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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Stress buster: Tips for those long waits in doctors’ offices

Maureen Pratt Author PicOooh, they’re getting longer, not shorter, those waits in doctors’ offices. And, if you’ve exhausted all those rat-eared magazines and examined drab artwork long enough, you’re probably feeling impatient, patient. Edgy, perhaps. Or, even angry.

But, wait! (as if you want to do more of this…)

The more impatient, angry, and irritated you become, the more stress you’re bringing upon yourself. And, we all know what stress can do to us and our chronic illnesses and pain, and it’s nothing good.

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So, here’s what I do when the minutes drag into hours:

1) I walk.  Yup, sitting for hours defeats the purpose of trying to stay in shape. If I know I’ll be last in a long string of patients, I punctuate my sitting time with walking, even pacing a little.

2) I work a puzzle…or five. During my “non-doctor days,” I save crossword puzzles from my newspaper. On appointment days, I grab a stack of them and dive in while I’m waiting. Keeps my mind from turning to mush under those oh-so-glaring fluorescents.

3) I make lists. For a person with intermittent, lupus-induced brain fog, lists are a must. As I wait, I refresh my memory about the lists I’ve made and begin new ones. Just the feeling of being organized helps with a better sense of control over a life that has so many parts that are not within my control.

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4) I read Scripture and pray. A doctor’s office is a perfect place to talk with God – and a good place, too, to read an reread passages from Scripture. I especially like to choose uplifting passages that will enhance my sense of calm and defuse the irritation that comes with waiting.

Some people I know also take their iPads or tablets and watch their favorite comedies or read from a selection of ebooks. Whatever the activity, make it positive, something that helps you either physically, life-style-wise or spiritually. The time won’t seem as long, and you’ll come away with at least a part of your day in the “good” column!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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