Hard to believe the vaccine for Covid-19 is officially here and being administered. It was a long road to get to this point, and there was doubt that a vaccine would exist at all. But now that it's here, are you part of the 1 in 4 adults who is scared of needles? Idaho is already administering the vaccine, but many adults are more nervous about the process itself rather than what's in the vaccine. Here are some expert tips to get through the dreaded needle experience.

First of all, there's no shame in having a phobia of needles (trypanophobia). We all have our things. I suffer from ornithophobia, which admittedly is a bit irrational. And it's actually quite common for someone to be afraid of needles. So just be very upfront about it with the nurse and doctor as they've likely dealt with this numerous times and can provide comfort.

Think about why you're getting vaccinated in the first place. Covid-19 screwed up all of 2020 in all the ways both great and small. Deciding to get the vaccine means you've concluded it will do more good than harm in getting things back to normal. Let that thought push you through the experience.

Employ some deep breathing and relaxation techniques. Picture yourself in a comfortable place that brings you joy and continue breathing in and out, focusing on that instead of the needle. Practice in the car on the way there, even. You're ahead of the game if you can start from a calm state.

Distract yourself! Talk about literally anything other than the vaccine. Perhaps a debate on who should have been People's Sexiest Man Alive. Reminisce on your favorite The Office episodes. Discuss how Monica should have ended up with Richard on Friends. Whatever you have to do to forget about the moment.

Don't look while it's happening. Your anxiety will skyrocket if you actually watch, which is the last thing you need in that situation. If you don't literally see it coming, it'll be over before you realize.

I'm fortunate to not have even a remote fear of needles, but if there are birds roaming the parking lot in front of the doctor's office I'm not even getting out of the car.

(Psycom)

 

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