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SocietyOctober 13, 2021

15 things you can do with your 15 minute post-vaccination wait


Getting vaccinated this week and wondering how to make the most of your 15 minutes of post-vaccination observation time? Wonder no more. 

There’s nothing quite like having to sit in a chair for a set period of time and not being able to do anything about it. The simplicity of buckling yourself into an aeroplane seat or nestling into a cinema chair, and knowing exactly how long you are going to be there for, provides a wonderful reprieve in a world overwhelmed by choice.

For those of us living under alert level three restrictions, plane and cinema chairs aren’t part of our lives at the moment. But there is a designated chair slot out there that everyone over the age of 12 can enjoy, no matter what alert level they are in: the 15 minute observation chair that you get to have a lovely sit in after your vaccination.

If you are getting vaccinated this week and want to make the most of your 15 minutes, here are 15 things you can do that aren’t catching up on emails, or staring into the void.

1) Do a guided meditation

You’ve probably been meaning to get into meditation for ages, so why not seize this 15 minute window of borrowed time to embrace the lifestyle of this “Boho Beautiful Yoga” Youtube channel? “This short guided 15 minute meditation for anxiety and stress is the perfect way to welcome peace, balance, and joy into your life especially during uncertain times like the current Covid-19 pandemic,” the blurb reads. You know me so well, Beautiful Boho Yoga. 

2) Catch up on your Trade Me feedback

Remember the days when Trade Me feedback was one of the most important online currencies in the country? With developments over the years such as instant paying through Ping and the automated sending of delivery addresses, interactions between buyers and sellers on Trade Me just ain’t what they used to be. Use this precious time to speak your truth and reconnect with people from trades gone by in your feedback. Best believe I’m going to pop off about how quickly I received my unauthorised Gandalf tee. 

3) Watch Mr Bean


Back in the day, no school vaccination programme was complete without a good old Mr Bean session while you sat in the freezing cold hall to be released, lollipop in hand. Weird fact, did you know there was only ever 15 episodes of Mr Bean made? You could read one synopsis a minute, or you could watch this 15 minute supercut of his best moments. Beware you may fall off your chair laughing, so I’d alert the authorities in the room before divulging. 

4) Read a book

I know this is a snooze suggestion but you know what else is snooze? You, every night, reading half a page and before dozing off because you’ve just got a lot on at the moment and work is just really crazy right now. 

5) Read a magazine

Ditto. Put your phone on flight mode and get to the end of that long form feature about the economy or something that has been dog-eared for weeks next to your bed. I believe in you. 

6) Learn how to say something in a different language

Duolingo is great for a picking up quick and easy phrases, but is often reliant on you having to humiliate yourself by mispronouncing things loudly into your phone. DK have released an app which splits a 12-week language course into 15 minute chunks, so you could always dive into a session while you wait. Can you learn how to say “thank you for keeping us safe” in another language before you leave the vaccination centre? Time to find out!

7) Free write for 15 minutes

Here at The Spinoff, we love to write about writing, from recommending you handwrite all your stories to promoting the ancient art of letter-writing. With 15 minutes spare and just a pen and paper, the options are endless. You could write a letter to a celebrity (been waiting on my reply from Daniel Radcliffe since 2001), you could write a short story (only if you also wear a cheese cutter and a monocle) or you could write yourself a list of positive affirmations that will carry you into your new life as a wellness influencer

8) Kegels

Do your kegels

9) Donate to a good cause

Times are hard for heaps of people across New Zealand right now so, if you have found yourself with a little bit of extra cash, why not use this time to make an donation to a worthy cause? Here’s a handy list we prepared earlier to get you started

10) Watch Extremely Online

Instead of mindlessly scrolling the internet for 15 minutes, why don’t you watch a handful of episodes of Extremely Online, Shit You Should Care About’s fascinating short form series about the internet? Meta. You know what else is meta? The Metaverse, which you can come to understand by clicking here. In just a quarter of an hour you could become an expert in anything from Lil Miquela to the Neuralink, cryptocurrency to catfishing. Imagine how smart you’ll sound at the pub! Hahaha, the pub. 

11) Solve a Rubik’s cube

This one needs a little preparation, but if you take a leaf out of Justin Bieber’s book and get really, weirdly, good at Rubik’s cube in preparation for your vaxx, you could absolutely blow everyone way in the waiting area and maybe even make some new socially-distanced friends*. 

12) Play online Scrabble

Since lockdown began, I have been engaged in a fierce Scrabble war with a mystery man in America named Bobby E. All I know about him is that he appears to like to the snow, he has an average word score of 21, and he absolutely blew me away with the bingo word FLOUNDERS on September 7. We’ve never messaged, but I truly feel closer to Bobby E than my closest friends and family in the past two months. Find your Bobby E. 

13) Message an old friend

I know it’s sappy, but now is a great time to reconnect with people you haven’t chatted to in ages. Challenge yourself to message someone you’ve been meaning to talk to by the end of the 15 minutes. I’m thinking about messaging my Bebo “other half” from 2007, just for a lol. Maybe I’ll even message Bobby E. 

14) Learn 15 minutes worth of useless information

It’s insufferable, but it’s something. Another useful one for the so-called ‘pub’. 

15) Cry

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, there’s still nothing wrong with having a big old cry. 

Keep going!