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Ways to Make Commuting Less Stressful

Dealing With a Stressful Commute

Americans drive an average of 25 minutes to get work. Commutes can be brutal, especially on Friday evenings when everyone on the road is anxious to start their weekend. Here are a few tips to help decrease the stress of your upcoming commute.

  • Take mass transit if you can. Since you are not driving you can read a book or newspaper or knit. These activities can help you decompress after your work day. Another plus to mass transit, is that the commute time becomes much more predictable.
  • Carpool if you can. Not only will you have some company for your commute, but you can share the burden of driving and the cost of gas money. One less car on the road helps the environment, too.
  • If you must drive alone, make sure you have maps in your car and alternative routes planned out if you hit a huge traffic jam. If you can navigate around a section of the freeway that has turned into a parking lot, you will hopefully feel more empowered and less frustrated.

I have a few other idea, so


  • Talk to your boss and see if you can work flexible hours to avoid commuting during peak traffic times. Or better yet, see if you can telecommute one or two days a week to lessen your drive time.
  • If you find yourself stuck in traffic, be Zen about it. Admit that you are stuck and just go with the flow, or the nonflow as the case may be. Honking your horn and yelling at the stopped cars will not get you to your destination any faster, and chances are it will rile you up, which is so not necessary.
  • Travel with water and snacks. There is nothing worse than feeling stuck, dehydrated, and hungry.

How do you deal with your commute? Share in the comments section below.


Join The Conversation
melizzle melizzle 8 years
I also encourage audiobooks... makes you want to commute!
chub0t chub0t 8 years
I hate traffic, so I opt to work 6 - 3am (it's actually a less desirable shift and easier to obtain). No cars on the road on the way in, no lunch break hassles, smooth sailing on the way home.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
mshouston is definitely right about the audiobooks.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I live for my GPS.
cmd0610 cmd0610 8 years
I have a 5min commute door to door :D But it's a choice I made to live close to work. People here in Houston prefer to live closer to downtown/Heights/Mid-town but I'd rather drive 15mins on a Saturday with no traffic to go out and be able to drive 10mins total on the weekdays to/from work.
soapbox soapbox 8 years
*On a good day, no sunnday XD
soapbox soapbox 8 years
Commute to school is roughly 50 mins on a sunnday +25 mins of walking. I take the bus, so it's not so bad, just the monthly bus ticket so much $$$. If it weren't for that, I would have taken the subway after the bus instead of walking.
misshouston misshouston 8 years
One word: audiobooks. Sometimes I even look forward to climbing into the car :-)
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I live about 25 miles away from my job and there is no public transportation that goes there. My commute is usually not too bad...30 minutes down a two-lane county highway. I sort of like the commute because it's definitely not stressful. There's hardly any traffic and the scenery is pretty nice.
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
I don't mind my commute at all. I've kindof come to terms that traffic happens, but traffic only will add about ten minutes to my commute so it's not a huge deal. I took the bus for the longest time and the bus ride took 50 minutes, but there was a fairly long walk for me on either end as well. The way home was the worst because the sun would set while you were in the grossest, smoggiest part of town, and then I had to walk 10 blocks through the ghetto to get back to my apartment (for the record, my apartment is not in the ghetto, but two blocks east...yeah) So definitely not the decompression tool I hoped for. Anyways, when you're in the car alone you get to put on the music as loud as you want and belt it out.
Allytta Allytta 8 years
25 poor yous... i have to take two buses to get to my work tonight and it will take me 2 hours. stupid London, my underground line is under construction and the trains are suspended...
Ayu Ayu 8 years
Luckily for me I live in a small city in a small country, so getting to college takes me about 15 minutes with a bike (and would take me 22 with a car or 25 with a bus).
sourcherry sourcherry 8 years
If I take public transportation I spend an hour on commute. If I drive, I can spend between 25mins to 1h20mins. The traffic is completely unpredictable! So when I have to get to school early (before 10am) I just take the subway, at least I know what time I have to leave to get there on time, not late nor an hour early...
mbmiccio mbmiccio 8 years
i agree with the above comments. my commute is only 2.5 miles and it takes me the same amount of time walking or taking the train. the only difference is that when I am walking, i am not squished up against someone on the train. too bad boston is too chilly to walk most days.
briannaNicole briannaNicole 8 years
I have to say - I often find it extremely rude - when I'm on a crowded bus/train and the person next to me decides it's time to pull out the paper/book. Elbow to the gut, paper in the face, no thank you.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Urban, that sucks :( I just got a red light camera ticket -- $75.! Listening to a good audiobook is an AWESOME way to pass the time.
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 8 years
I HATE my commute... a lot! It's about 50 mins. long. Construction everywhere and Photo Radar on the freeway which amounts to about 10 possible tickets. Talk about stressful. Life would be a lot better if people would also learn how to use their damn signal. Ok rant over.... sorry :)
briannaNicole briannaNicole 8 years
And for people in big cities - taking mass transit is WAY more stressful than the peace, quiet, and space of your own car. Some tips on how to deal with with the stress of a mass transit commute would be great - perhaps involve the muni manners ladies??
danni2009 danni2009 8 years
Haha wow I love how the UK is so different to the US. If I use public transport to get around not only is my journey time less predictable but it also takes wayyy longer and is far more stressful than getting into my car.
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