Sitting in bad traffic used to be my least favorite part about living in Houston. Now it’s one of my favorite times of the day. After months of feeling stressed from my commute, I decided to make the most of my car time and was pleasantly surprised by the results. What was once a source of anxiety is now my relaxing “me time,” and I know of many other Houston locals who feel the same way about their drive to work. If you’re relocating to Houston but are feeling concerned about your potential commute, let these ideas inspire you to think differently about traffic so you can start enjoying it instead.
Listen to books on CD or your favorite podcasts
How often have you wished you had more time to read or catch up on your podcasts? While it’s obviously not safe to read while driving, you can try books on CD instead to hear the latest thriller or summer read. If you have a backlog of podcasts taking up space on your phone, plug it into the auxiliary jack and stay up to date on interesting topics and stories.
Practice being mindful
Staying in the present and being aware of your surroundings makes you a safer driver. It’s also said to decrease anxiety and help you feel calmer. You can practice being mindful without meditating simply by turning off the radio, keeping your mind focused on what is going on around you and accepting experiences without judgement.
Take time out of your day to reflect
If mindfulness isn’t your cup of tea, use your free time to reflect on the day or anticipate the exciting events to come this week. We rarely allow ourselves time to just sit and think, and life often passes us too quickly because of it. When you’re reflecting, focus on the good and what you’re grateful for to stay positive throughout the day.
Catch up with an old friend
If your vehicle has hands-free technology, use it to your advantage to catch up with loved ones. A lengthy commute is the perfect time to swap stories with an old college friend or sibling.
Enjoy this time that you’re not staring at screens
There are several reasons why I now love my commute. One is that it’s time not spent starting at a computer, phone or TV. Screens have a way of taking over our lives, but the car is one place you can’t scroll through your social media, answer emails or binge-watch the latest Netflix series. Enjoy the traffic by taking in your surroundings and scenery instead!
Every city has bad traffic at times, but you can make the most of your commute when you move to Houston by trying one or more of these five strategies.