Diwali traffic woes: Here are some handy tips to combat stress while driving

Here are a few ways to keep you from pulling out your hair mid-commute and make the best of this situation instead.

Myupchar October 23, 2019 13:07:59 IST
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Diwali traffic woes: Here are some handy tips to combat stress while driving
  • No matter where youÃ�¢ï¿½ï¿½re headed, find someone to accompany you in the car

  • Play your favourite sing-along playlist or those podcasts and audiobooks youÃ�¢ï¿½ï¿½ve been saving for a later time

  • You can always do a few facial and breathing exercises or wrist and neck stretches as you wait for the traffic in front of your car to clear

Getting stuck in traffic any day of the week is pretty bad but it’s even worse during this time of the year. There are barely enough hours in the day as it is - how are you supposed to work 9-5, get ready, attend Diwali parties, get adequate sleep and maintain healthy eating habits if you also need to account for the time you’ll spend stuck in traffic? And out of all the things, being stuck in your car in the middle of a jam seems the most pointless.

We know that stress causes a host of health problems, from hypertension to anxiety and depression. Well, what if we told you there was a way to keep you from pulling your hair out mid-commute and make the best of this situation instead?

Diwali traffic woes Here are some handy tips to combat stress while driving

Representational image. Image source: Getty Images.

1. Carpool

Don’t wait for Odd-Even to start a carpool. No matter where you’re headed, find someone to accompany you in the car. A colleague for your work commute, a friend’s friend for the Diwali Mela or even relatives who live nearby for a Diwali party. More the merrier, we say! Most people don’t enjoy being alone during this time and having some good (or even mediocre) company might make the snail-paced traffic seem tolerable.

2. Music/Podcasts

We’re all different and while some people crave company, others wish for some me-time during this busy season. Well, here’s your opportunity. Play your favourite sing-along playlist or those podcasts and audiobooks you’ve been saving for a later time. Laugh, giggle, cheer, do whatever you like without caring about what the strangers in the cars around you might think. You do you.

3. Take a break 

Constant stress isn’t good for you. If you’re finding it hard to calm yourself while driving, just stop. Remind yourself that it’s okay to be late - but not okay to unnecessarily take on so much stress. If you see a road-side chaiwallah or ice-cream vendor, find a spot to park, get out of the race for a few minutes and just try to breathe easy - even though that might be a bit tough with all the pollution. What’s the worst that could happen if you’re late by another 10 minutes? Promise yourself to plan better for the next day.

4. Exercise

Let’s be honest - we all enjoy the extra gulab jamuns and rasgullas until they start showing on your face. Of course, you can’t just get out of your car and start doing jumping jacks with the other commuters (even though that would be pretty cool) but you can always do a few facial and breathing exercises or wrist and neck stretches as you wait for the traffic in front of your car to clear.

5. Organise your day

A late-night either means a late start or a slow one. Be proactive and make a voice note of all the things you need to do the next day. List out as many tasks in as much detail as possible - it’ll be a huge help the next morning when all you can think about is being back in your bed at night.

6. Pre-plan your journey

Plan for all scenarios. Check maps before you set out, carry a bag of snacks you love, some water for hydration, wear an anti-pollution mask, sunglasses if it's sunny, even carry a cushion if you like - anything that makes you feel comfortable and calm during the tough bits you’ll face.

7. A positive attitude

Everyone’s in a rush. Everyone’s running late. Everyone’s making mistakes. Try to stay above all of the pettiness. If someone cuts you off or takes your spot, try to remember that you’ve been in their shoes as well. Nobody is perfect when tensions are running so high. Maintain a positive outlook as much as possible to avoid getting carried away. Remind yourself to take in a deep breath every time something annoys you.

If your daily commute is causing you to feel excessive amounts of anxiety, it might be time to think of a slightly more permanent solution. See if there is a possibility of a different route, public transport options or flexible hours.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Stress: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment.

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