5 Foods That Really Help with OCD and Anxiety​

I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 12 years old. If you’re reading this, chances are you have OCD too (the actual OCD, not the one Buzzfeed writers pretend to have).

I wrote a blog post touching on the topic of minimizing anxiety through the use of natural supplements. OCD, being an anxiety disorder, can be minimized through those supplements that I mention as well. But what about food? What foods can help minimize the frustrating symptoms of OCD?

1. Beans

As mentioned in my supplement blog post, Inositol works wonders for people with anxiety disorders. A great way to increase your daily intake of Inositol is to eat beans. According to this article by Livestrong, 100 grams of navy and lima beans can provide you up to 65 milligrams of Inositol!

2. Chocolate

Yes. Chocolate helps reduce OCD and anxiety symptoms because it reduces cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. High cortisol is directly related to an increase in anxiety, because anxiety is triggered when your brain is sensing stress or a threat. Dark chocolate, specifically, is high in zinc and magnesium! Y’all better not pick on me for eating an excessive amount of chocolate now!

3. Almonds

Almonds are very high in zinc, which plays a large role in mood balance. Studies show that those who severely deficient in zinc tend to have lower serotonin levels.

4. Whole Grains

Whole grains like rice, quinoa, and oats are very high in both magnesium and zinc, which both help to balance serotonin levels. They also provide you with many other nutrients that are important for your overall health.

5. Leafy Greens

Everyone tells you that you should be eating more leafy greens. It can get annoying because it’s hard to get past the earthy flavor of greens like spinach and kale, but they really are good for you. I put this super green powder in my smoothies, and it’s very easy to hide the taste of it with fruit or chocolate protein powder.

Time Management: How to Balance Your Life

As of right now, I’m a full-time college student, I have three jobs, one of those being full-time, I run this blog 100% by myself, and I (try to) have a social life. I also take every Saturday to practice a Sabbath day, also known as a day of rest (more information about the Sabbath can be found here). So, how do I manage my time? How do I get everything done? How am I not losing my mind?

Designate Certain Days to Certain Tasks

On Fridays and Sundays, I dedicate my time to school work and my freelance work. During the week, I will absolutely do some school work or freelance work if I have the time and/or energy, but I use Fridays and Sundays to exclusively work on those things.

Be Productive

Well no duh I need to be productive, Hailey. That’s why I’m reading this article. When I say “be productive“, I mean put away your phone and get rid of all distractions so when you are working, you are only focused on your work. If your Instagram notifications are blowing up, you’re going to want to go and scroll for 10 minutes. When you get distracted, you’re going to tell yourself that “you’re just taking a small break”.

Don’t Take Breaks

I know, this might not make much sense because we’re taught that breaks are good for us and they are highly encouraged. When you have to knock out a bunch of tasks in a short amount of time, it’s important to get into “focus mode” and not get out of it. If you feel yourself getting tired and you feel like the quality of your work is only decreasing as time goes by, then stop working, and rest. If you’re just incredibly bored and you can’t seem to get into “focus mode”, then only allow yourself breaks after you’re done with the task you’re working on.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is crucial for good performance. You won’t be able to work as well or as hard for long amounts of time when your brain is telling you to go to sleep. If you’re working on homework for that class that is just incredibly boring, you’re not going to be able to focus if you’re already tired. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night! Most doctors recommend 7-10 hours of sleep per night for adults.

Get Dinner or go to Church with Friends

You have to eat dinner anyways, so why not meet a friend for dinner? You’re hopefully making time to go to church every week, so why not invite a friend to go to church with you? This way you are seeing friends and developing relationships while doing things you were already going to do!

Pray for Wisdom, Strength, and Guidance

God works miracles every single day. Pray that he will work a miracle in your life and that he guides you through this very busy season. I could not be handling everything that I am right now if I wasn’t praying to God for help. Be sure to thank God for the blessings that are keeping you so incredibly busy.

Sabbath: What It Is and How to Spend It

Traditionally, the Sabbath day was to be only on Sundays, to observe the day that God took to rest after creating the world. After Christ died for our sins, Christians were given the freedom to choose their Sabbath. Romans 14:5-6 says, “One person considers some days to be more sacred than others, while another person considers all days to be the same. Each person must have their own convictions. Someone who thinks that a day is sacred, thinks that way for the Lord…”, therefore, we are allowed to decide which day of the week we take a full 24 hours to rest.

I personally choose to spend my Sabbath on Saturdays. I have found that my soul feels more at rest when I take my day of rest on Saturdays, for many reasons. So, what does the day of rest look like to me? Here are a few things that I do, and some ideas for you to try out.

Start the day off with a Bible study

Unless I wake up incredibly late, the first thing I do every morning is get a cup of coffee, and do a few Bible plans on the YouVersion Bible App. On Saturdays, I will spend up to an hour doing a Bible Study while drinking my coffee. I will turn on some soft worship music and just spend time one-on-one with the Lord.

Spend time with yourself

I am pretty much alone all day on my Sabbath. If people ask me to shortly hang out on Saturday, I definitely will, but I don’t go out of my way to see people on Saturdays. I make sure that the great majority of my day is spent with the Lord, and not others. Being alone for me looks like: Taking an extra long shower, watching some YouTube videos, doing my nails, cleaning my apartments, and more.

Refuse to do any work or school work

This is the hardest part of taking a Sabbath, and it takes a lot of obedience. God calls you to trust that you will succeed at the work you do if you take a day of rest. Doesn’t an entire day of rest and relaxation where you don’t think about your work or studies sound amazing? It’s incredibly refreshing and it gives your brain the break it deserves.

Don’t forget that God, the creator of the universe, took a day to rest. Don’t feel lazy, or guilty, or even anxious about taking a day of rest. I challenge you to try to take a Sabbath this week. Remember, “Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy.

Natural Remedies: The 5 Best Supplements for Anxiety

Up until modern medicine, people cured health issues with natural herbs and remedies. There’s more or less a stigma around treating mental health issues through natural solutions because most people are bought-in to the idea of pharmaceutical drugs. As someone who has been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Anxiety Disorder, and who has taken pharmaceutical medications, I believe that you can better your mental condition through natural remedies.

Disclaimer: These are all natural supplements that I have taken to help my mental health and I have noticed that they have alleviated my symptoms. Although I hope these help you, I cannot promise that they will. I am also not saying that I take all of these supplements at once, and I’m especially not advising that you should take all of these supplements at once. You should contact your doctor before taking these to make sure you do not have any allergies to these supplements. I am not a medical professional, these are just my opinions.

1. Inositol

Inositol, a natural derivative of plants, was the first natural remedy I used for my OCD and Anxiety Disorder, and I immediately noticed a difference. The one downside to taking inositol is that you have to take a lot of it. This article by Livestrong recommends taking 12 to 18 grams to treat anxiety. Most inositol capsules come in one gram sizes, so I switched to taking this inositol powder that you dissolve in water. There is minimal taste, which is slightly sweet. Out of everything on the list, I recommend trying inositol the most.

2. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, an adaptogen, helps to reduce chronic stress in the body. This article by CureJoy explains how ashwagandha’s stress-reducing properties help with many anxiety disorders. Ashwagandha has been used in India for thousands of years to treat stress, and I can see the difference it has made for me. I take this ashwagandha supplement and I really trust the Now Foods brand as you will notice throughout these recommendations.

 3. GABA

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is naturally produced in the human brain and it reduces nerve activity in the nervous system. Due to this reduction of nerve activity, GABA helps to ease anxiety and promotes relaxation. This article by Dr. Axe lists the benefits and further explains GABA (P.S. — I totally recommend Dr. Axe’s website for any information you may need about natural remedies!). This is the GABA supplement I take.

4. Valerian Root

Valerian root is known to increase GABA in the brain, which provides the same benefits that I mentioned earlier. If you take enough valerian root, it has an amazing sleep-aid effect. When my Anxiety Disorder was at it’s worst, valerian root came in handy for me, because I used to suffer from anxiety mostly at night. This is the one I use, and here’s a link to Dr. Axe’s website for some more information!

5. St. John’s Wort

I love St. John’s Wort. You can feel the effects of it immediately. St. John’s Wort has many benefits from depression, PMS, ADHD, OCD, and more. This article has so much more information on St. John’s Wort that you can look into because I can write an entire blog post about it. Here’s the kind I use!

I hope these supplements help you. Please let me know in the comments which supplements you use and if you try out any of the ones I mentioned. Please read my disclaimer below if you have any questions about whether or not you should take these supplements.

10 Ways to Practice Self-Care

Self-care is defined as, “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” It’s very rare that people make time to take care of themselves. Once most of the world turned into the busy, time-sensitive environment that it is today, we stopped scheduling time to take care of ourselves. Here are 10 ways you can practice self-love and self-care this week.

1. Schedule Time to Take Care of Yourself

Put down in your planner or whatever calendar you use, that you will be taking time to take care of yourself. Unless something really important comes up, don’t cancel the time that you scheduled for yourself.

2. Keep a Daily Gratitude Journal

Taking time to think about only positive things for a couple of minutes a day, will change your mindset drastically. You could even write down a few things that you like about yourself every day.

 3. Take a Bubble Bath

It has been proven that hot baths elevate your mood by a 2002 University of Wolverhampton study. Instead of taking a fast shower, try taking a relaxing bath and read a book, or watch a YouTube video.

4. Read a Self-Help Book

Reading is always a great way to expand your knowledge, but self-help books are perfect when you have intentions of self-care. Find one that’s perfect for your situation, whether that be stress, anxiety, spirituality, and more! There’s a self-help book for just about everything.

5. Get Off of Social Media

We all know the many reasons we should take social media breaks, and I won’t repeat all of the reasons you have heard many times before. The biggest reason I tell you to take a break from social media is because it’s a huge time waster. When you’re spending time looking at people you don’t know, what they’re wearing, who they’re dating, and whatever else, you could be focusing on you and spending time on yourself. So, put your phone in a drawer, and don’t get it out until you absolutely must use it.

