One thing is for sure, and it's that nobody likes to be stuck in the hospital. Regardless of whether you're the patient, a worried guardian, or a concerned visitor, it plain sucks.
Based on my own personal experience, I've compiled a few things for you and your loved ones to do to keep occupied. Whether you've planned this admission in advance or not, these fifteen activities should make your stay much more bearable for everyone involved.
Watch some amusing TV shows and movies.Giphy
It's no fun being stuck in the hospital, and it can take a whole lot to bring a smile to your face. Watch something that's guaranteed to entertain you. Having a good laugh is a healthy thing.
Journal your daily thoughts and experiences.Giphy
I've found that when I'm feeling overwhelmed, it helps to regurgitate my thoughts out onto a piece of paper. Keeping everything bottled up may seem like a decent idea now, but it's much better to let down your guard and express those emotions. I'm sure you're dealing with quite a lot, so do yourself a favor and let it out now.
Cry it out.Giphy
Remember that it does not make you weak to let out your emotions. You're only human, and I know firsthand how hopeless you can feel when your health is in jeopardy. Cry, cry, and cry until you can compose yourself, however long that takes. Your visitors and healthcare providers are all there as shoulders for you to lean on.
Think about all you'll do once you're discharged.Giphy
As mentioned earlier in the article, however critical your condition, it's not over. Keep up with the fight, and use your aspirations for the future to propel you forward. This isn't over yet, and you'll see the outside world again.
Listen to your favorite tunes.Giphy
Music can be cathartic in countless respects. During one of my hospital admissions, I spent my evenings by myself. I used my laptop to play some quiet tunes and wind down. It's therapeutic to find a song with which you resonate, whether it's heavy metal, contemporary pop or classical.
Play whatever makes you feel 100% understood.
Do some arts and crafts.Giphy
To some, this may sound childish. But like music, any medium of art can be therapeutic in a stressful situation. Adult coloring books exist for a reason, and this is it!
If you're able-bodied and prepared, pull out some paper and colored pencils to start creating some art. If not, ask your nurse if there is a recreational therapist working on your floor. People employed as recreational therapists work in hospitals organizing activities to ease the stress levels of patients such as yourself. He or she should be able to provide you with the supplies you need to do some arts and crafts of your own.
Stick your nose in a book.Giphy
If you're able to focus, try reading for leisure. Losing yourself in another storyline could help you to temporarily relieve the stress of your current situation.
Ask your nurse for a drink or snack.Giphy
A tasty snack or drink can definitely cheer me up when I'm stuck laying in a hospital bed. Hospital food isn't the best and your appetite may be low, but having a little something to eat may help you feel a bit better.
Just call your nurse and she'll grab you whatever you want, day or night!
Call or text your loved ones.Giphy
I know that when you're a patient stuck in a stuffy hospital room, some contact from the outside world can make all the difference. Don't be afraid to call up one of your loved ones or message a close friend or family member.. Chances are that they're thinking about you, anyway. In any case, remembering how many people care about you is an effective remedy for all that you may be feeling.
Request a visit from a service animal.Giphy
This one is my favorite! Nothing puts a smile on my face like a doggo.
Go ahead and ask your nurse about getting yourself on the waitlist for a visit from a service animal. If you're able to head out to the front desk or have a visitor who can do so, that's the best way to obtain information and make sure your name is on the waitlist!
Watch videos of adorable animals.Giphy
Obviously, the next best thing to seeing a service animal is checking out some pictures and videos of animals. If you have your phone on you, all it takes is a quick search to find some irrisistably cute animals online!
This one is easiest. It requires no supplies, only an open heart, and an open mind. Whatever's on your mind, you can always vent to any higher power in which you believe.
Almost every decent hospital has a chaplain on call, so if you ever need a religious confident, ask your nurse about scheduling a visit. I've never done this before, but it should be an option wherever you are staying.
Ask for a hug from your visitors if anyone is around, and if you're staying on your own, don't worry about it. Call your nurse, and he or she will gladly be your rock. You are not alone in this.
Take a short walk around your wing.Giphy
Permitted you are able-bodied, ask if you can take a short walk around your wing. Even getting out of that room for a few minutes can be a great relief. I remember my doctor ordered an in-patient MRI one evening, and I'd been in the same room for so long that I felt excited about it!
Suffice to say, getting some air can help you out.
Practice meditation and/or deep breathing.Giphy
Even if all else fails, you'll always have your breath in your control. I understand that you're probably stressed out, and it's easy to let your breath go crazy when you feel panicked. However, deep breathing can drastically reduce your pulse rate and minimize stress on your body. Try inhaling, holding your breath and exhaling. It can make a whole world of difference in your mental state and help you to calm down. If unrelated thoughts pass through, that's okay. Remind yourself that they are only thoughts and keep the same breathing pattern going.
On that note, remember to keep on going no matter what happens. The hospital is not a pleasant place to be. It's understandable to feel dejected and want to give up on fighting your health complications, but that's not an option. Always keep on fighting. No one ever said it would be easy, but you're all the more admirable for it.
Keep breathing, and keep going.