Photo credit: joiseyshowaa
Anyone who commutes any distance for work knows that the car ride to and from the office is the most stressful time of day. You’re in a hurry to get to work or to get back home, and all of the other drivers on the road are making it difficult for you to get where you’re going. Traffic backs up due to volume and accidents, and you feel like a prisoner in your car. But your daily commute doesn’t have to be that bad. There are a few simple things that you can do each day to ease the stress of your daily drive.
Keep an emergency stash of aromatherapy handy. Place a few drops of jasmine essential oil (it helps improve motor reaction time) or a mixture of eucalyptus and menthol essential oils (it helps enhance empathy) on a soft cloth and keep it in your car. When the heavy traffic and frustrating situations start, pull our your little square of aromatherapy and breathe deeply. You can also use lavender essential oil which can help you be more calm and relaxed.
Turn off the cell phone and stow it out of reach. While many states and municipalities have made hands-free driving the law, it’s still far too easy to peek over at your email or Facebook feed while driving or when stuck in traffic. Your level of impairment and distraction while using a phone while driving matches that of being intoxicated. The more distracted you are, the more likely you’ll make poor decisions while driving in an already stressful situation.
Find something to make you laugh. Tune your radio to a comedy station or plug in a funny audio book. Laughter and humor makes it easier for us to deal with discomfort, and our commutes are usually anything but comfortable. After all, don’t they say that laughter is the best medicine?
Turn your commute into a productive time. Learn a new language with the help of audiobook language lessons. Listen to that bestseller that you’ve been meaning to tackle. Subscribe to a podcast that interests you and listen to it as you drive. If that doesn’t sound appealing, use your commute home as a period to disconnect from the day and reset your mind to “home” mode.
Is your commute on a train or bus? You can still use all of these great strategies to keep calm during the day’s rush hours.
Remember, you can only control yourself and how you react to the world. You cannot control the world (no matter how much we’d like to!), so focusing inward can alleviate much of your driving stress.What do you do to keep calm during your commute? Tell us in the comments!