Imagine the worst morning you’ve ever experienced. You wake up late, rush to get dressed, can’t find clean underwear, spill coffee all over your un-ironed shirt, and to top it all off, you hit bumper-to-bumper traffic on your half-hour morning commute.
Long commutes and ungodly traffic are enough to test the temper in even Ghandi himself. If you’ve ever had to experience the morning traffic before the Fort Pitt tunnel in Pittsburgh, I’m sure you can agree that it would be no exaggeration that it’s enough for the Muhatma to climb down the back of his elephant and kick in the side door of a texting teenager during a fit of blind rage. Why an elephant? What else would Ghandi be driving to work? Maybe a Prius… You get the point.
Bad commutes are frustrating, fist clenching, vein popping, obscenity shrieking experiences from which we could all use relief. In an attempt to calm ourselves and bring us back to a Nirvanic state, let’s go over some ways to deal with long morning commutes.
Listen to Your Favorite Music
Music is a way to express your feelings through melodies and lyrics. In halted traffic, those feelings can probably be represented through the most Swedish of heavy metal as you imagine the horrific acts you would do to the mini-van with the marathon and vegan bumper stickers in front of you.
Let’s try to stay away from that type of music and lower those stress levels (unless you’re into that sort of thing) with your favorite songs. Create a playlist that can relax you and keep your mind off of the unbearable traffic.
Crank up that song knob to eleven, sing away, and dance, dance, dance in your seat! You might even come up with a fun dance to do with your steering wheel. Just don’t be too careless or you could be doing the tango with a Toyota in a head-on collision.
Find Time to Pump It Out
Once you finally make it to work, you might still be feeling a bit tense. Make (or sneak if you’re running late) your way to the office kitchen and brew up some of your favorite coffee. When you make it back to your desk, sip and be comfy while continuing to listen to your commute playlist. As time goes on, you’ll find yourself calm and at peace.
But what if the caffeine gets you amped? What if you forgot to remove DMX from the last track of your playlist. Now you’re pumped and feeling as anxious as ever. Release the inner beast that has been fueled by terrible drivers and caffeine with a quick workout during lunch.
Pump iron, run a mile, spin kick a coat rack, and bring those stress levels back down again. Whatever you decide to do for your workout, add in this little exercise known as “car drivers”. To perform this exercise, hold a heavy object (normally a weighted plate) and twist it as you would with a steering wheel. Imagining yourself running the old geezers off the road who refuse to seize the gap can be just what you need to give yourself peace of mind.
Meditate on It
The work day is over, you got a nice workout in at lunch, and now it’s time to get home and relax. The only thing in your way: more traffic.
After inching your way down the interstate, exchanging glares with mutually miserable drivers, and cutting off a school bus in a desperate attempt to make it home before the end of Maury, you’re going to need another stress reliever.
Give yourself the time to unwind through meditation. It’s a well known fact that meditation can reduce anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion. Just take 20 minutes out of your day to meditate and feel your troubles melting away. Be sure to pour yourself a glass of the most premium of boxed wine as well. Now you should be experiencing a feeling of bliss, so get some sleep and get ready for the next day.
These tips might not do the trick right away, but keep at it and you could find yourself a little bit happier. If all else fails, find a closer place to work. We hope this helps your traffic-laden pilgrimage to work! Be safe out there, and we hope you find relief from your long commute struggles.