Are you suffering from traffic road rage or bumper-to-bumper headaches? Is the sweltering heat and humidity of Toronto only compounding your misery? Is your 8.7 km commute to work, that Google Maps advised should take 18 minutes, really taking you 45-60 minutes because of road closures due to “major track reconstruction” according to the City of Toronto’s Road Restrictions Map?
I feel your pain and have a few ideas to help you relax on your rush-hour drive:
- Make a playlist of your favorite music. Include tunes you like to sing and dance to. Don’t be shy, especially if you’re alone. Feel free to wail to the song stylings of all those guilty pleasure artists you’re embarrassed to have on your iPod. When I am alone in my car, I can be caught belting out an embarrassing “That’s Not My Name” by the Ting Tings or busting off-the-beat moves to Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow“…two guilty pleasures. It’s very freeing, try it! The happy feeling you get will definitely outweigh any embarrassing predicament you may generate from strange looks, smiles and any kids’ pointing and laughing.
- Download your favorite comedians and play their “best-of” stand-up show when you find pedestrians are moving faster than your vehicle. You will be guaranteed to laugh bumper-to-bumper all the way to your destination. Some of my favorites are Sarah Silverman, Russell Peters, Dane Cook and any SNL alumni.
- Forget Isometric Exercises and kick it up a notch to Bikram Yoga for Drivers. If the 38C (Feels like 48C) weather forecast for tomorrow is giving you anxiety, and you don’t know if you’re sweating or crying anymore, when you’re stuck in traffic, you need to maximize this heat and humidity potential. So, roll up your windows, turn off the A/C, slide your shoes off and sweat out all those antioxidants. Maybe begin by “accepting where you are and being present i.e. in the car, being stuck in traffic” as Esther explains in her Yoga for in the Car video tips. And then move on to breathing exercises. If you want more of a challenge, perhaps the advanced edition of Bikram for Drivers, then turn the heat up in your car too and soon you will be doing the Virasana (Hero Pose) and other moves.
- Keep some fun candy and snacks in your car. Skittles right now makes a practical cup-holder sizes for travelling. Great for when you need a little sugar high. If you prefer something healthy, trail mix or fruit are also both good options. I’d stay away from sunflower seeds as you’d be driving a fine line, not knowing what seed-spitting incident could potentially lead to road rage. Also, you may not want to keep chocolate in your car: makes for one messy disaster, in this weather.
- Play a game I like to call Blind Dial (for lack of a better name). How do you play? Good question. Here are the rules:
- You need Bluetooth for this, since this is the Blind Dial – Driver’s Edition.
- Blindly scroll through your list of contacts on your cell
- Randomly stop and press the “Dial” key. Be sure not to look at contact name/number.
- Once you get the mystery contact on the phone, you are allowed to tell them who you are — but you need to guess (without looking at your mobile device) who you have just dialed.
- You are not allowed to ask any questions.
- Once you have a good idea who the contact is, you must use their name and see how they respond. I really hope you get it right on your first go, else you got some explaining to do if you dialed your significant other and guessed their name wrong. (ouch!)
- This can be fun for the whole car, if you have a speakerphone.
Hope you have found this Toronto Survival Guide helpful and make these tips part of your rush-hour commute ritual to help fight your traffic blues. Be safe and exercise caution when driving, especially if you take some of these tips too seriously.