How To Prepare for a Doctor’s Visit

Taking care of your health is important, but whether it’s a routine checkup with the family practitioner or a visit with a specialist, an appointment to see the doctor can sometimes be nerve-wracking. It can be especially helpful for people with anxiety to prepare for their visit, so that they can take care of their health with confidence and avoid unnecessary stress. Below is a list of 5 simple things to do to prepare for a doctor’s visit and make the trip easier.  

#1 Plan how you will get there 

No one likes it when the doctor is late to your appointment, but many people forget that the reason why your appointment is delayed is likely because someone showed up late before you! Don’t be the reason someone else’s appointment is behind schedule. Take the proper measures to show up on time for your appointment, and check in on time. If you don’t mind the wait, it might be a good idea to show up a little early so that they can see you as soon as they can! Remember to bring a book!  

#2 Have a list of questions or symptoms to discuss  

The doctor probably won’t have much time to visit with you. She has to see a lot of patients in one day, and usually has no control over how long she spends with patients. To make the most of your visit, have a written list of questions you need to ask or symptoms you would like to discuss. You may forget once you’re in the office, and you want to avoid coming back in later. The doctor will be happy to discuss with you, and probably grateful that you’re being proactive!  

#3 Try not to be self conscious 

No one likes the feeling of being on display or being examined, but when you go in for a checkup, it is important that you are honest and upfront about your symptoms and habits. A good doctor will not bat an eye at a symptom that really grosses you out, and she actually needs you to let her know how she can help you best. Additionally, answer all of the questions that your doctor or nurse asks you honestly. Good health professionals will not judge you.  

#4 Avoid Catching A Bug  

Lots of people avoid going to the doctors because they don’t want to catch anything that might be going around. It’s important to guard your own health when you go. Put your mind at ease by remembering that you can avoid a lot of germs by wash your hands after you touch common surfaces. Bring some hand sanitizer for a quick douse if you can’t excuse yourself. Avoid touching your face and mouth, or doing things like biting your nails. Although it can be nerve-racking to be in a room potentially full of sick people, many doctors offices are aware of this and want to avoid spreading diseases, especially in their offices. Remember that every room is cleaned between occupants, and most of the sicker people are brought to the back to wait in a private exam room for their appointment.  

#5 Don’t Avoid Going 

As we get older, we often become eligible for new tests and exams that come with age. Having these exams preformed and then waiting for results can be uncomfortable and even anxiety inducing. It’s important not to put off routine physical exams, or avoid getting important seasonal inoculations like the flu vaccine because you don’t want to be told it’s time to have a mammogram. Prioritizing your health isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it to know you’re doing everything you can to keep your body healthy and strong!  

Bonus: After the Visit  

Follow up with any specialists or lab tests your doctor recommends. She doctor can’t make a better plan to treat you if she is still lacking important information. Follow her recommendations so that your appointment was worth the time it took, and so that you can get to feeling better.  

Think about how the visit made you feel. Did your doctor make you unnecessarily self conscious or nervous? Did your doctor not take your symptoms or pain seriously? Don’t assume this is the norm! Just because you have a bad doctor, doesn’t mean doctors are bad. If possible, look for other offices you can visit, and ask around your community for a doctor that treats you well and takes you seriously. 

How to Begin an Exercise Habit

Lots of women plan to get to the gym, but get so caught up in trying to plan the perfect workout that they never end up lacing up their shoes and working up a sweat! Naturally, you don’t want to waste your time or even hurt yourself by not being informed. Don’t let this be a cause of unneeded stress! These are valid concerns, but there are ways to get active without getting anxious. trying to find the perfect routine, the perfect number of sets and reps, and the perfect active wardrobe will only end up becoming too daunting that you stay at home on the couch. If you’ve been in that mindset before, you’re in good company!  

Start Small  

Like clockwork, every year as soon as the holiday decorations are removed from the store, in come the workout gear. If you like to dress up and look the part for your new active life, you’re in good company, and advertisers know this! When you decide to hit the gym, odds are you already have a tee shirt and sweatpants on hand at home, and you don’t need to shell out a lot of money for new gear. Instead, set a goal for yourself or join a challenge group on Facebook. Let your reward fro reaching the goal be those sleek new leggings or the high tech sports bra.  

