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  • Writer's pictureThe OCD Catholic

A Day in My Life

I asked, you answered! Y’all wanted to read about a day in my life. I’m going to do my best to explain what a normal day looks like for me and how mental illness impacts my day-to-day. Because of my mental illness, “typical” is a bit of a fluid concept, in that what I consider “normal” depends on where I am mentally. So, keep that in mind as you read on!

Right now, as of Summer 2020, I am in a weird place with my mental health. I am struggling with it and go back and forth between good days and bad days. I’m also in a transitional time right now, and being someone who hates change, those labels of good and bad sometimes aren’t enough. But I’ll do my best to explain what each looks like on a day to day basis.


My day starts off with either two alarms. I am getting used to going back to work after being furloughed, and work in the mornings. So I set an alarm for 7 AM, and another for 8:30 AM. Why? So I can mentally prepare to really get up. I still try and get up early on mornings I’m not working, and that is so I can get a good start to my day and not feel like I’m wasting it. A wasted day makes my mental health worse over time, and so as much as I want to sleep in, I try not to too much. However, sometimes I just need to sleep in, and so I’ll listen to what my body and mind need rather than my impulse to have a “perfect day”.

After making my bed, and praying my Morning Offering while doing that, and getting dressed, I go and take my medication and make breakfast. I try not to skip breakfast, but I’m not the best to be sure. Even if it’s not a healthy breakfast, I do try and eat something, especially if I’m working, because otherwise my shift will be harder. Then after eating and checking social media, I get ready to leave for work if I’m working, and head out.

Here’s where my day starts to vary a little bit depending on my work schedule. If I work, I get to my job and clock in and work until the afternoon. I work in retail, so there’s not much of interest to talk about there. During a rush is one of the times I feel like I thrive a bit more, even though it’s stressful and not fun, because I have to focus on my job and the task at hand, and I’m not distracted by anxiety about things outside of my job. During my break I’ll check social media again or read, and the book I have in my purse right now is Henry Nouwen’s “Return of the Prodigal Son”, which is really lovely.

There are a lot of ways in which I try to cope with my mental illness during work, and a lot of ways in which my OCD and anxiety present themselves during work.

For example, I work the cash register a lot and if a person pays with cash and I make the wrong change, or mess up a transaction in another way, instead of freaking out about it and letting that error take over my whole day, I try and move on. The little errors aren’t the end of the world, even though they may feel like it.

Another big way in which my mental health is challenged at work is in the new COVID safety procedures. We wear protective gear like gloves and masks at work and are constantly wiping down surfaces and products. My OCD might tell me that I didn’t disinfect a pin pad perfectly between transactions, or that I have to wipe down a product again even if I’ve already disinfected it. I try my best to ignore these thoughts, and remind myself that I am doing the best I can to keep myself and customers safe. I also try and focus solely on doing what my managers ask of me, or what I can see or know for certain needs to be done. Even though it’s difficult, I know that it’s important for me to be back at work so that I can still function as a normal human being and not keep myself locked away in my house, because I know that if I give in to fear, I won’t be helping myself.

If I am not working, I’ll do any number of things, such as write blog posts or work on social media content for The OCD Catholic, clean the kitchen, or watch some TV. I also will read the Mass readings for the day if I remember, but that is not often. I also try and come up with a plan for my day, and goals I want to accomplish.

Often my perfectionist tendencies push me to do All of the Things in one day, thinking I can get them done. And then when I don’t, I feel worse about myself at the end of the day and feel like a failure. So instead of trying to do All of the Things, I try and list one or two things to do that I know I can either get done, or get a good handle on before the end of the day. As much as I would love to be one of those people who can do 15000000000 super involved things in a day, I just can’t, and so it’s best to lean into that and push myself where I know I can, and ease up on myself where I know I need to.


The afternoons are the meat of my day, if you will. Whether I’m working or not, I tend to get most things done in that noon-5 window.

