Let's let out a collective sigh, groan, scream, whatever traffic makes you feel. We realize most of our readers are from L.A. and Miami - congestion meccas, and we know summer is officially over. If you live in real traffic purgatory, you know summer typically means you save maybe ten minutes of your commute. But cynicism and despair aside, here's the bottom line: half your town's population is back to work full time and/or driving around some extra miles to get the kids to school. Those summer minutes are always so priceless in retrospect.
Taking all of this into consideration, we wanted to share a few tips about ways to survive traffic. To help you breathe through it:
Punctuality - work on it. Be honest with yourself, could your commute be a little less stressful if you left on time? Or better yet, if you left 15 minutes earlier? A simple adjustment like this could save you anywhere from drive time to less stress about arriving to your destination late.
Help Yourself: Set up alarms on your phone or watch to remind you when to head out. Just as you would to wake up, stay consistent in alarm frequency - if you need 5 alarms to start your day, stick to another 5 to start your commute.
Use your time wisely - don't just sit there and drive! There's so much that can be done while sitting in traffic. You can listen to the news, podcasts, audiobooks - there is a whole audio industry that goes beyond music. Inform and entertain yourself.
Help Yourself: Did you know Spotify has podcasts too? Did you know Amazon Prime members receive monthly free audiobooks? You're welcome.
Prepare your trek. Make your travels as smooth as possible by making sure you're all set before embarking. This can mean anything from making sure you have enough gas to bringing some water and snacks to chomp on during your commute. And of course, it doesn't hurt to have a navigation system handy to map out your ride.
Help Yourself: Take care of your car the night before A.K.A when you're wrapping up your final commute. The final home stretch is all that's on your mind, but your future morning self will thank you if you take car of the little things beforehand: carwash, air pressure, etc.
Preventative measures. Consider your transportation options - is there local, reliable public transportation available? Are you close enough to your destination to walk or bike there? Can you carpool? We tend to get used to driving solo and create our own steel bubbles of reality. There are always other options; we just need to remember they exist.
Help Yourself: Google is your best fried. Search commuter trends and groups to see how locals get around. Each city is different and could even offer benefits to carpoolers; you just need to look.
Breathe - you're not alone. You are literally in a mob of cars doing the same thing: just trying to get from point A to point B in one-piece. Patience is key. If you allow traffic to upset you and affect your attitude, that's a daily step forward towards a heart attack. That stress weighs heavy and is not worth your energy.
Help Yourself: Breathe in for 10 seconds, breathe out for 10 seconds. Do this 3 - 5 times when you feel stress or frustration coming on. You can really do this for any situation, but in your own car you have the freedom to really dedicate to the breathing practice.
Try these out and let us know if they made a difference in your commute! Also, please share your own tips with the #EBS community. For all you know, we could all be sitting in the same traffic every morning!