No matter who you are or where you live, if you’re of working age, you’ve most likely dealt with a few commute situations that made you want to pull out your hair and scream some choice words at other commuters. While it’s often hard to avoid stressful situations while driving or taking public transport, there are ways to ease stress and anxiety so you can get to and from work without losing your mind.
5 Ways to Ease a Stressful Commute
1. Set Job Location as a Priority. . Studies show that long commutes, specifically those involving driving, can be linked to “lower life satisfaction,” possibly due to the fact that they take time away from other fun, stress-easing activities, like spending time with family and exercising. If it’s at all possible, nip a stressful commute in the bud by seeking jobs that won’t see you driving for more than an hour each way.
2. Have a Pair of “Car Shoes” Ready at All Times. Give your feet a little TLC before or after a long day by slipping into a pair of comfortable shoes for your commute.
3. Make It a Time to Meditate. If you aren’t able to opt out of a long period behind the wheel during the week, consider listening to a meditative podcast or book while driving. Research shows “moderate evidence” linking meditation and lowered anxiety, so even though you won’t be able to close your eyes or zone out, listening to a podcast designed to lower stress and help you see things from a bigger perspective certainly won’t hurt.
4. Use It to Connect. If you’re constantly stuck in gridlock, use the time to call good friends or family to catch up. Not only will warm conversation help you feel less isolated and angry at the traffic around you, it can help foster a stronger connection with those you love. (Just make sure you’re using a hands-free way of calling — i.e speakerphone or through your car — and always make your first focus the road ahead!)
5. Try For a Work From Home Day. According to the New York Times and a 2017 Gallup poll, 43 percent of employed Americans reported they spent “at least some time” working out of the office, as acceptance around work from home situations grows. If your job is the type that could occasionally be conducted via personal computer, consider making a case for doing so once or twice a month.
No matter how many precautions we take, aggravating commutes are most likely always going to be a part of life. To avoid dealing with a stress-induced headache on top of a long line of cars that seems to have no end, keep Excedrin Extra Strength on hand for fast-acting, powerful relief from headache symptoms.