6. Take Yourself to Your Favorite Food Place and Enjoy at Home!

Eating out by ourselves can be scary for a lot of us, so run into your favorite coffee or bagel shop, get an order to go, and enjoy at home! You can watch one of your favorite feel-good movies, or some funny YouTube videos while you enjoy your food!

7. Pray

You know those emotional, word vomiting prayers? Do one of those. Just let it all out and give it to God. Remove the filter between your mind and your mouth, and just say everything that comes to mind. God loves us and is happy with any prayer we say, and our prayers don’t have to be fancy. Just let out all of your emotions.

8. Do a Personal Growth Exercise

Learn more about yourself so you can learn how to better care for yourself. I like this one because it has 25 questions, but it won’t take you very long to answer them.

9. Go on a Walk

Everyone who knows me knows that I struggle to do intense cardio, partially because I have asthma, and partially because it hurts my joints. Did you know that going on a nice, relaxing walk will boost your endorphins and will help you to burn calories, just like running? Walking is so underrated because it is assumed that you must be running to burn calories when in reality, you can burn a similar amount of calories if you walk the same distance. Here is an article that gives some insight on this idea.

10. Have a Spa Day at Home

Do a face mask, paint your nails, put some deep conditioner on your hair, you know what I mean. Listen to some relaxing music while you’re at it too! Just take the night to treat yourself right.

You are so important, so treat yourself, and spend some time caring for yourself. Remove any guilt that you may have when you take time making sure that you are in a good mindset. Let me know which ideas you tried and how they have improved your headspace!

Feeling Hurt and Pain on Christmas: The Truth

Christmas should be the happiest day of the year. It’s the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. When we’re in a season of pain and healing, the feelings and emotions don’t stop.

When I was a kid, we lived in the same state as our entire family. I spent Christmas surrounded by both sides of grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and both parents. Now, we live in a different state than our family, my parents are divorced, and a lot of our family members have gone to Heaven.

For a while, when we weren’t visiting our family or when our family wasn’t visiting us, Christmas was just me and my mom. This year, it’s me, my mom, her fiancee, his daughter, and our family friend that we have “adopted” into our family. I’m so incredibly thankful and blessed to have people to spend Christmas with, but I still find myself longing for it to be the same again. Christmas won’t be as large as it once was for a very long time. It probably won’t be the old size until I’m a grandma.

I’m also experiencing pain from other areas of my life, that seem to be broken forever. The pain doesn’t take a vacation just because it Christmas. It’s still very much there, and it feels like it has intensified because of the holiday.

The truth is, Christmas isn’t about the pain I feel, or the number of people that choose to celebrate Christmas with us, it’s about the birth of Jesus. I’m still in pain, and I cried within the first hour of waking up today, but I have to put myself aside because I’m not the one that matters. You know when your friend achieved something that you didn’t, but to be a good friend, you still had to be happy for them and celebrate? That’s the feeling I have this Christmas, and I might have that feeling for years to come. It’s hard, and I know Jesus understands that I’m in pain and that I’m desperately trying to cope, but I have to find the tiny bit of joy that’s left in my heart to celebrate.

I ordered “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way” by Lysa TerKeurst, because she wrote it out of severe pain, a pain that I can’t imagine going through. When I write a blog post about the (I’m sure numerous) things I’ve learned from her book, I will link it here.

I hope you can’t relate to the pain I’m feeling, but I know that a lot of people do. I will be praying for all of you who do have this pain in your heart. You are not alone.

How to Have Positive Thoughts When Times Are Hard

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Why is it that hard times always seem to occur in cycles? When it rains, it POURS, every time. This has been a common theme throughout my life. When it’s finals week, family drama always occurs. When one of my family members are sick, relationship problems arise. Then, the stress of everything going on causes me to have health issues, which is yet another problem to manage. These are just some examples of what has happened in my life in the past month, and I assure you that all of these things do not occur consistently, only in seasons.

How do we cope with all of these seemingly negative things on top of everything else we already manage? The answer is easy.

Jesus.

I know you’re thinking, What do you mean Jesus? I mean that we must look to Him through these hard times and really lean on him. I used to suffer from a pretty extreme case of Anxiety Disorder, and I used to have to be in control, or else I would have an anxiety attack. I didn’t know Jesus up until 2016, and so it was incomprehensible for me to lean on Him. Once I gave my life to Christ, life got easier, things got less stressful, and I learned how to let go.

The best way to give all of these stressful, tear-jerking, crazy things to God is to submit to Him through prayer. For example, pray: “Dear Lord, I give all of the good things and the difficult things to you. I know that you have a plan for me and the people in my life. I fully trust that You will provide and that You will make everything perfect in the end. Please give me peace, and have Your hand over my life. Amen.”

I know this is difficult to do, I’ve been there. God will never let us down, and he has a plan for each of us. All He calls us to do is trust in Him, and He will provide.

Thank you for reading. You can get through the hard times with the support of Jesus Christ.