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A quick internet search on what to pack for an overnight stay at a hospital will yield hundreds of articles with eerily similar results… basic toiletries, comfortable clothes, and so forth. Of course, this list differs slightly depending on why you’re there. For example, a maternity stay would require some different items than a knee replacement stay.
While these are good ideas, and could make your stay more pleasant, they might not do much for your “sanity” when spending hours at a hospital. Here are a few items that you may not have thought about packing that might be the difference between a boring stay and a less boring stay.
1. Deck of playing cards. Games like Solitaire can provide entertainment whether you’re alone or with visitors. Practice your shuffling skills. Or, see how long it takes you to separate, and organize, all the cards by suit and hierarchy.
2. Crosswords, word searches, or Sudoku puzzles. These can give your brain a great workout.
3. Pad of paper. Let your creativity soar with this one. Write a poem or short story about your experience. Draw a picture. Write a letter to a friend or one of the nurses caring for you. The options are endless with a blank sheet of paper. If you get really board, see if you can remember how to fold a paper airplane.
4. Play Doh. Think Play Doh is just for kids? Think again. Play Doh modeling compound can be a super fun and stress relieving activity.
5. Coloring book and crayons. When is the last time you colored a picture? Been a while, right? Believe it or not, this could be a really fun, relaxing activity for all ages.
6. Game cube or other puzzle/teaser. There are many types of hand-held brainteasers that can keep you busy for hours. Who knows, maybe this will be the first time in your life you’ll finally have time to solve them.