Set realistic expectations of yourself.  

If you are more sedentary, it’s OK if you can’t make time or aren’t willing to spend all of your down time at the gym. What’s important is to recognize that there are other things you can do. Maybe you walk to work or ride your bike on day of the week. Maybe you do a fifteen minute workout at home before dinner. Don’t buy into the idea that a small effort is a wasted effort. Just do what you can as reliably as you can!  

Have something to Work towards  

When you start to work out, it can seem like you’re moving but you’re not sure where. Lots of people workout with a goal weight in mind, and for some reasons this is an easy goal because you can quantify the work you’ve been doing with the weight dropping on the scale. However, this isn’t the only or the most noble goal. Maybe you want to feel more energetic, or sleep better. Maybe you want stronger muscles or longer endurance. Whatever your goal is, create milestones for yourself, and celebrate when you make that progress!  

Here are a few quick ways to get started.  

Watch a YouTube tutorial  

The fastest way to get started is to start! Find a video for a stretching routine or someone preforming light cardio and give it a try. You don’t have to be perfect, you just need to do something to get your body moving. next, Lots of personal trainers post helpful youtube videos online of their daily workouts. If you find yourself at the gym with no clue what to do Pick a trainer and give her workout a try! You don’t have to be on her level yet, and you shouldn’t push yourself to be wonder woman! Just start and see how you feel.  

Join a class  

Lots of community centers offer classes, and there are even libraries that have weekly yoga or zumba meetups. Finding low cost classes in your community is a great way to meet new people and engage with your town. A class also usually has a set number of sessions, so you are more inclined to go and get your money or time’s worth before the class ends. If it’s an activity you really enjoy, having it to look forward to throughout the week can be very uplifting and rewarding. Classes are also run by an experienced or certified person, so you can be sure they will help you put your health first and motivate you along with the rest of the class.  

As you get better at working your body, you’ll feel better but you’ll also learn more! Don’t put pressure on yourself to know how all of the muscles fit together, or what the best workout for your body type is. Usually, the best workout is ANY workout that you can preform regularly to feel great and stay in shape. What is your favorite way to exercise this season?  

Health Checklist for Women

Health is the most important resource, yet we rarely think about it until we get sick! Summer is almost over and as we move closer to the end of the year, flu season is coming up on us. No one wants to get sick, so here are several things to remember so that you can make better health choices and stay healthy year round. Take care of your body and it will take care of you!  

Hydrate 

We’ve all heard it said that our bodies are mostly water, and it’s true! We need a lot of water to for our bodies to stay healthy and for our skin and hair to be beautiful. Water is one of the best health AND beauty tricks available! Most of us need eight cups of water a day, but you can meet that goal by eating fruits and veggies, or having a popsicle. That being said, it’s still very important to drink a couple of glasses of water each day. Try to have a tall glass in the morning to wake up, or fill up a water bottle and sip it all day long. With so many options for different types of water bottles these days, it’s easy to find one you’ll love to keep close at hand!  

Eat properly 

We all have to eat, and have several meals a day. With all of the fad diets going around, it can be difficult to find the right one for you. Fad diets have been around as long as there have been magazines. Just because they are trendy or have a lot of anecdotal evidence doesn’t mean you have to jump on the bandwagon! Some diets may even seem logical at face value, and there are certainly diets that work for certain people, but the most important thing to consider when choosing a diet for you is sustainability. The ideal diet would be nutritious, balanced, and easy to do for a long time. Instead of worrying about sticking to a difficult, unsustainable diet, what’s most important is to fill your plate with fruits, veggies, and healthy fats and proteins on a regular basis. Figure out what kind of foods you like, and how you can add more plants into your diet.  

