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The Case for Boring Self-Care: Making Healthcare Appointments

The Case for Boring Self-Care: Making Healthcare Appointments

The truth is, some self-care can be really boring at times. It isn’t just the fun stuff like face masks and girl’s nights, though those things can be just as important! However, sometimes the things we really need are more challenging. A big part of self-care requires that we do the boring or mundane things, like making our healthcare appointments.

Why is it that taking charge of our healthcare appointments can feel so boring and hard? While it sits on our to-do lists, it somehow slowly makes its way further and further down as the days go by. If you are a caretaker of any other humans, this can become especially challenging. If you spend a lot of time making appointments for other people instead of yourself, it can feel like making one appointment could potentially drain you of all the energy you need for the rest of the month. In reality, making time to care for your own health and well-being only takes a very small amount of time in the grand scheme of things, and could potentially add years to your life.

Image is of a person with a pen in the hand hovering over a weekly planner while making healthcare appointments.
Photo by Marissa Grootes

Here’s the trick to making healthcare appointments:

Put it on the calendar.

Block out a 2 hour chunk of time to sit down and make all the appointments you have been putting off or thinking of making. Make this time as non-negotiable as any other meeting. Make a list of appointments you need to make and their contact information. Be sure to include the once in a while appointments that are easy to forget like pap smears and vaccines. Then call them: the dentist, the doctor, OBGYN, and any specialists. Make the appointments you will need for the rest of the year if you can. Otherwise it turns out that the dentist is booked up until November when you urgently needed an appointment in March.

Couple this task with something you can look forward to.

Maybe you book yourself a massage as well as the doctors appointments, or you take a glorious hike afterwards. While this type of self-care can feel boring and a tad stressful, in the long run it can actually boost dopamine levels to complete tasks and reach goals. Dopamine is responsible for improving memory, attention, and motivation, making you more likely to continue to crush goals in the future.

Things to Consider

For a lot of folks, making healthcare appointments can feel like it is coupled with looming anxiety. This could be stem from many different things: the financial aspect, distrust in doctors, or worry about your condition. Know that your feelings are valid, as our healthcare system comes with many complications and historically based discriminations. Regardless, you are worthy of proper healthcare and advocacy.

Depending on your insurance and if you are covered or not, certain healthcare may not be as accessible to you. While there is no one right answer for how to approach this less than ideal situation many Americans find themselves in, there are options for still prioritizing your healthcare. Look for community clinics that offer sliding scale services, start here. Even for things like acupuncture and massage, this is an awesome option. Other great services like GoodRx are available for discounted medication prices. Include time for doing research on these services in your area to your scheduling block.

The point is, some self-care may be boring and daunting. It might not always be sparkly and perfect, and it may take a little more determination than usual. While your healthcare is mainly about the daily habits you chose to make, making sure you go to your checkups, do you preventative appointments, and talk to a doctor about your specific health is a major piece of the self-care pie. Your body will thank you for taking care of it in all the ways we as humans need.

What gets in the way of you taking charge of your healthcare? Message us @Maidenfolk on Instagram and let us know, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below!

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