How to Survive Traffic

Have you ever planned a trip, and thought “no biggy, I should be there in about an hour” and then sat in traffic for so much longer begging the traffic fairy to be kind to you?

Welcome to my life, every Monday through Friday that I work.  See, I commute at least 45 minutes one way to work.  I live in Southern California and unfortunately that can be a normal occurrence.  The crazy part was my commute prior to this was longer. If it rained I’d prepare for a 3 hour drive home.

(I wish my traffic was this pretty)

I wanted to take a picture of how wonderful my traffic was but the highway control frowns on that.  The great thing is, besides learning patience, I have found some great tricks for keeping my cool and actually learning to enjoy my drive (well, kind of… maybe).

The following are a list of strategies that I have learned to keep my sanity:

1.  Sing:  This may sound silly but with 4 critics typically in my car at any given time I enjoy sometimes belting out to songs and not having to worry about being judged,  heck I even try to sing as silly and out of tune as I please.  Who’s going to stop me??  That’s right, no one, and I love it.

Now if my kids or husband are in the car, like on road trips, we all have sing alongs. I know this sounds corny, but it makes the time go by so much faster, and if nothing else it brightens the mood in the car.

2. Listen to audio books and pod casts:  This is a biggy for me.  I commute at least 2 hours a day, have 3 little boys (4 of those days my husband is not home due to his job)  and I have my own chores; bills, dishes, cleaning up after everyone, picking up children, etc…  I love books and love to read, but when can I do it?  During my commute (que angelic music).  I listen on average to 1-2 books a week depending on how long they are.  You know what the best part is???  I get to pick my book, whatever I want.  I don’t have to share.  Truth be told, I haven’t broken into the pod cast arena yet, but since my husband would prefer listening to pod casts instead of books, it sounded like a good option.

3. Call a friend: Often times I want so badly to call a friend but don’t have the time to dedicate to them before homework needs to be checked, dinner needs to be made, etc… I now have quiet time.

*please do not attempt number 3 if you can only do one task at a time, you do not have a hands free device, or it is illegal to speak to anyone on a phone where you live.

4.  Diffuse essential oils:  I just recently bought a car diffuser orb and I absolutely love love love it (did I mention I Love it). In the morning I put peppermint or orange and lemon in it to wake me up and stress away on the way home. When I’m picking up my older two from school and (their friends on my carpool days) I diffuse purification because preteen boys do not smell like flowers after a day at school. Lavender is also a must to help everyone start to relax and focus and during the holiday season my car smelled like Christmas spirit. I buy them here.

5.  Stories: This and singing are my boys favorite way to pass time in a car.  We either tell stories and adventures my husband and I had when we were younger.  Or we make up stories and each member of the family adds to the story either during their or turn or when they come up with something to add.  We tell stories of pirate adventures on the open seas, buried treasure, hikers in the mountains, ghost stories etc….  Our boys get so creative making for a hilariously good time.

6.  Relax:  I know it’s kind of an oxymoron, but think about it: no kids, no grumpy patients/coworkers/customers/students/kids.  Just you inside your car for however long your journey is.  Ex. there are days that an hour in silence before I have to take care of kids, my husband, bills, and phone calls sounds AMAZING.  I love my life but the calm before the storm can be so helpful.

I hope this helps you while stuck in the wonderful thing called traffic.  If you have any helpful tips that I didn’t include, please comment below.  I’d love to try them out.

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