Exercise  

Staying active can be difficult, especially with an office job or similar work where you find yourself sitting for most of the day. Lots of people plan to go to the gym and start and exercise routine, but overburden themselves with plans they can’s keep up or agonize over the way to get the most out of their workout. Instead of stressing over the perfect workout for you, try to find an activity that you enjoy! Maybe you like to unwind with some yoga, or get your heart pumping with a dance class! You don’t have to shell out big bucks to get a lot out of the half hour you have available to you. There are lots of quick work out videos available on youtube. You can find all kinds of different workout videos for free, from yoga to barre, or even something like latin dance! Give yourself 10 minutes and give it a try. It will help you stay healthy and you might really enjoy it! 

Hygiene  

One of the most common ways we get sick is through poor hygiene. Washing your hands after a trip to the grocery store, or before you prepare a meal is a good way to avoid common colds and other illnesses. Also, avoiding touching your face or biting your nails will help you keep a lot of germs away from your mouth and keep you from getting sick.  

Give Up Bad Habits  

Do you have bad habits? Things like smoking and drinking can seem very common place and even important socially, but most of us are aware of their negative effects on our health. Things that seem innocent enough, like biting your nails can be a huge detriment to your health should you wind up getting sick. It’s important to take stock of your habits, and make informed decisions on what is good for you and what isn’t, and how to stop doing a bad habit or else reduce the amount of harm you’re doing. No one likes to talk about our own bad habits, but it’s important to know if you have any and what you should do about them.  

6 Helpful Ways to Deal with Stress

We’ve all been there. Sometimes things pile up, and there seems to be an endless list of things to do, and only so much time to do them. This can be especially true for women, because we often find ourselves taking care of others. Even when things get tough, it’s important to take care of yourself, as well as those around you. These stress relief techniques for women are perfect for the busy lady, and can take as little as two minutes.  

#1 Meditate  

Maybe meditation is your thing. If it isn’t, try not to write it off right away! There are lots of ways to meditate that you might not have ever imagined. Do you get lost in the task of washing the dishes or folding the laundry? Do you find it easy to draw or take a bath, and let the day fall away? Devote some time to those activities, and let your thoughts fade away as you do them. If you like that, you may also want to try the more traditional way to meditate. Set a timer and practice for just two minutes, breathing in and out deeply, and letting your thoughts pass you by. Increase the amount of time whenever you feel you need to take a break.  

#2 Sleep  

No one every said you’d have to pull all-nighters after college! Sometimes when you have a project for work or a paper for school, you’ll put off sleeping to squeeze in some extra time working. This may be OK every now and then, but not getting enough sleep can be super detrimental in the long run. It’s important to prioritize rest, and not to feel like you need to “earn” your rest by working extra hard. Sleeping better will help you feel better, and deal with stress. Ever heard of “sleeping on it”? Getting some sleep may help you work through a problem. Sleeping is never wasting time, and you might even wake up with more clarity! 

#3 Talk to a friend  

Our friends are our support system. If you want your friends to come to you in stressful times, you can bet they want you to come to them as well! Women are usually very social, and if we’re stressed out for something we can’t put a finger on, we might just be missing our friends! Schedule a lunch or a movie night with your friends and remember to engage with your community!  

#4 Call a loved one  

With such busy times, it’s hard to keep in touch with the people we love but don’t get to see as often. Is there someone in your life who you miss? Giving them a call is a great way to show your love and make everyone’s day a little brighter. Talking to loved ones about the stress in your life, or asking a person that you trust for their wisdom and advice can make all of the difference. Schedule a call in advance so you both have something to look forward to.  

#5 Keep a gratitude journal  

Studies show that writing down the things that make you happy or thankful means you carry it with you even longer. If someone does something nice for you, take a second to jot down what happened and how it made you feel. Seeing all of the events that made you happy or proud, or inspired gratitude in you will make you happier because you’re remembering all of the good things better than the things that might have gone wrong.  

#6 Plan ahead  

Does one part of your day set the tone for stress? If mornings get you down, put your nighttime routine to good use and get yourself ready for the day ahead. If you can lay out your clothes in advance, or pack your lunch the night before, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle. You can be out the door with no worries, and have a better day because of it. What can you do to help yourself through stressful mornings?  

Keep in mind that managing stress, as with anything else, consistency is key. You might not feel like having a nap or letting a loved one in, but it’s important that we prioritize our health even when it’s hard. Did you find something you think you could give a try?