Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Anchor Cards

At the height of my illness, when almost every waking moment of my life was consumed and tortured by OCD, my psychologist introduced me to the idea of anchor cards. Anchor cards are simply index cards on which you write something meaningful, peaceful, and/or calming. The idea is that reading these cards during times of heightened stress will help to "anchor" you, or bring you back to reality and keep you in the moment. When consumed by incredible anxiety, I found it nearly impossible to think properly, to make sound decisions, or even to function normally. I would pull out my anchor cards and read them until I felt calmer.

I have not needed or used anchor cards for over a year. Unfortunately, over the last 20 hours or so, I have been filled with terrible anxiety over some contamination issues in my home (because of my cat, Anna). I had a difficult time sleeping last night and my stomach has been in horrible knots all day. I decided it was time to write out some anchor cards again.

On one card, I wrote a list of all the people and things that I'm thankful for. My therapist often suggested this type of list because she believed it was good for me to focus on my blessings and that it would help me to change some cognitive distortions. On the second card, I chose to write out Psalm 23. I love that psalm because it reminds me that I am in God's care and that He has my back. Mostly, it reminds me that I am not alone. Because, honestly, in the grip of anxiety's stranglehold, alone is what I feel the most.

Psalm 23 - The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. NIV 

12 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I don't have OCD, but I think this could help anyone with any mental health issue, such as depression, for example. I really love this idea, thank you so much for sharing. I think, as well, that this would be a great gift to give to someone who has any anxiety. Thank you so much for sharing this, you have made my day! I just love colours and positive quotations and Scriptures. I am so sorry to hear that you are going through a down time, and my heart goes out to you. It is great that you are doing this once again! And, thanks to you, I am going to do the same...and when I have a down or stressful day I will use this tool! Sending you a hug.

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    1. Linda - you just made my day! I'm so glad that you find the anchor cards a helpful idea. They have definitely been a real blessing for me, hopefully they will be for you too. I also really like the idea that you would give them as a gift to someone. How thoughtful.

      Thanks for the hug. Sending one back to you!

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  2. That's a verse I used to recite a lot and still do sometimes (what I can remember of it).

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    1. Yes, I only remember it in parts too, that's why it's great to have it written down. Plus, there's just something about having it on a pretty index card that I can pull out and read and concentrate on.

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  3. This sounds like a good idea, Sunny. Maybe it would help me focus more on the current moment if I used something like this when I'm very anxious.

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    1. My doc was always full of lots of good ideas and I'm always glad to share them! Definitely, give it a try. Hope it works for you.

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  4. I LOVE the idea of anchor cards! Thank you for sharing.

    I am sorry you are so anxious right now. I hope your kitty is okay.

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    1. I'm so happy that you found this idea helpful, Elizabeth. I thought it was a great, easy, and convenient tool too, when my doc suggested it.

      I am feeling better right now. It was a rough day or so. Anna is doing better. I think we FINALLY stopped her from using our living room hard wood floor as a litter box! Of course, now who knows how much it will cost to repair it. Ugh.

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  5. Sunny, I nominated your blog in one of my posts:
    http://jackieleasommers.com/2013/04/11/blog-for-mental-health-2013/

    You don't have to do it if you don't want to, but I had to pay you props as one of my favorite bloggers for mental health!

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    1. Oh wow, thanks so much Jackie! That is a HUGE compliment, especially coming from you.

      Generally I don't follow up on awards cause to be honest, it causes me lots of anxiety for all kinds of reasons, but that certainly doesn't mean that I don't really appreciate being given them! Thank you, I do feel very honored. : )

      Congratulations on being given the award yourself!

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