I have been asked how I cope with OCD and manage to function at work. You see, working while you have OCD can be challenging but it is not impossible. It is all about perspective. You have to rewire your brain so it works in your favor. I cannot get rid of my OCD, but I can change my day to day view of work. Below are the following thoughts that have opened my eyes on the subject of work while having a mental illness.

1) I see work as a getaway. I get to escape my repetitive thoughts for a few hours a day and use my brain power to help out students in the tutoring center. Anything that can take my brain away from repetitive thoughts is a blessing. Yes, work can be draining, but having my obsessive thoughts on replay time after time is a whole new level of exhausting.

2) I think about how lucky I am that I even get to work. I see a lot of my friends who struggle with either mental health or chronic pain that wish they could work. This honestly opened my eyes. They crave to be able to just get out and not be drained within one hour.

3) I get to make a difference. I don’t care what job you have. You can and get to make a difference. Going through OCD has made me realize that just simple gestures can go a long way. I cannot tell you how many times I have had a crappy day mentally and then someone says something as simple as “I like your makeup”, and I start to smile and my mind set changes for a while. I get to make a difference in other’s lives at work and that truly changes my mind set as well.

So whether you have a mental illness or not, changing your mindset and rewiring your brain can truly change how you view work.