How I Manage My Appointment Anxiety


{ Self-care Sunday; episode 7 }

The number of appointments I've attended for my anxiety over the past few years is a mind-boggling. I see my doctor monthly, but I have also been through several rounds of therapy and several assessments. I still find them particularly triggering (ain't that the way - anxiety over appointments about my anxiety - but recently I've devised a real strategy in which I approach and manage them and today I thought I'd share my techniques with you.

Write everything down.
I've found that my appointment anxiety has decreased a significant amount since I've begun tracking them in my planner. I usually book my appointments around 3-4 weeks in advance and I always find that by the time they roll around I can't remember the exact time of them or which day they land on. Writing it safely into my planner as soon as it's booked helps so much! It also means I can plan around them, which leads me onto my next point.

Make it your main focus of the day.
I know this wont be possible for everyone, but I find I'm a lot less drained / stressed if I make my appointment the focus of my day. I won't make any other pressuring plans on the same day and I work hard the day before to make sure I don't have any chores / errands to run on the day itself. Allowing and promising myself rest afterwards means I can focus on just getting through the appointment itself and not worry about the rest of the day.

Even if you need to work / go to school on the same day as your appointment, try and make it your main focus in terms of your stress levels. Take breaks as frequently as possible and make an extra effort to take care of yourself, whether that's by wearing comfier clothes (that's still acceptable in terms of uniform), having a packed lunch to avoid the queuing stress of eating out or by planning something restful for the evening.

Write a list of important points to discuss pre-appointment.
This is the biggest and most helpful thing I do! I always find that my anxiety wrecks havoc with my concentration and memory and by the time I make it into the appointment room I can't remember half of what I'm supposed to discuss. Writing short bullet points keep me on track, or sometimes I'll write whole paragraphs and just hand the paper over to the doctor to decipher. If I go for the list approach I'll write things like my general mood out of 10, when my medication needs to be re-prescribed, when any upcoming appointments are and any questions I may have.

Other than these three points, I also tend to book my appointments for times that aren't particularly busy. Early morning or late afternoon are the best times to go to my surgery, but of course it might be different for yours, and I know it's not always possible to choose your own time. Another tip I have would be to check out the waiting room before your visit, if possible, just to give you some idea in your mind as to where you'll be sitting before the appointment itself. A good playlist and some earphones wouldn't go amiss, either!



1 comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I have found myself getting so anxious when attending appointments about my anxiety. The last time I went, I had a full-on panic attack just outside the surgery. By the time I got in with the doctor, my mouth was so dry I could hardly speak! I'll definitely be using your tips in the future. Thank you again! x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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