We all know – tests can be anxiety inducing. This is especially true for tests that involve our health and our body, such as STD tests and pregnancy tests. Perhaps it’s too early for you to take one of these tests. Maybe it hasn’t been long enough since the sexual encounter occurred for you to get accurate results on a pregnancy or STD test. Perhaps you’ve already taken the test, and you’re just waiting for the results to come in. Here are some important steps for keeping yourself calm, and getting through until you get your test results.
1. Recognize that you are taking the appropriate steps for your health.
It’s important to remember, though it can be scary to wait for a test result, you are doing the right thing for yourself. You have already made the decision that knowing what is going on with your body comes ahead of living in ignorance, and that’s important. You’ve taken a huge step and that is something you should commend yourself on. You have shown that you have what it takes to face your fears, and that is a huge accomplishment.
2. Do something you enjoy to take your mind off of the situation.
Do you enjoy exercising? Taking long walks? Hanging out with friends? Reading a great book? Watching a new show on Netflix? Now is a good time to do what you like to keep yourself calm. Make a nice meal, do something fun, try a new activity! Distracting yourself from your fears by doing anything positive that will take your mind off the situation is a great way to cope right now. If it is too early for you to get tested or to know the result, there isn’t much you can do in the meantime. Waiting is a very scary part of the process, and whatever you can do to distract yourself from thinking about something you can’t currently control is great!
3. Constructively engage your emotions regarding your potential results.
Perhaps you’ve tried to disengage from the stress of waiting by distracting yourself, but you just can’t seem to do it! It might be a good time to sit in your emotions, and examine how and why you are feeling the way you are. Instead of just falling into negative emotions, however, try to constructively work through what you are feeling. Creative outlets are a great way to do this: you can try painting, drawing, or writing creatively. If you’re not feeling the creative outlets, you can also try journaling. Journaling is a private and simple way to map out your feelings and fears.
4. Talk to a trusted confidant about your feelings.
While working towards eliminating the negative side effects of stress on your own is a great start, you might be someone who needs the support of another to feel better. There is absolutely no shame in having someone close to you to rely on when you are having a difficult time. If you have someone in your life you feel safe sharing your fears with, confiding in them might be a great way to make yourself feel better. They can give you support and a shoulder to cry on. Many people also have their own story related to a sexual health scare, and they may be able to relate to you!
5. Remember that your have options, no matter the outcome.
Getting diagnosed with an STD can be a scary experience. And while finding out you are pregnant might be wonderful for some, there are other people who aren’t ready to be pregnant yet. For them, an unplanned pregnancy can be a terrifying experience. Before you know your results, you may be thinking about the absolute worst case scenario. However, it is important to remember that there are appropriate ways to deal with every possible outcome. Many STDs are entirely treatable, while ones that aren’t are becoming more and more manageable as medical technology advances. If you find out that you are carrying an unplanned pregnancy, there are non-judgmental professionals who can help you figure out your best option – whether it be parenting, adoption, or abortion. There are many caring professionals in the world who are ready and willing to help you with whatever outcome your tests reveal. Just reminding yourself that there are people out there to support you, even in the worst case scenario, can be a major relief.