Whether it is summer, winter, fall or spring, you can always count on one thing never changing – rush hour traffic. Starting the day off bumper-to-bumper can be stressful and frustrating. Here are five tricks that can help improve your mood during your commute.
1. Listen to a podcast, audiobook or music
There are so many different topics and genres you can choose from. It may be overwhelming but pick your favorite thing to listen to. Whether it’s a new mystery book, calming ocean sounds, comedians, morning news or your favorite radio station. There are many apps that can help you keep your soundtracks organized and ready for your car ride too; Pandora and Spotify are great options that help you find new music to enjoy -- you can even search comedians on the apps.
2. Take deep breaths and meditate
Taking time to relax your body and mind is important. Think about all of the good things that happened yesterday or today. Take a deep breath in and slowly let it out. Try thinking about additional things you may be thankful for. If someone isn’t driving considerately, take a deep breath before reacting and relax your muscles.
3. Work out
You can work out while in the car? Yes, you most definitely can. Just make sure you are keeping your eyes forward, your hands on the wheel and your focus on safe driving. Some workouts involve squeezing any muscle group and relaxing (abs, hands, legs, glutes, etc), sitting up straight, putting your ear to your shoulder to stretch the neck and many more. HerCampus has some additional car exercises that may be beneficial during your drive.
4. Try leaving earlier
Waking up early can be hard, but once you get into the routine you may be able to beat some of the rush hour traffic. It can serve as a stress reliever because you are not worried about making it to work on time. Plus, getting to work earlier may even make you look good to the boss. If possible, talk to your boss about working out a schedule to enable you to leave work a little bit early on some days. This way you can avoid some of the traffic on your way home.
5. Make hands-free phone calls
It’s always good to catch up with family and friends. Take this time to reach out to those you love with a phone call rather than a text. Not only will it pass time for you, but it will also make that person feel special and your relationships will grow stronger.
Written by: Amaris Teter, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern