In the chaos of life, it can be hard to find a moment to yourself. Add “check blood pressure” to the to-do list, and it can feel like a burden; yet another thing you have to do.
But what if we reframe how you look at blood pressure checks? What if we view them as something you get to do? Tracking blood pressure is a good habit for your body, yes. But it can also benefit your mind.
Let’s start now. Visualize blood pressure checks as your personal pause button. The few minutes it takes to check your blood pressure can be a perfect opportunity to bring some quiet and calm to your day. Here’s how:
1. Since you shouldn’t speak or move while you’re taking your blood pressure, find an area where you can be alone. A cozy couch or chair, or even your office with the door shut.
2. Make sure your bladder is empty so you’ll be comfortable.
3. Relax for five minutes. Turn on some quiet music, read a few pages of a book or magazine, or do a puzzle on your phone.
4. After rest time, you’ll secure your cuff.
5. Sit straight in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the ground. Press the START/STOP button.
6. Breathe calmly. Try not to worry or think about what you’re doing next. This is your time!
7. Once the reading has been taken, the cuff will deflate. Your results will be shown on the display of the blood pressure monitor.
8. Don’t worry if the number seems too high. It’s just one reading. This gives your provider valuable information, whatever the reading. Pat yourself on the back for being here and for taking charge of your health.
Bravo! In less than 10 minutes, you did something positive for your body and your mind.
The next time you feel you have to check your blood pressure, remember that you get to have a few minutes of peaceful quiet time in exchange—not to mention, important information about your health. Turning your blood pressure check time into a mellow moment is a win on all counts!