A long commute in heavy traffic is a fact of life for many of us. We’d like to share some great tips that will keep you safe and in the right state of mind when you’re going to work or headed for home, sweet home.
1. “Go” Before You Go
If you’re the type that tends to feel a certain, well, “urgency” when you’re stuck in traffic, you should take a bio break before you get behind the wheel. No one likes feeling stranded without a bathroom, and the physical stress can take your full concentration off of the road, and possibly cause you to drive faster than you should in order to speed to the next rest stop.
So take that extra moment (or ten) to hit the restroom before hitting the road. You’ll be much calmer and more relaxed, and your overall driving experience will be a lot safer.
2. Create a Rockin’ Playlist
Let’s face it—with all the commercials and so little actual music played, terrestrial radio leaves something to be desired and can add to the frustration of a long commute. How many times have you found yourself switching from station to station, searching for a song you haven’t heard a thousand times already? Or have found yourself caught up in a vicious loop of the same commercials?
Save yourself some frustration by preplanning your entertainment for the drive. Set up a playlist on Spotify, download a podcast from the iTunes store, or maybe listen to one of your favorite comedians on a Sirius comedy channel. Nothing lifts your spirits more than singing or laughing. Try it today. You’ll like it!
3. Share the Road
Most people become very territorial when it comes to driving—if we’re honest with ourselves, we all have our favorite lane to drive in. We want to follow our own pace, and we don’t want anybody from those other lanes getting in our way. Especially in heavy traffic!
You’d be very surprised how much easier it is to let someone into your lane than to keep them out of it. Ditch the notion that the lane belongs to you. This won’t be easy for some, so keep the faith to keep it safe.
4. Leave the Policing to the Police
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where other drivers aren’t following the common rules of courtesy. They may be avoiding traffic by cutting in front of people, making unsafe lane changes, or riding in the carpool lane when they shouldn’t be. Although it’s in our nature to roll down the window and give them a piece of our mind or honk our horns repeatedly, this really does no good and only fosters a fit of road rage between you and the other driver. The best thing to do is let it go. Don’t give the situation any negative energy and let law enforcement (or karma) do their thing.
5. Breathe Like Your Life Depends On It (...Because It Does)
Something often overlooked when trying to remain calm during a stressful situation is breathing. People tend to tense up and hold their breath under duress, and this extends to stressful moments behind the wheel.
The next time you find yourself stuck in traffic and not feeling so gracious, take a few slow, deep breaths through your nose, and exhale completely through your mouth. Focus on breathing in the good and exhaling the bad. The oxygen in your system will take care of the rest.
We hope that you have enjoyed these tips and that they will help ease the pain of your commute.
Go forth and have no fear.