Rush hour is without a doubt the most stressful time to be on the road. Whether you're heading into the office or checking out after a long day. The last thing you want is to be stuck in stop-and-go traffic.
Driving anxiety is at an all time high during peak travel hours. The increased volume of vehicles on the road coupled with nerve-racked drivers cutting you off and disobeying traffic laws is absurd. Just thinking about it fuels your road rage. And as tempting as it might be to fight back, you know it will only make matters worse.
What should you do instead?
Since it's unlikely that rush hour will ever go away and teleporting is not an available mode of travel. Finding ways to de-stress during heavily trafficked commutes is going to be your best option. Consider the following ways to make your daily rush hour battle a little more tolerable:
Unplug and recharge
Take advantage of your opportunity to unplug from the world and take a breather. Your notifications will still be there and you might actually enjoy getting a moment to yourself.
Please note: It's illegal to text and drive in the state of Georgia (even more of a reason to unplug and take a break!).
Give yourself enough time
There's too much pressure when you're constantly racing the clock. Set realistic expectations for how long your commute will take and plan accordingly.
If you know that 6 o'clock dinner plans are unattainable, don't push yourself to make it. This goes hand-in-hand with setting realistic expectations. You don't have to be the one who's always late if you give yourself enough time.
Listen to music, find a new podcast or download an audiobook
Create a new playlist with songs that make you happy. Download a podcast, they're addicting and can take up a good amount of time. If you like to read but don't have time to do it, find an audiobook to download. They can take weeks to finish and are often read by the author.
Remember you're not alone
Most people don't enjoy being stuck in traffic, take solace in the fact that you're not suffering alone.
Don't give into road rage
You have no control over other drivers actions. If someone is tailing you, let them pass and keep your distance. Slamming on your breaks or speeding up so they can't pass you may gratify your want for revenge. But it's only going to amplify the situation which could lead to greater trouble.
Practice deep breathing
This might sound cliché but it checks out. Deep breaths in and deep breaths out, try it.
Make your vehicle a comfortable place to hangout
With the amount of time you spend in your car, do what you can to make the best of it. Keep it clean; try not to let trash pile up. Throw old drinks, receipts and other waste out when you stop for gas. Stockpile your plastic grocery bags to use for car trash (there's bound to be somewhere you can hang it).