Ah, the waiting room.
Like many, if not all of you, I’ve spent long times waiting in the examination room for the doctor to arrive. I’ve waited as long as an hour, or as short as five minutes. When the wait is short, it’s sweet. When the wait is long, well….
It feels like a lifetime, and each minute feels like a year. By the time the doctor enters the room, the patient is so stressed out, that he/she needs medical help just for wait-anxiety.
But there are ways to cope to keep your stress level even-keeled. Feel free to follow one or more of the following to help keep the nerves at bay. These are what I do to de-stress:
Bring a book or several magazines to read. Don’t rely on the reading material at a doctor’s office; bring what you want to read and make sure it will provide at least a couple of hours of reading.
Bring music — an MP3 player with headphones often do the trick against wait-anxiety.
Sketch or draw. It engrosses one’s attention.
Deep breathe. Use the diaphram to breathe in.
Meditate or repeat a certain mantra. Mine is “I’m powerful!” It helps alleviate the wait-anxiety and, well, empowers me.
Lie down on the examination table and close one’s eyes. You might even be lucky enough to take a nap.
These tips will help keep your stress where it belongs — away from you.
Do you have any strategies that help you cope with waiting room anxiety? I would love to hear about them.
This posting is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Calling the Shots: Coaching Your Way Through the Medical System. To obtain these excerpts regularly, please subscribe to this blog by clicking the orange subscribe button. I am a professional writer and have published numerous academic and magazine articles, as well as an essay on my breast cancer experience in the anthology Voices of Breast Cancer by LaChance Publishing. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.