Staying Calm and Collected: Tips for Your Daily Commute Stress
You wake up, get dressed, maybe grab some breakfast, then you’re out the door. Now comes, for some people, the most stressful part of the day: traveling to work. Between traffic, road work, and unexpected weather, there’s a lot to worry about during your drive. Staying relaxed while also focusing on your surroundings during the commute can be difficult, but finding that balance is very important to get to work promptly and safely. Here are some healthy changes to your daily routine that can have a positive impact on your commute stress.
Before You Leave
Make sure to eat something for breakfast before getting on the road. This will get your metabolism going and make you more alert and less irritable during the drive. It also helps to be properly hydrated before you leave. Even slight dehydration can cause drowsiness, slowed reaction time, and reduced mental sharpness. If you are a caffeine drinker, having a cup of coffee or tea along with breakfast can help increase alertness during the drive.
Getting enough sleep at night is also important. You will wake up feeling more refreshed and focused, which will benefit you during your commute and throughout the rest of the day. That being said, make sure you allow yourself enough time to get ready and get to work in the morning. Commute stress isn’t always completely avoidable, but rushing around will only make things worse while you’re traveling.
On the Way to Work
Pass the time during your commute by listening to your favorite music, podcasts, or radio stations. Make sure not to have the volume turned up too high so that you can pay attention to other drivers and any emergency vehicles that may be close by.
Using a GPS app is a great way to keep up with traffic alerts and find detours in case of accidents or road work. Make sure you are using a hands-free app or device so that you can remain focused on the road. The same goes for making any calls from your phone during your drive. If you can’t wait until after your drive to call someone, link your device up to car speakers via Bluetooth to make things easier and safer.
Before you leave work, make sure you are prepared for the drive home. Having a small snack can help you stay alert after a long work day.
Get into the habit of doing a small maintenance inspection before your commute home. It will be getting darker as you drive, so check to make sure your headlights and windshield wipers are working. If you know you are low on gas, try to fill up on your lunch break. You will avoid the rush hour traffic and have one less thing to worry about during the drive home.
Finally, be aware that sometimes traffic is worse during the evening rush hour. More accidents occur during this time period, so being relaxed and focused in the evening is even more important to a safe drive home.
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