What do you do while waiting in line? What did we do before traveling with a phone (a mini-computer) in your purse or pocket was a thing, and why do we do we reach for phones so often, like sharp shooters in a Western?
Restlessness? The awareness that we can actually now talk to others, hop on social media, write and publish a blog post AND take care of business tasks while standing amidst strangers?
First of all, all of those are pretty cool and have their place. But, how present are we in a physical situation when we’re absorbed in a digital one?
What do you think?
Have you ever sat or stood near some loud talkers or people who figure this is a good time to watch 10 IG Stories with their phone volume up to all? It’s not fun and actually makes you aware of the repetitive loop culture and conflicting frequencies of tuning into too many social ‘stories.’
Sometimes a phone is a distraction from that and helps tune out the sound, but there are other things to do than look down at a screen and twinkle already-worked thumbs. We just may not think about them instantly.
Yes, there are times to go ask a question about any delays so we’re not complacent but for the most part, patience is a good thing to grow in the garden of our mind.
Here are 4 calming ideas I’ve tried and happily recommend to include some time in your waiting experience – without your phone in hand.
– read a book. Get a few steps further into that book you’ve been meaning to finish. You know; that interesting read it feels like you haven’t yet found the time to complete.
⁃write a list (the rest of your daily to-do list, groceries you need to top up on, things you’re thankful for, goals for this season.)
⁃draw. Since you might be standing, it can be a rough sketch of an idea for your business logo, or a doodle to keep calm while waiting your turn.
⁃observe the signage in the bank. Any events, giveaways, an elderly person who might want a helping hand, bonuses, good customer service in motion, currency converter chart or – a water or hot drink station (that’s always a perk, especially on hot days.) Nowadays, being observant is a good thing.
⁃ make a conscious yet discreet effort to take slower, more purposeful breaths to refresh the mind
⁃stretch. Sounds like a bit much on the surface, but hear dis – it doesn’t have to be a big production or a 1hr HIIT workout to count as a stretch. How’s a nice 5 second neck tilt to each side sound? In your head, you can make a note to check your posture – like, right now – take a full breath and watch how your body starts to become more aligned just by thinking about it. How cool is that?
Stretching is doable, without calling unnecessary or unwanted attention to yourself while waiting in a long line. Most people are probably on their phones anyway, so go right ahead and bend one leg slightly to the back – enough to rotate that ankle 3 times in each direction. Next foot…and breathe.
While doing business online is becoming a thing in Barbados, we still have those in-person tasks to take care of from time to time. The key is to make waiting in line more bearable and less annoying by including an activity that relaxes or refreshes. This doesn’t count for places that just have sloppy service and little or no customer communication.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll find that your mood lightens and all of a sudden, the line begins to move at a more encouraging rhythm (or at least it feels that way) and your attitude throughout the rest of the day is healthier.
Plus, you got further into that book, closer to completing that design or made a point to breathe better at a time that could have otherwise been frustrating.
Add brilliant customer service to the equation and the overall experience becomes an invitation to give thanks for a well-tended task in an otherwise tedious situation.
Hope this helps the next time you’re waiting in line. Feel free to pop back and comment to share how it was, and which calming tip you tried to make it a lighter day.
Related post: ‘Be The Boss Of Your Phone And Not The Other Way Around.’