Obsessive compulsive disorder - OCD treatment and therapy from NOCD

Your Holiday OCD Toolkit

3 min read
Hannah Overbeek
By Hannah Overbeek

As much as many of us may look forward to the holiday season as a time of joy, celebration, and being together with loved ones, when you’re struggling with OCD, it can also be a particularly stressful time of year. The holidays often disrupt our regular routines, bringing changes and uncertainties that can trigger obsessions and anxiety.

But while social interactions at holiday gatherings, unrealistic expectations about creating the “perfect” holiday experience, or triggers like crowded shopping areas can all intensify obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors, they don’t have to determine the course of your holiday season. Understanding these stressors can help people with OCD and their support systems manage and mitigate challenges posed by the holidays.

To help you embrace the holiday spirit while effectively managing OCD, we’re sharing a few of our favorite insights and expert-approved techniques.

1. How to stay one step ahead of OCD this holiday season

Prepare yourself going into the holiday season with helpful tips on how you can work through worries and “what-ifs” and be present with your loved ones. Read more

2. How to deal with OCD during the holidays

When holiday gatherings involve unexpected triggers, these mindfulness strategies can help you practice responding in alignment with your values, not what OCD wants for you. Read more

3. Exercises for the holidays

Reflect on what you value about the holidays, what might cause you to struggle, and how holding space for both the values and the struggles can help you feel more at peace with this worksheet and a video walkthrough by Tia Wilson, NOCD’s Community Engagement Specialist. Read more

4. Why is OCD worse when I’m away from home?

For the many people with OCD who travel for the holidays, being away from home can present unique challenges. Find out what you can do to prepare for holiday travel, and how you can manage a spike in symptoms during it. Read more

We’re here for you this holiday season

At NOCD, we know how unpredictable OCD can be, and how it can strike at the most inconvenient times. That’s why it’s so important for us to be available for the OCD community whenever we can. Our hope is to help you have the best holiday season possible and spend meaningful time with your loved ones rather than struggling with OCD. Book a free 15-minute call with our team to learn more about how we can help you learn to manage OCD, this holiday season and beyond.

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Taylor Newendorp

Taylor Newendorp

Network Clinical Training Director

I started as a therapist over 14 years ago, working in different mental health environments. Many people with OCD that weren't being treated for it crossed my path and weren't getting better. I decided that I wanted to help people with OCD, so I became an OCD therapist, and eventually, a clinical supervisor. I treated people using Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and saw people get better day in and day out. I continue to use ERP because nothing is more effective in treating OCD.

Gary Vandalfsen

Gary Vandalfsen

Licensed Therapist, Psychologist

I’ve been practicing as a licensed therapist for over twenty five years. My main area of focus is OCD with specialized training in Exposure and Response Prevention therapy. I use ERP to treat people with all types of OCD themes, including aggressive, taboo, and a range of other unique types.

Madina Alam

Madina Alam

Director of Therapist Engagement

When I started treating OCD, I quickly realized how much this type of work means to me because I had to learn how to be okay with discomfort and uncertainty myself. I’ve been practicing as a licensed therapist since 2016. My graduate work is in mental health counseling, and I use Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy because it’s the gold standard of OCD treatment.

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