The sun is shining, the birds are singing, but alas, you can barely hear them over the blasting of horns and the cussing of furious drivers. Ahh, nothing like the fuss of Monday rush hour traffic to kick start your week - as if your job isn't aggravating enough. Now, you'll arrive in the office late, drenched in sweat, and sporting a sour scowl across your face.
Although rush hour traffic is practically inevitable, it can be avoided or better yet - enjoyed. Here is a short guide to help you start your week right and survive stressful traffic congestions.
1. Prevention is cure
Or in this case, avoidance. Changing your work schedule at a less hectic time can allow you to cut your commute time. Not only that, this strategy will also let you save up on gas as well. Unfortunately, not all jobs are as flexible as we'd want it to be, so if you are one of those who has a strict 8 AM to 5 PM job, you can always leave early and give yourself additional time to get to work. This will make your journey more pleasant and relaxing.
2. Try different routes
Seeing the same view every morning can suck the life out of you, especially when you are helplessly stuck in it. Spice up your daily commute by varying your route and transportation mode, by doing this, you'll benefit from the regular change of scenery and find a faster route at the same time.
3. Phone battery is crucial
Whether you are expecting heavy traffic or not, a charged phone will always be your best friend. Being stuck in traffic with a critically low battery will only add to your distress. Just think of all the emails, text messages, and emergency calls you won't be able to answer. Aside from unnecessary anxiety, a charged phone can also help you find alternative routes and fetch useful traffic updates.
4. Listen to your favorite songs or read books
Unless you have a separate gadget for music or a handy book, this serves as another reason why tip #3 is crucial. If you are stuck in heavy traffic, you might as well forget your worries and enjoy it. Listen to your favorite songs, doze off to classic music, or distract yourself with audio books. If you have extra time to arrive at your workplace, then grab this opportunity to get some extra shut-eye or catch up on your favorite series.
5. Plaster a smile across your face
Heavy traffic basically equates to annoyance and sometimes even full-blown road rage. Avoid unneeded drama by putting on a happy face. Don't expect to wipe out all negative feeling, but assume a better perspective of things and situations. When someone cuts you off the road, accept, let it go, and move on instead of bringing that storminess all the way to your workplace. A study finds that faking a smile or simply going through the process of smiling can decrease stress levels and trick your brain into thinking that you are actually happy.
These tips are solely precautions that you don't even have to acknowledge if you are prepared. Time is crucial especially in fast paced industries like sales and real estate, so you must keep in mind that prevention is always key to a stress-free morning commute. We hope you good luck on your transformation from being a night owl to an early bird. It's better to be safe than sorry!