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9 Ways to Cut Commuter Stress

Written by Lauren Long

Advice on transforming stressful commutes into a successful sabbaticals. Here's our advice on how to cruise in comfort.9 tips for commuters

If you face a lengthy daily drive to work, you probably experience the twin symptoms of commuter strain: boredom and frustration.

To ease the stress of what can seem like a life lived on the road, Robert Butterworth, a Los Angeles psychologist, offers these suggestions: 

 
ADVICE
Use the time in the car to learn a new language or listen to self-help tapes!
Take a 20-minute walk before you drive home.
Change your work hours to take advantage of less congested traffic times.
Vacation to get rid of stress  
 

1. Stimulate your mind.Do something (other than talking on the phone) that involves learning and doesn't distract your attention from the road. Listen to books, learn a language through tapes or tune in to talk radio. 

2. Do isometric exercises.Alternately tense and relax the muscles in your arms and legs to relieve muscle tension. 

3. Vary your routine.Find two or three alternate routes to frequently traveled destinations like your home or workplace. Even a slightly longer route might make a positive difference. 

4. Listen to the radio. Check the traffic report 15 minutes before you plan to leave your office so you don't get caught in a traffic jam. 

5. Take a short walk.Take a 20-minute walk before you leave the office to help reduce stress. 

6. Play hooky.If the traffic or weather is bad, go to a movie or dinner before you head home. You may want to make this a regular date once a week. 

7. Change your schedule.On the worst commute day, usually Friday, plan to arrive at work early and leave the office before rush hour begins. 

8. Share your commute. Carpool or take public transportation at least one day a week. 

9. Work from home. Work at home one day a week. Tell your boss you'll get more done by using your commute time to make calls.

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