfulness Playbook

Reading self-help books is not really my thing.. or at least it wasn't. I never got the reason why people would read them and think it changed their life. 
I gave into reading one when I was at my lowest point with my anxiety and depression. All I had was negative thoughts running through my head all the time.   I didn't even notice that I was in such a negative state of mind until I picked up my first self-help book.

I'm all about the mind. Brain function and thoughts of people are so interesting to me. I love observing people's personalities and figure out their reasoning for doing things. This book is all about the brain.

Dr. Barbara Mariposa is the author of this book. She is able to explain what part of the brain functions in certain ways,  and she does it so someone with not much knowledge of the brain can still completely understand. She kind of points out the obvious on a lot of things, but I needed that to see where I was going wrong. 
Sometimes you don't notice the obvious until someone comes out and says it. 

My favorite thing about this book is the goals she sets out for her readers. It helped me open my eyes to how negative my thoughts were and how detrimental it was to everything about me. Before reading this book,  I constantly felt that I was a terrible mother for wanting to be my own person sometimes. I took on the role as mother and threw away pretty much everything about me because I didn't have time for me anymore.. but the goals I worked on from this book helped me relax more,  opened my eyes to my emotions so I could get in control of them,  and ultimately helped me get back to who I was again.

I could praise this book all day long,  but I'll cut it short and just say this.. if your having a hard time right now, whether it be from mental illness,  or just having a bad week,  this book will help you learn to control your emotions and feel like a whole new person. I highly recommend it. 

My next book to review is Robin by David Itzkoff.

I am a huge Robin Williams fan so I loved reading this book. Check out my Review on Robin.

After that, I plan to read 
  1. Face Your Fears: A Proven Plan to Beat Anxiety, Panic, Phobias, and Obsessions (David Tolin, Ph.D., John Wiley & Sons, 2012. This can be an especially helpful book for someone suffering from multiple types of anxiety problems (including disorders like social phobia and OCD). Its main focus is on the importance of facing fears, rather than avoiding them. 
I'm choosing this book next because my husband has severe OCD and I try to do all I can to help him and understand things he goes through a little better. And I always like to find ways to keep my anxiety in check.

I'd love to have you read the same books and give me your opinion on them as well!

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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Stop Preventing Yourself from Living in the Now

It's been proven that most people who have depression are "past thinkers". That means they have nostalgic thoughts about all the good stuff they used to have or all the fun they did in the past. For those that have depression,  the nostalgic thoughts can cause you to be sad about those thoughts because you feel like the present isn't as good as it was back then. 
  These same people are usually the ones that have had a bad event happen in their life that may have started their depression. The problem with being a "past thinker" is that you can't do anything about the past anymore. You can't travel back in time to change anything. But there is always something you can do now to leave the past behind you. 

There are three steps to follow to start living in the now. 

Usually, people who are living in the past are those who need to focus on Forgiveness.  Forgive those that have done you wrong. I live in the past often. It's really hard not to. I've had some great years as a teenager that I truly miss and every time I think about it, I always end up being depressed about how my life is not like that anymore. I have learned to "forgive" myself for not keeping up that lifestyle and I try to remind myself to pay attention to what's happening right in front of me before it becomes the past that I missed out on. 
I've also been through a few traumatic experiences as a child. Only my husband really knows about it, besides those people involved in causing the trauma. I was not one to share my feelings.  I grew up in a big family so when you try to talk to someone, you're usually ignored. So that trauma ended up with me developing anxiety and depression along with some trust issues with my spouse. I have always blamed those involved for giving me depression and anxiety. It always made me mad to think about and it put me in a bad depressive state. Until I started reading a good self-help book that opened my eyes to forgiveness. I never really put it together that all my bad thoughts about the events in my past were adding to my depression. I just thought that's how it is.  It's been at least 20 years since this trauma and I've finally decided to personally forgive those that hurt me. I didn't confront the people involved,  nor did I tell anyone about it. I let my whole self-forgive them.  I still hate them for what they did,  but it no longer has control over me. I can control my thoughts about it, I can move on quicker,  and I honestly don't let it define me anymore. It feels amazing to know that now I'm the one controlling that situation,  not letting it control me. 

 I know not all people are ready to forgive,  and you definitely don't have to until you are ready. But,  if you can at least work toward it,  it will help you be a happier person and feel more in control of your life. 
If you want to personally talk about my experiences, I'd be happy to chat. Or if you want to discuss your experiences,  I'd love to listen. I keep all personal information to myself.  No one will ever hear your story out of my mouth. 

A way to start living in the now is to appreciate what is happening in front of you. With technology being all the rage,  it's hard to be present because you're focused on a screen. 
I have to schedule times I'm allowed to be on my phone so I can enjoy spending quality time with my kids.

 The other day my little family was able to go to the pool together. I left my phone in my bag the whole time and just enjoyed playing with my kids. 
I got to feel the excitement of a 3-year-old while swimming with my son. We have a public pool near us that has a water slide, lazy river, and a mushroom waterfall thing. I haven't been able to take him to the pool until just recently so seeing him get so excited over everything was just the best experience. It made my day just watching him having a blast. It made me realize that he has a lot of these experiences with new things but I'm missing it because I'm in my own thoughts about the future or past, or I'm on my phone seeing what other people are doing. As I said earlier,  I'm scheduling times on my phone or ignoring of the TV, so I can be present for the important moments with my kids. 
I hope if you're a parent,  you try to do the same. Make sure your living in the present before it becomes the regrettable part of your life. 

The future is usually not a bad thing to think about. As long as it is goals you want to work toward. I feel like half the time people think of the future in a stressful way. Like when it's Sunday and your thinking about all the crap you need to catch up on at work when Monday comes. There is no use in thinking about that because it's already going to happen. If you can stop your thoughts and try not to think about it as much, it will make your Monday much better. My husband is a ball of anxiety. Anytime we talk about future stuff,  his thoughts go toward the negative stress of it all. I told him I want to move downtown ( he has wanted to since we have been together) but bringing this up causes him so much stress because he hates moving, he stresses about the money he needs to make to make that happen. I know these things are legitimate to be concerned but he thinks about those negative things soooooo much that it completely makes all the good things irrelevant to him. 
I think that's a terrible way of life. I love to think about the excitement and experience.  I get there is negative stuff to think about,  but I don't make it the whole experience. When I think of the positive stuff, it makes the negative a lot less bad. 

I always feel like in my articles I'm pointing out the obvious.  Be more positive, forgive others, be present.. but when it really comes down to implementing it in your life,  it's really a challenge to do. When you have lived your life one way,  it's hard to just change. But if you keep these tips in mind, it will help you change some situations in your life. Which will rewire your brain to start thinking differently, and ultimately be happier.

I hope you enjoyed my article. I love hearing from my readers so please feel free to reach out. I will respond! 

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