Last week, I took a trip to Sutter Urgent Care in Santa Rosa with my hubby who was three weeks into what seemed like walking pneumonia, but really it was the onset of bronchitis.
When we arrived, there was no wait. The woman behind the desk was as sweet as lemon meringue pie and even the waiting room felt pretty darn good.
While I sat in one of the comfortable chairs next to my beloved while he filled out the necessary forms, something on the right side of me quickly caught my eye.
I turned my head and there it was—the latest issue of People Magazine [with Oprah on the cover] neatly stacked on top of several other magazines.
I quickly grabbed it like a drug addict guiltily sneaking a quick hit, and soaked up the pages like a sponge recently filled with dish soap.
I did this for fifteen seconds and then I put it down.
You see, People Magazine is my crack.
Truthfully, I’m fascinated with the dresses celebrities wear to their fancy parties and other stories… and I admit, I’ve gone through binges where I’ll simply lose track of time while I look at the magazine on my iPhone 6 Plus.
And then suddenly, I’ll notice my husband has been standing over me calling my name several times and I’ve been completely zoned out in the People land.
Here’s the thing…
While I oftentimes love to just veg out on People and other celebrity magazines, I never feel better after I do.
It’s kind of like the way I feel about french fries. I absolutely love eating them and then afterwards, I feel like I need a good long nap to recover.
These days, I’m happy to share that I’m a recovering celebrity magazine addict. Is that in the DMS-5?
In the past, whenever I’ve had to wait for a doctor’s appointment in the reception area and ended up reading People Magazine or its comparable, I have felt worse.
Instead of positively distracting me [as many design elements in your waiting room can], I feel my pulse elevated and I tend to worry more.
Once, I spent so much time reading the magazine while waiting for my appointment, I almost had to cancel my visit. I was that stressed out.
Okay, so I know I might be an extreme example, but I can’t imagine this happens only to me.
As a matter of fact, I know it doesn’t. Other people I know experience the same thing.
My big message for today?
The activities you offer your peeps in your waiting room are just as important as what you show on your walls.
Make sure that whatever you place in your waiting room or treatment room(s) evokes a sense of well-being and induces an optimistic, positive feeling among your patients and clients.
For example, adult coloring books calm the mind and relax the body. If you’re a Veterinarian, include animal coloring books. If you’re a Chiropractor, include coloring books about the back.
As clinical psychologist Scott M. Bea, Psy.D. says, “Coloring in an adult coloring book is very much like a meditative exercise that takes us out of ourselves.”
And then there’s this:
“Mindfulness art therapy has been shown to reduce physical and emotional distress and has been a helpful coping tool for people with conditions, including depression, anxiety, addictions and trauma.” [Source: Cleveland Clinic, Health Essentials]
So, next time you or your team is hanging out in the waiting room, check out what magazines you offer to your peeps and maybe, just maybe, you’ll remember this article and my addiction story.
With love in recovery,