Tips for Finding Restrooms in Public
We all go through it. The dreaded moment when you are out in a public space and need to use the restroom. The urgency always onsets quick and you have only a certain amount of time to make it to the washroom before things explode and get ugly. Oh, the anxiety of it all!
So how can we become total ninjas at finding public restrooms at lightning speed to prevent an accident? Here are some things I have learned that have helped me over the years of dealing with this unpleasant IBS diagnosis.
Map out where the restrooms are beforehand
What I mean by this is, if you are going to a mall for the first time, for example, always locate where the bathrooms are before you begin your shopping. This way when the urgency hits, you know where to go.
I also suggest, physically going into the bathroom to check out what you are working with. Is it communal stalls, private stalls, is it clean or dirty. Are all the toilets working or are some out of order etc. This way you know what you are dealing with and nothing will come as a surprise.
Lastly, use the restroom when you arrive even if you don’t have to go. This helps in keeping anxiety levels low.
Look for the drinking fountains
Typically in a commercial building, restrooms are located where the drinking fountains are. So if the urgency hits all of a sudden, and in a panic, you are maybe embarrassed to ask where the restrooms are, you can also just ask where the water fountain is. The restrooms will be right there.
In a multi-level building like a theatre or office, for example, you will always find that restrooms will be above one another. So let’s say you are on the second floor and find there is a huge line, try another floor in the exact location. There will most likely be a restroom located there as well.
Trick for restaurants that have a code to use the bathroom
If you live in a big city, like NYC for example, you will find that most food spots won’t let you use their restrooms unless you purchase something and receive a bathroom code to unlock the washroom. Boy, is this a nightmare for anyone with IBS? Well, this idea was given to me by an advocate in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease community, and I found it to be brilliant!
When you go to one of those restaurants for the first time, write the code down on your phone so you have it. Next time you can just pull it off your phone and use the restroom with no problem!
Hit up the hotels
Hotel bathrooms are the best, especially in nice hotels. If you have major urgency and see a hotel in the vicinity, definitely go there. Typically restrooms are also easily accessible in the lobby area and employees assume you are a guest regardless, so no awkwardness. When in doubt, hit up the hotel bathroom when it’s an option.
How about you? What other tips do you have for using restrooms in public? Any hacks? Share below, we love to hear from you!
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?