If I’m working, I’ll finish my shift and either head home for a shower and whatever else is on my agenda for the day, or I’ll go spend quality time with friends. If I’m at home after work, I’ll work on this space, look at analytics, or do some social media stuff. I’ll also have a late lunch and try and get in a French lesson on Rosetta Stone. I’ll do laundry and/or other chores as well, which helps me feel more productive.

If I’m with friends after work, we’ll watch TV and/or a movie, play games, make food, and talk. They really help me unwind after my shift, and always listen to my boring stories about customers or my co-workers, all while making me feel loved.

On the days I don’t work, my afternoon is chores, French lessons, reading, blog work, and TV. Oh, and I can’t forget lunch! This all depends on how I’m feeling and what else I need to do, but is a combination of those activities to some degree. I’ll often fold laundry and listen to a podcast, which is one of my favorite chores to do. Other days I might need to help with grocery shopping. It all just depends.

When I have a day off, I try and take the time to get other tasks accomplished that I can’t get to on workdays, while also making sure that I’m taking time for myself. If I keep myself running on all engines all at the same time, I’ll burn out and have a breakdown. Ask me how I know. So I try and make sure to pace myself and take care of myself and relax so that I have enough energy for the next time I work.


My evenings are the most routine parts of my day, which is a huge help for me. A good evening routine helps me feel secure and safe. It’s also the best part of my day, partly for that reason.

Most nights I’ll make dinner, and after eating I’ll relax for a little bit, before going to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament at my parish. The bulk of my prayer takes place at night, for a couple of reasons. One is that my house is small and my family is big. Enough said. Another is that I don’t pray well at home and can pray so much better in front of the Eucharist. The third is related to the fact that I spend a good chunk of my prayer time in church, and that is the OCD factor. Before I was diagnosed with OCD, I would have obsessions about needing to stay in the church for as long as possible, and feel guilty about leaving, often regardless of how long I had been there. To combat that, I would go and pray until my priests came to lock up the church for the night, and then wouldn’t feel guilty about leaving, because I had to. This is something I still do, partly because I’m still scrupulous about it, but also because it has become a normal part of my day, and I like to pray at night and that is a good time to do it.

On my way home from my visit, if I’ve made one, or later in the evening, I’ll call or FaceTime my boyfriend to talk to him and to pray the Rosary and night prayer together. This is one of my favorite parts of my night, and praying as a couple is so special.

One of the biggest reasons I’m able to keep up this routine is my OCD. I thrive on routine, and will do whatever I can to stick to it as closely as possible. As I plan my days, I try and make sure that no matter what, I’m making time for a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, even if it’s just for a few minutes, and order my day around that. It’s so hard but so worth it. Fighting for my time with Jesus in person is what helps keep me grounded and sane.


At the end of the day, I’ll unwind even more before going to bed. A lot of nights I’ll play some games online and/or cross stitch while watching TV with my parents. Then I’ll get ready for bed, watch some YouTube or read a book. Right now my nighttime read is a biography of St. Eugene de Mazenod. I’ll drift off to sleep around midnight or so and get up the next morning to do it all again.

One of the most important things for me to stay mentally healthy is to go to bed, and to do that as close to the same time each night as I can manage. I enjoy staying up late, but try and avoid being up late on my own if I can, because otherwise my thoughts can turn dark quickly at night, and obviously I want to avoid that.

So there you have it! That is a “typical” day in the life of The OCD Catholic! My days aren’t very much different than the average Joe, except that I might have to be more intentional in what I do, how I do it, and trying to keep my thoughts in check. And it is worth it y’all.

I am praying for you all.

St. Therese, pray for us.

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Larissa Zannese
Larissa Zannese
31 mrt. 2023

I really like reading your blog! I think I might have ocd as well and

I like that I can read about your experiences. I feel as thought you put things into words were I can't. I hope you will post more! Take care!


15 jan. 2023

I have just found this site .Thank you for doing this .

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