There are a lot of responsibilities that come with growing up. It's easy to feel like you're faking things that other adults seem to know how to do by heart. That's okay—you're allowed to feel frazzled! But it's important to remember that some adult responsibilities are more important than others.
So if you still don't have curtains on your windows, that's okay. If you feel like an imposter when you wear a suit to work, that's okay, too. But when it comes to making regular appointments with a primary care physician, you need to step up to the plate. Being diligent about your health needs is one of the most important parts of "adulting."
Why you should be proactive about your health
There are doctors and hospitals around to help you in the event that you become ill or injured. But make no mistake, you should not wait until there's an emergency to seek out the medical care that you need.
Visiting a primary care physician regularly will make it more likely that you catch health problems early while they're still smaller and more manageable. With regular care, check-ups, and advice, you'll be likely to live a healthier life that helps you minimize injuries and illnesses -- or avoid them entirely.
How to get a primary care physician
Of course, most know we are supposed to be visiting a doctor every year. And many of us get to the doctor regularly, statistics show. Still, more than a few of us go too long without seeing doctors, despite knowing that we shouldn't skip appointments. Why is this happening?
One of the hurdles to getting regular care from a primary care physician is the sometimes complicated process of getting health insurance and choosing a primary care provider.
First things first: how do you get insurance? The United States has an employer-based health insurance system, so you should receive insurance from your employer if you work full-time. If your place of work doesn't offer such packages, you need to sign up for an individual plan. You can get started by using the online exchanges.
Once you have health insurance, it's time to get a primary care physician. Your insurance provider may assign you a physician by default, but you can and should review your options and choose a primary care physician yourself.
Head to your health insurance provider's website. There's a good chance that you'll be able to view a list of the primary care physicians in your area that accept your insurance policy, You may even be able to sort and search that list.
Be careful, though, as not all doctors are created equal. Some primary care physicians will be better than others, and you'll be happier and healthier if you visit a good one.
Check out reviews of doctors on trusted and independent online review sites that specialize in medical providers. You'll see feedback from patients like yourself and will be able to make a more informed decision.
It's a good idea to place a call to your new doctor and chat with someone in their office. Confirm that they take your insurance, address any concerns you may have, and then make an appointment.
Keep up with your health
Once you have a doctor and pay them a visit, you'll get more guidance about the future of your health. Visit your doctor at least once a year, or more often, if your doctor suggests it. Your doctor will also be able to recommend and refer you to specialists as necessary.
Being proactive about your health isn't as tough as you might think. It's well worth conquering your stress and fears and investing in your health.