1. Do Your research: Research is not just for scholars. That is what I used to think of back in the day. Other people researched and I believed what they had to say. They were the professionals, right? Well, yes and no. They are the professionals in their field of expertise, but they are also human. Furthermore, they cannot possibly represent every person and their unique experiences and characteristics. This is where you need to come in with your own research. You know yourself better than anyone. But we tend to allow our lack of trust of ourselves and our capabilities along with our anxiety to take over. When we do this, we are doing ourselves a disservice. So, then what do we do? Well, do your own research. Start small. Find your trusted source (this will be discussed later), do your own research, trust your gut, and go over your own health in terms of mind and body. This will allow you to eventually ease your anxiety.
2. Be Preventative: Our health is particularly important, and at the end of the day, it is all we have in this life. It is inevitable that we are going to get sick. Typing that sentence just made my stomach squirm. If you are like me, we have a real fear of getting sick that goes beyond the fact that nobody enjoys being sick. So, I decided that I would get in the habit of making my mind and body healthy to the best of my ability. I would take my own advice for that I would give someone who was getting sick, had a lowered immune system, etc. This includes taking vitamins, getting enough sleep, movement, nutrition, mental health activities and much more. I know it sounds overwhelming, but if we can just spend a little time daily getting in the habit of taking care of us, we will tend to be able to feel better quicker and fight harder when we do get sick. It is an imperfect journey, like most journeys, but it is definitely worth it when it comes to our health.
3. Advocate for Yourself: I will probably say this one in every single blog post because it is true in so many areas. We need to advocate for ourselves. I used to only think you advocate for others and causes, but the reality is that you need to advocate for yourself first before you can truly advocate for others. When it comes to our health, there will always be some level of anxiety. I think a lot of that comes from having to rely on the professional to tell us what to do with our bodies. This is very important, but if we are able to speak up and advocate for ourselves, it will help both you and the doctor to come to a solution and treatment that you may feel more comfortable with. Trust your gut and know that you are doing everything to help yourself. You are worth it!
4. Journal Your Symptoms/Feelings: I find this to be so helpful. When I am very anxious about symptoms and my health, I like to focus on something else. After taking some deep breaths, I write down my symptoms. Due to my trauma and anxiety, it is difficult to figure out what is related to mental health and physical health. Writing down these symptoms helps me to identify what I have felt before and any new ones. Subsequently, it helps the doctor as well. You can bring these notes, so you do not forget anything when you are at the doctor. If you are anything like me, I get nervous and forget to discuss half of it. Lastly, it helps to show relevant patterns that can lead to a quicker diagnosis.
5. Minimize Your Exposure to Health-Related info and Pick a Trusted Health Source: I touched on this earlier, and I want to reiterate how important it is for you to pick one or two trusted sources of information. There are so many sources of information out there that are false, and when we experience anxiety and we want to feel better, we lean towards information that eases are anxiety. This allows us to actually increase our anxiety over time. I suggest doing some research on the resources and sticking to those. Exposing ourselves to many conflicting ideas can lead us down a dangerous rabbit hole that is sure to increase our anxiety and health issues. Take a deep breath, trust in your capability, find those resources, advocate for yourself, and you will be just fine 😊