Traffic as Self-Care
Here’s a radical idea –– what if traffic was the best time of your day, one that you looked forward to in the hours before and after work? What if I told you that being stuck in traffic can also be a form of self-care?
What if you changed your mind about traffic altogether?
Change Your Mind. Change Your Life.
As the saying goes, change your mind and you’ll change your life, so why not apply this mantra to the way your think and feel about traffic? Here’s the concept –– no matter where you’re going (but especially if you’re going to work), you are blessed to have a way to get there.
You don‘t have to go, you get to go!
And now that you’ve realized how blessed you are to have a place to be and a way to get there, it’s about time you begin using these moments as your own little slice of daily self-care. The first step is to resign to the fact that there is noting you can do about traffic; it just is what it is.
Since you can’t control it, learn to enjoy it!
It’s All About Perspective and Preparation:
The fact of the matter is that, while in your car, you are in your own little space, and thanks to the traffic, you are given an extra amount of time in this version of a self-care bubble. When you choose to look at it this way, your time in traffic may be the only time you actually have to yourself!
This is the perfect time to exhale. If you’re tired of talking to people, don’t make any phone calls, and turn your ringer off so you don’t feel compelled to take any phone calls, either. Adversely, if you don’t mind talking, take this time to call your family or friends. Life gets so busy, it’s easy for us to lose track of one another, and this is a good time to catch up. Just make sure that whoever you’re calling and the topic discussed are drama-free.
Stock your car with non-perishable snacks, especially if you’re the kind of person who tends to skip or rush through lunch. Nuts, dried fruit, trail mix and pretzels are perfect for moments like this, as are granola and energy bars. Naturally, always keep a couple bottles of water in the car, and before you leave work, maybe you can grab a free tea or coffee for your trip.
Podcasts, Audio Books, and Music
On the days that you’re not catching up on stress-free phone calls, or just enjoying the silence, it’s a good idea to feed your brain, or entertain yourself during this time, with podcasts and audio books. Take the time to subscribe to a few podcasts and purchase a few audiobooks (or better yet, grab a few free ones, especially if you have Amazon Prime), before getting on the road, again. As always, music to fit your mood is a great way to enhance and ease your time while driving. Listen to something that makes you happy on the way to work, and mellow on your way home.
While in your car, keep your body relaxed and comfortable. If you have issues with your back (or would like to avoid them), consider a special seat and lumbar support cushion. Take off your shoes, relax your toes and feet, turn on the heat to warm them in the fall and winter months. Undo your belt, drive without your jacket, and make yourself as comfortable as possible –– especially if you’ll be in the car for an hour or more.
As with anything in life, being in traffic and how you feel about it, is really all about perspective. Once you change your mind about this portion of your day, you will unblock the blessings being held back by your disdain, especially when those trips you hate so much are to and from work. Having a negative vibration around your money is never a good idea. You need to feel good getting there, and feel good about leaving, knowing you’ve done the work and can now have a slice of time all to yourself. Enjoy!