Making the Most of Your Time During Dialysis

After you’ve been on dialysis for a month or two, you’ll probably be in more of a routine and feeling better. So now you may be up for thinking about what other activities you’d like to do during dialysis sessions while you’re at the center.

Dialysis treatments can actually give you blocks of “me time” that you might not have had before. Your treatment time is actually a great opportunity to catch up on things you’ve been wanting to do or to simply relax. If you’re feeling social, you can also ask your social worker or in-center dialysis nurse if there are any organized activities at your center.
Woman listening to headphones at dialysis center.


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Try some of these activities: 

  • Music icon
    Listen to music. This is one of the best ways to relax during your treatment. In fact, a study showed that people who listened to music during dialysis had less pain and nausea than those who didn’t.
  • Conversation icon
    Blog, journal or tweet about your experience. Writing can help you work through your feelings and gives you a chance to share your perspective with friends, family or even other people who are new to dialysis.
  • Handshake icon
    Meet new people at the dialysis center. You already know you have something in common with other people receiving dialysis. Connecting with other people on treatment lets you share experiences and empower each other.
  • Checklist icon
    Get things done. Pay your bills, write emails or letters, shop online, post to social media and mark a few things off your to-do list. Being productive always feels good.
  • Book icon
    Learn something new. Is there a topic you’ve always been interested in, but never had the time to pursue? Dive in. Read a book, listen to a podcast, watch a video or take an online class.
  • Gamer icon
    Become a gamer. There are endless online game options—from chess to popping bubbles to brain teasers—and many are free. Besides passing the time, games can enhance memory and mental alertness.
  • Kidney icon
    Be a kidney know-it-all. Keep learning all you can about treatment options. Remember, some people switch the type of dialysis they choose to be on at some point, so it’s good to know as much as possible.
  • People icon
    Mentor someone beginning dialysis. Helping someone new to dialysis treatment can be enormously satisfying. Ask your social worker if you can volunteer at the center or start a mentorship program.


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Dialysis center colorful meditations

Get colorful

Use your downtime to get in on a gratifying trend. Beautifully designed adult coloring books are becoming increasingly popular. Coloring can be surprisingly relaxing, fulfilling and fun.
Man looking for volunteering opportunities during dialysis.

Give back from afar

Consider volunteer activities that you can do in your chair during your dialysis appointments. Look for opportunities that mean something to you, like editing your church newsletter or blogging for a non-profit.