We spend hours sitting in waiting rooms. Whether its waiting for your child or spouse, or waiting to get called in a busy walk-in clinic. Those leather frayed seats stick to your bottom. The kaki walls and low stuccoed ceilings seem to cave in. The smell of sterileness fills the air. Phone’s ring, babies cry and names get called. You chat with the person beside you about the news that pops up on the small TV mounted ahead. Your conversations often last a few minutes before you inevitably pull out your phone and kill time by checking e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.
After some time, you glance up from your device. Feeling free from the shackles of technology you observe your surroundings. The seats surrounding you become empty, and the hectic noise fades away. What to do, what to do… First things first, sit up straight. Let’s embrace the wait!
Here are 8 ways in which you can make time pass while bored in a doctor’s office waiting room:
Bet you hadn’t thought of that. Sometimes silence is the best thing you can do for yourself. Take a break from your busy life. Calm your mind, and thoughts. Close your eyes (if you feel comfortable doing so) or simply stare at the floor a few feet away. Remain still. Accept that at this moment you will think about nothing, and that is okay. Tune out every noise around you. Avoid eye contact with anything that moves. Focus only on the inhales and exhales of your breath. Be attentive to your body, and nothing else. Just relax.
Buy a simple notebook from the dollar store, and always keep it with you. Write a To-Do list, a shopping list, or a list of random thoughts and ideas that you might have. If you are waiting to see the doctor, write a list of health concerns and questions which you would like to bring up. Write a list like the one you’re reading and post it on a blog! Someone would love to read what you have to say.
Not everyone is an artist. If you are, good for you! Draw it. Frame it. And put it up in your house, or give it as a gift. A sketch in a frame created by you might be one of the most thoughtful, personal gifts you could give. If you’re not the most artistically inclined, draw anyways. Make yourself laugh with your “needs improvement” drawing. Or admire the fact that you tried, and give it to someone who needs a good laugh. With everything comes practice. And who knows, maybe you will realize that you aren’t that bad at drawing after all.
No one will judge you if you bring a neck pillow to the waiting room. And if they do, they are probably just jealous, and wish that they had been that smart. Take a nap. Aren’t we all a little sleep deprived?
Listen to your favourite song. Look up podcasts that might interest you. Tip: Wear headphones to avoid dirty looks and possibly getting kicked out (if that’s even allowed).
Yes it is possible to stretch while sitting. And yes it is possible to do so, in a way that no one else knows you are doing it. Now, I don’t mean full yoga, and pilates. I’m talking light stretches and exercises that are meant to relieve stiffness, and “couch potato-ness”. Sit up straight. Stretch your neck by holding it to the side for 5 seconds. Switch. Repeat. Stretch your calves by sticking your leg out and pointing your toes up to that stuccoed ceiling, then to the floor. Switch legs. Repeat. Our bodies are smart. We know what feel good, and when it is time to stop. Do what feels good. Even if it’s that “good painful” feeling. Just move. Relieve that tension, secretively.
I’m not going to go into too much depth. Basically if you’re planning on waiting for a while, bring a magazine, or a book along with you. Bring anything that you can read, that is not off your lit up screen. Remember what it feels like to hold a real book? Because from what I remember, it’s pretty enjoyable.
You never have the time to clean out your purse, or bag. Well, here’s your chance. Take everything out. Toss and recycle old receipts, wrappers, flyers and anything else that you haven’t touched since it was first put in there. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel when all that is left are the few things that you actually use on a daily basis. Anything else… say bye-bye!