How to Deal with Traffic Stress
What do a surprise visit from your in-laws and traffic on your daily commute have in common? They both show up when you least expect it—and cause you an immeasurable amounts of stress in the process. While it’s hard to make your in-laws disappear permanently—though we all wish we could in a way that won’t get us 35 to life—there are some ways to help reduce the stress of getting stuck in traffic. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you deal with traffic stress:
Listen to something relaxing. When you get stuck in traffic, you never know how long it’s going to take. This alone can cause a lot of stress, so why not try to take the opportunity traffic provides to listen to something relaxing? Whether it’s a good book or your favorite tune to sing along with, listening to something relaxing will allow you to get some personal time you otherwise might not have.
Make sure you’re comfortable. Use the heat or air conditioning as necessary to keep yourself comfortable. If your car feels stuffy, consider opening the windows if the weather is nice. If you’re uncomfortable while you’re stuck in traffic, it will only enhance your stress levels, not helping you deal with traffic stress.
Breathe. It can be easy to remember that the traffic will end eventually, especially if you’ve had a long day at work and just want to get home. Try and take the occasional deep breath if you can feel your stress levels rising.
Take the opportunity to snack. When you’re cruising down the highway at 65 miles per hour, it’s not safe to eat and drink, but when you’re crawling in traffic, it’s the perfect time to do just that. Drink water and try to eat high protein foods to keep you alert and energized, making it easier for you to get through the traffic jam.
Avoid tailgating. The Golden Rule says, “Treat others as one would like to be treated,” and this extends to tailgating. No one likes it when the car behind them is tailgating them, so why would you tailgate others? Not only is driving so closely dangerous to you—and others—but it will also increase your stress levels as you continually have to depress the brake.
Consider playing a game if you have other passengers. With all this extra time, there’s no better way to pass the time than playing car games. Whether it’s I Spy or a trivia game available on your smartphone, the options are endless to keep you and your passengers entertained. Just remember—if you’re the driver, you should not be using a cell phone without a hands-free device!
Call your mom. Or anyone you feel like talking to, really. Traffic is the perfect opportunity to catch up with people you might not talk to frequently—just remember to use a hands-free device when you use your cell phone. This will make sure that you and those around you are safe while you’re out on the road.
Do you have any special ways you deal with traffic stress? Share them with us below!