It’s amazing how some folks only go to the bathroom 4 or 6 times per day (which is considered healthy and normal) and then others find themselves running to the bathroom with an urge to pee every five minutes. By the way, I am others. And if you’re anything like me, then you’re tired of bathroom breaks cramping your style.
So what exactly can you do when it seems like your bladder is the boss of you? Well, urine in good hands. We’ve talked here about bladder training, which can be a big help. The key to bladder training is to *not* give into the urge to pee right away so you can gradually make it 2-4 hours between bathroom pit stops. So, to help you on your bladder training journey, here are 8 ways to suppress the urge to pee for 5 minutes to see if it passes. Mind over bladder and no more just-in-case peeing.
1. Distract Yourself By Making Mental Lists
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “it’s all in your head.” The urge to pee can sometimes be one of those things. If you don’t keep your mind occupied, then you’ll easily give in to that urge. Instead of focusing on having to go, try coming up with some different ways that you can distract yourself. For example, why not start thinking about your grocery list? Or what about that pesky to-do list that you keep pushing off? If you want to think of something more fun, then imagine the places you’d most like to visit. Another good option is investing in a fidget cube.
2. Or, Just Keep It Old School
If lists aren’t your style, fall back on those simple distractions strategies we all know. What helps some fall asleep may help you resist the urge to pee. Try counting backwards from 100 or mentally singing the alphabet song backwards. How your mind stays occupied is really your business, and it doesn’t have to be busy feeling or stressful. The point is that it needs to work for you specifically.
3. Don’t Act Frozen, Elsa
Are your legs crossed so tight that it’s starting to feel like you’re hitting a squat? Loosen up, gal! It’s easy to feel frozen when you’re occupied with the urge to pee. You may think that moving in any way will only make it worse, but that’s not the case. You just need to focus on moving in the right way.
4. Keep The Pressure Off Of Your Bladder
Now, you’re right if you think that sitting down is better for suppressing the urge to pee than standing up. But make sure you’re not putting unnecessary pressure on your bladder. Lean forward to take some of the pressure off and hopefully feel a bit of relief. You can also whip your pelvic floor muscles into shape by doing Kegel exercises in your spare time which will help sneaky leaks from sneaking out.
All of these strategies are about taking the pressure off of your bladder. If you combine these with taking the pressure off of your mind, then you’ll really be showing your bladder who’s boss.
5. Nature Sounds Are a No-No
For everything that you should do, there is something that you shouldn’t. If you have to go, then it’s definitely not the time to turn on the faucet, pour yourself a drink, or listen to a nature sounds CD with waterfalls flowing or thunderstorms blaring. The sound of running water and having to go just don’t mix. It’ll just make the urge to pee worse.
6. Don’t Focus On The Dam Breaking
It may be difficult, but try not to think about how bad the urge to pee is. The more you think about it the more the urge will strengthen. It’s just like when you’re working out. The closer you get to the last number, the harder it gets to finish.
7. But Have Some Back Up If The Dam Does Break
If you’re worried about being caught out and about, without a bathroom, and unable to suppress the urge to pee, make sure you grab some back up protection. And by that we mean disposable underwear and pads. Lily Bird has you covered with pads and underwear delivered straight to your door so you never run out.
8. Don’t Beat Yourself Up…Or Your Bladder
I know this is easier said than done, but don’t feel guilty, alone, or embarrassed. For one thing, you have nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Leaks affect a lot of people, or else we wouldn’t be talking about it! For another, giving into shame will only make you more likely to hurry to the bathroom when you shouldn’t.
9. Just Go If You Have To
If the urge remains after 5 minutes, head to the restroom. Calmly, we might add. And if that happens, don’t feel as if you haven’t made any progress. This isn’t the kind of problem you’ll solve instantly. But by putting in the work, trust us: you’ll see results.
By Jessica Thomas, MPH