How to De-Stress Your Commute
Although more people are working remotely, for people who work onsite, commutes are getting longer. According to Canada.com article “Commuter Stress,” the total commute to and from work for the average Canadian is 275 hours per year!
We all know that dealing with rush hour traffic or busy trains can be highly stressful. Fortunately, there are some ways you can de-stress your commute. Keep the following tips in mind:
- Listen to your favourite music. Background noises ranging from honking horns on the highway to a fellow passenger talking loudly on his or her phone can be distracting and annoying — and contribute significantly to your stress levels. To shut out this background noise, create your own sound cocoon by listening to a playlist with your favorite songs.
- Use aromatherapy. In her Healthline article “10 Practical Tips to Let Go of Anxiety During Rush Hour,” Mary Ladd advises sprinkling a few drops of essential oils such as lavender and rose on a tissue. Both scents have calming properties.
- Take a route that’s less busy. If you’re like most of us, you probably take the shortest possible route from home to work — and that’s usually also the busiest one. So why not try taking one that’s less busy, even if it takes you five to 10 minutes longer? You might even find that quieter roads are more picturesque, which — combined with less traffic — can help lower your stress levels.
- Carpool with a colleague or neighbour. According to this Smart Commute article “Why Carpool?,” carpooling can ease the stress of driving because you’ll be spending less time behind the wheel. In addition, having someone to talk to can help enhance your sense of wellbeing.
- Try different modes of transportation. If it’s feasible for your commute, try taking public transportation instead of driving. First of all, you won’t have to drive, so you’re not exposed to the same level of stress. If you take the train, look for one with a quiet car where you can read or work. Depending on the length of your commute, you can also try bicycling to work, since the exercise will release endorphins — a chemical that helps reduce stress.
- Ask your supervisor for a flex work arrangement. If it’s possible, start and leave work earlier or later to avoid rush hour.
For most of us, the daily commute is inevitable. But with these six practical tips, you can reduce your commuting stress and get to your destination rested and relaxed.