Why all the stress?
Are we now so caught up in our busy lifestyles that we can no longer take a pause and enjoy the world around us, if only for a few minutes? Has stress poisoned our souls to the point where we can barely see, let alone marvel at, the many little wonders of everyday life? How many drivers ignore the beauty of fall and instead grumble at the thought of raking all the dead leaves in their backyard?
On my way to work, I have the opportunity to watch birds and ducks squat in the fields next to the road. Just being aware of their existence -- and other such details -- is enough to lower my stress. So, instead of morbidly staring at the licence plate of the car in front of you, why don't you start glancing around from time to time? You may even discover a lovely cafe or a beautiful park that you've never seen before.
Listening to music is another great way to kill the stress behind the wheel. There are plenty of relaxing stations on the radio, from classical music to New Age to Christmas songs. Reminiscing happy moments with your family and friends sure can help, too.
Road trip FTW!
Whenever I hit the road with my husband and kids, I strive to take the roads less travelled, the more scenic and peaceful ones. Sure, highways are faster, but what a bore! Whether it lasts two days or two weeks, a road trip is an ideal opportunity to completely remove yourself from the daily grind, so why would you rush to your destination and start your trip on a stressful note? By choosing an alternative route (even if it means spending an extra hour or two on the road) you can truly leave stress behind.
When I was young, travelling with my father was a very exciting time for me. Once, we left early in the morning, stopped for breakfast, and drove to a small, bucolic town where we ate a delicious lunch. On the way home, I was all too anxious to share the cool stories with my mom.
That was nearly 30 years ago, yet I remember this particular road trip as if it happened yesterday. I sincerely hope that my children will one day recall with great pleasure the various family trips we made, possibly as they fight rush-hour traffic, so they can take a nice break from their frenetic lives.
Let's all try to make our commutes more serene and memorable, shall we?