11 Top Tips To Reduce Your Commuting Stress

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Over the last thirty years the daily commute has increased from maybe a mile at most to over thirty miles, with some people traveling as much as a hundred miles just to go to their job.

With the rise of decentralized communities, parents driving children to school, and the demise of public transport, traffic levels have risen and commuting has turned from a relatively pleasant experience to a potentially life threatening journey from hell.

In my regular commute (ninety five miles each way) I know that at least once a day someone on the road will do their best to kill me. If I am fortunate enough they miss, then I know at least once a week my ninety five mile journey will take me over five hours due to accidents, the weather, tractors or the phase of the moon.

Commuting is stressful. I know it is and any of you who travel any distance to work know it is. Whether you choose public transport or to drive it will get stressful.

Whilst there is no cure for commuting stress, you can minimize and prepare for the day.

1 - Be Prepared

Being prepared for your journey is an excellent stress reducer. This means take some food with you, something to drink, some music or audio books and even a real book! This means that if you do get stuck you are prepared and can enjoy yourself rather than getting frustrated like everyone else.

2 - Timing

The timing of your journey is critical. I discovered during one commute that leaving my house just ten minutes early saved me a half hour of sitting in traffic. Experiment with new and alternative routes that may be quicker and avoid main roads.

3 - Working Hours

If you can, change your working hours so that you can avoid the daily jams. Can you work from 8 to 4 or 10 until 6? This will help you to avoid the traffic and will probably make you much more productive.

4 - Be Well Rested

There is nothing worse than driving in heavy traffic when tired. Not only are you risking your own life, but potentially you are risking other peoples too. Get plenty of sleep so that you are refreshed before you commute. If you travel on public transport then you may have the chance to catch up on your sleep then, though make sure you don't miss your stop!

5 - Plan Your Morning

Do you end up running around the house like a headless chicken in the morning trying to get everything ready so you can leave on time? A bit of thought and planning can make your morning much more relaxing and stop you having to eat your breakfast on the run.

6 - Mindset

When you are driving realize that everyone else on the road are doing the same as you - trying to get to work. Realize that the slow moving vehicle in front of you is not out to deliberately torment you, but is doing their job as best they can. A change of mindset so you no longer interpret every event as stressful will help to make you much more relaxed.

7 - Defensive Driving

With the increased crowding on the roads it is starting to get dangerous out there. Take a defensive driving course and learn how to protect yourself whilst on the road. It will help make you more aware of the risks and help you avoid them, which will reduce your stress levels.

8 - Take A Break

If you are driving a long distance for your commute then take a break and stretch your legs. Sitting in a car for a long time gets stressful and tiring and recent medical research has shown it increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis.

9 - Take A Different Route

Make sure you know a number of different routes to work and vary it on occasion. These helps to keep the journey more interesting and hence less stressful. It also allows you to take a different route in case of any jams, which means you do not get the stress of sitting in the queue of traffic.

10 - Back Massager

An in car back massaging cushion can be a godsend. I'm having a love affair with mine at the moment and thing it is fantastic. It really helps to relieve the tension in the lower back that comes from sitting in the car so long.

11 - Change Your Job

Finally, if your commute is too much - change your job. Finding a job closer to home can have serious implications for your stress levels and quality of life, and I highly recommend it.

If you can reduce the stress of getting to work, then you will be better able to focus and perform at work, reducing your stress levels further.

If you can reduce the stress of getting home then you will be able to enjoy your family life and your relationships more.

Follow these top tips for reducing your commuting stress and reap the benefits!
Stress Management
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