I played so much Angry Birds while I was going through chemo, that now, when I see a picture of an Angry Bird, I start to feel a little green around the gills. Actually, as I write this, just thinking about Angry Birds makes me a little sick to my stomach.
Once I finished treatment and found I could no longer play my favorite time-killing app, I had to try and think of some other ways to pass the time while waiting around to be seen. Here are some suggestions for making the most of your time.
1. Make Lists
I pull out my phone and make all sorts of lists: questions for my doctors, shopping lists, to-do lists, places I want to visit, recipes I want to try, possible birthday gifts for family members, books I want to read…I just made a list of lists I make—meta.
Please don’t do this out loud or you may find yourself leaving with a few extra medications. No, self-talk is like having an intentional, internal monologue. This is time where I sit and think positive thoughts, meditate on reassuring quotes, or try and logically talk myself through issues weighing heavily on my mind.
3. Do Something Creative
People who can knit or sew are, in my mind, wizards. I don’t have the kind of magic in my hands to be able to do that, but I can doodle, cross stitch, or my personal favorite—plug headphones into my phone to make beats and write songs with Garage Band Studio.
Having never been a phone person, this is the kind of thing I don’t normally think to do, but when I find myself with phone service and extra time in a waiting room, I try to check in with people.
5. Clean Out Your Inbox
Being the proud user of a Hotmail email address from 1996, I get a lot of ads in my inbox I don’t normally take the time to delete.
6. Clean Out Your Photos
So…much…storage… If you regularly take photos, but don’t regularly delete them off your phone, it’s a good way to spend a few minutes. And don’t forget to delete them from the “deleted” photos album!
7. Seated Kegels
Not just for women…
That’s right you can do charity work…without spending money… There are so many click-to-give charity sites nowadays, where you click a button and some people will donate money just because you showed your support for a cause by caring enough to click.
9. Conduct Research
Chances are there are other people in the room where you are waiting. You can ask them questions about things you want to know more about. Even if they don’t know the answer to your question, it could be a good way to strike up a productive conversation.
10. Take a walk
I don’t know why more waiting rooms don’t have treadmills, but if you arrive for your appointment, and there seems like there is going to be a long wait, you could ask the person at the reception desk how long they think it will be, cut that number in half and take a little walk.