Did you take your Girl Scout or Boy Scout oath seriously as a child? If so, to this day you’re sure to pack what you need before a hike: a map, a compass, a first-aid kit, water and some healthy snacks. You ask what the terrain is like and where the trail ends so you can get home on schedule.
When it comes to surgery, studies have shown that the “be prepared” principle can ease pre-op anxiety, reduce your hospital stay and speed recovery.
If you’re about to undergo surgery, ask your doctor to describe the procedure completely. Knowing what to expect can defuse stress and help you approach surgery day with a calm head.
Here are some other ways you can make the time before, during and after surgery run more smoothly:
Your cozy robe or a favorite photo will warm your surroundings and soothe you. Having family and friends visit will bolster you, but don’t be afraid to set limits: You’ll need some time to recuperate, and this includes time to yourself.
A little help from your friends can come in handy. If worries about housework or bills are nagging at you, ask someone to take care of these chores. In the meantime, the relaxation methods you used before surgery can help you feel better now, too. With guided imagery, you can picture yourself in the near future doing something you enjoy, such as taking an invigorating hike in the woods.