Being in Ottawa this weekend reminded me of the long commute I use to have to drive to get to work. It’s not that we don’t have traffic in Saskatoon, trust me, there are some hair pulling days where traffic builds up. But, when you put it into perspective, being stuck in Saskatoon traffic for an extra 20 minutes, vs. Ottawa’s 1 hour (or more) is really not that bad. I know exactly how you all feel though. I’ve been where you are, living in a big city and being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, moving inch-by-inch. So this blog is for you. I thought I would share all the things that I did to help me get through the long drive, with my sanity in check.
Accidents, traffic jams, bad drivers, roadwork, and long commutes – all of these can contribute to stress on your daily commute.
Whether you have to commute for 20 minutes, 1 hour, or even 2 hours, there are things that you can do to ease your stress and keep the road rage at bay.
Here are my Contagiously Positive Tips & Tricks to prevent road rage and keep you happy, calm, healthy, and relaxed.
Listen to audio books
Why wait until you get home to read your favourite paperback? Download a few audio books and listen to them as you drive. Think of it as having your parents read to you like when you were a kid
Subscribe to a comedy channel
There are many iTunes or YouTube channels that you can listen to while you drive home. Imagine laughing for two hours a day. Laughter truly is the best medicine, so picture yourself showing up to work happy and then arriving home happy as well. No more grumpy pants when you arrive at your destination. This is the channel that I subscribe to https://www.youtube.com/user/comedystation
“A day without laughter is a wasted day”
Create a road rage playlist
Instead of listening to all the commercials on the radio and negative news and traffic reports, create a playlist that you can rock out to and sing to at the top of your lungs. Music can be such an amazing mood enhancer. I’ve had times where I’ve arrived at my destination, but wished I had more time because the song was so good. Give your playlist a name. Mine is ‘LA’s Make Me Happy Faves’
“And I think as long as a song has beautiful lyrics, I’m so happy”
Learn as you drive
Download a podcast of something you have been waiting to listen to, but just don’t have time during the day. Some of my favorites are: Gabrielle Bernstein, The Entreleadership Podcast, and This Girl Means Business. There are thousands to choose from on iTunes.
You can also learn a new language as you drive. Driving is the perfect time to practice your phrases, and so many programs are available for download.
Bring food and water
Make sure you have some healthy snacks and water for the car ride. The last thing you need is to get the Hangries while stuck in a traffic jam. Things like homemade trail-mix, some fruit, or cut up veggies are perfect choices. You want to make sure the snacks are safe to eat while you drive, so fingers foods are best. Also, make sure they are healthy, so you stay energize, alert, healthy and to manage your weight.
For water, what I do is keep a small 12-pack case of water bottles in my car. This is great for those days when I forget to fill up my large water bottle and bring it along with me. Instead of water, you can also drink a calming beverage like Chamomile tea. Chamomile has been proven to calm anxiety and reduce stress.
Record your to-do list
Turn on your phone’s recording (before you start driving) and make your lists. I always found this the perfect time to reflect about my day, make a list of what I need to do, who I need to call, what I want to say, and even what I need to buy. When I have a meeting to prepare for I record and practice what I want to say, or questions I want to ask. Just the simple act of recording notes will distract you from the long drive ahead. You can even spend the time reflecting on all the things you are grateful for. Saying them out loud will promote happiness. And when you are happy, you are not stressing.
Sending you oodles of positivity, happiness & joy,
Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl