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Handle Stress While Commuting

Chip Douglas/TSM

I read a story today about a woman who claimed that busy roads cause her to have anxiety.  She has even gone as far as to sue her former employer because they refused to change her schedule so she could avoid the traffic during rush hour. 

Sound crazy?  Somebody is sue happy?  Maybe.  So how many of us drive to work every morning and deal with the stress of dealing with other drivers on the road?  I would say most of us, right?  Maybe you can be lucky like Keith James and have a job that requires you to be on the road long before most of us are even stirring.
Some days, when I ‘m headed to work, I feel like I accidentally merged onto the track at Watkins Glen, and other days I feel like I’m the only other person on the road and the sailing is smooth.
Just take a chill pill.  Avoid the road rage.  Right?  Hmmm…maybe easier said than done.  Take a look at some of the ways you can avoid stress while on your way to or from work.
1.     Allow for extra time for your journey.  That’s right, leave earlier if you need to, especially if the weather conditions are bad.  Ok, that means about 70% of the year if you live in Central New York.
2.    Plan your route. This is easy enough.  With easy access to mapping apps and GPS, this should not be a problem.  Most navigation programs even keep you updated with construction conditions as well.
3.    Have some snacks in the car.  Who else besides yours truly gets cranky when they are hungry?
4.    Entertain the kids – I can think of nothing that can amplify stress more than agitated or bored kids.  Once again, tablets, ipods, DVD players, etc.  Doesn’t hurt to have something in the vehicle to keep them at bay.
5.    If all else fails, you really need to recognize that you are stressed and maybe turn on some soft music or try some breathing exercises .
We all commute at some point or another, we should all learn to get along on the road and keep the middle finger lower than window level.

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