What is more stressful than being late to work? Being late to work AND sitting in traffic!
According to Forbes, Los Angeles is ranked among the top 10 cities for worst traffic in the world. In 2005, the average Angeleno experienced roughly 72 hours of delay per year. Imagine how much worse things have gotten in the last decade.
Commuting to and from work can be highly stressful, but we’ve got a few ways to help calm your commute and banish the stress:
1. Listen to an audiobook
- – What could be more awesome than enjoying a great novel on your way to work? Audible has over 180,000 titles to choose from, and you’ll find amazing reads in all genres for all ages. Download a book to your smartphone or MP3 player, plug it into your car stereo, and entertain yourself as you sit in traffic. Who knows, you may actually look forward to your time spent sitting more than your time working!
- – This may not help you to avoid traffic, but it can certainly make your time in traffic a lot more fun. You’ll have friends to talk to, and you can tell jokes and stories, listen to music, sing, or do whatever the heck you want. Just having other people in the car will help to entertain you as you sit in traffic.
3. Leave earlier/later
- – In Los Angeles, a 15-minute shift in your schedule can make a HUGE difference in the amount of time you’ll spend sitting in traffic. If you can hit the highways before 7 AM, you’ll avoid a great deal of the congestion. Either that, or wait until after 10 AM to head to work. Afternoon rush hour sets in around 4 PM, so you should avoid driving any time after 3:30. Wait until 7 PM to leave work, and you’ll waste less time in traffic. If you can telecommute for the first hours of the morning or work a few hours extra in the evening, you can spare yourself a lot of time wasted.
4. Enjoy the ride
- – This may sound silly, but sometimes just sitting and relaxing is the best way to combat the stress. If you don’t know what time it is, you won’t feel rushed to reach your destination. Turn off your phone, your radio, even the car clock. Disconnect from the world around you, and just focus on your thoughts. Take deep breaths, enjoy some meditation, use aromatherapy, or drink calming chamomile tea while sitting in traffic. Trying to hurry won’t help you reach your destination any faster. Sit back and try to enjoy the ride, and you’ll arrive at work far less stressed.
Traffic is just a part of life in Los Angeles. However, the way you deal with it will determine your stress levels at work and home. Calm your commute, and life will be much better!