At a certain point I had to start finding strategies for either keeping still/paying attention while in my seat, or simply giving myself acceptable reasons to get up and move around.
I do this thing sometimes, where I just rotate my ankle. You can do it under the table, it’s not noisy, and I enjoy feeling my brain shift from white noise to comprehension of the conversation at hand, as I begin to circle my foot. It’s literally like flipping a switch and suddenly I’m enjoying the conversation because I can HEAR it! And follow it!
Opening and closing my pen cap was another good one (it’s a quiet cap).
My other strategy may have been less, um…grown up, but it helped: I kept getting up to go grab a cookie off of the plate of cookies on the other side of the room. I was able to move in a direction that wasn’t disruptive to the conversation…I ate about…5 of them? (Large ones…) And 3 brownies. This strategy might not be the best for everyone but I still have weight to gain back after my Christmas-era explosion of illness. I knew I’d gone beyond the realm of normal cookie consumption however when the Executive Assistant happened to be at the table with me and said, with a genuine smile “you CANNOT eat more of those cookies”. I took one more. And I know how I roll, I know that when my brain is in that mode, I’m going to hear more and be a more productive participant if I can get up and move around.
And MMMMMMM cookies! (I have no shame…)