12 Ways to Counter Stress Caused by Traffic

Traffic is getting worse everyday, and it looks like it will not ease up anytime soon. However, instead of being hot-headed, and losing our cool, there are some ways we can do to counter stress caused by traffic. Below are some suggestions we can do while being stuck in traffic (most of the suggestions apply to passengers only).

  • Use a map or navigation app. If you are driving, carpooling with relatives or friends, or have a personal driver, consult a map or navigation app for a more reliable route. I personally recommend to use Waze. This app will give you a heads-up on the latest traffic situation of the route you are taking, and provide some real-time updates, like if there are accidents or construction on the way. This will also give alternative routes you can use, and will notify you as well of your estimated time of arrival, and the number of minutes you will be stuck in traffic. That way, you can manage your expectation on what time you will arrive to your destination.
  • Create a playlist that can boost your happy hormones. Listening to music that induces good vibes can help a lot in maintaining composure.
  • Read a book or any reading material, be it a hard copy or an electronic version. When you get too absorbed with the material you are reading, you will not realize that you are on the road for an hour already.
  • Watch series or movies. Catch up on the series or movies you missed to watch before. When you arrive in the office or to school, you can talk about it with your colleagues or friends without dreading spoilers.
  • Check your account in different social networking sites. Switch on your mobile data or pocket WiFi, or if you do not have mobile data, there are some PUVs and terminals that provide free WiFi. You may connect to the Internet to check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and so much more, to keep you occupied.
  • Play games on your phone/tablet. Do I still have to mention Pokémon Go, Clash of Clans or Candy Crush? 😂 But be mindful of the sound of the game you are playing, and your movement so that you will not disturb others, particularly if you are commuting.
  • Take a snooze. Just make sure your things are still guarded, and that you will not go beyond your stop.
  • Plan how your day or week will be like. Take advantage of your idle time to plan the things you have to do for the whole day or week.
  • Meditate. This is my favorite activity. I always do my reflective moments while on my way to work. I feel energized and refreshed despite enduring a two- to three-hour commute (one way, yes, one freaking way!).
  • Get in touch with your relatives or friends. Call or text them to have a quick catch-up. However, when you make a call, just ensure that you will not disturb others.
  • Check emails/notes. If you are workaholic or studious, or simply has no choice but to check your mail or notes because you are already pressed in time, use your time while being stuck in traffic to get the ball rolling even before you reach your office or school.
  • Grab breakfast/dinner. Did you skip breakfast just to go to work or school early? Or are you hungry, and can’t wait to eat dinner but you are still on the road? You could also grab some food, and eat. Just make sure that the owner of the car is giving you his/her consent, or the vehicle you are using does not prohibit eating inside that vehicle.

Don’t let traffic get the best of us. Let’s be more patient, because resorting to rage will not make things any better.


Photo of Pablo M. Rasco, III

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