Rush Hour Returns
As much as we’d love today’s blog post to be about the return of a much-loved comedy Kung Fu trilogy, the news isn’t all that bright. As the screaming hordes of children return to schools around the UK, roads have once again become packed to the brim during peak times, sending motorists’ stress levels soaring upwards in the process.
A whopping 67% of drivers in the UK said they’ve been affected by the September start of term, many of them reporting an increase in feelings of stress during their commutes due to the extra traffic and delays during their journey.
Our recent survey showed spikes in stress among UK residents around the back-to-school season, with 62% of respondents reporting a lack of time is linked to their higher levels of stress. In fact, the survey reported that September is the second most stressful month of the year (after December, of course!).
And it’s no wonder why; with heaps of traffic taking to the roads in the form of parents returning to work or braving the school run as well as temperatures dropping over just a couple of weeks, the approach to Autumn can often seem pretty bleak in the UK.
But chin up, because we’ve put together some cracking tips to help you reduce stress during your commute, and even reduce the amount of time you spend in traffic altogether!
With the added pressures and responsibilities many people feel during September, it’s not surprising that 1 in 5 of our survey takers reported losing sleep this month. The morning routine can often feel more rushed and stressful, especially for those who have children to get ready, so taking measures to improve your sleep can really pay off the day after.
Hitting the hey an hour earlier each night is useful for two reasons: it will either afford you an extra hour’s sleep, or it will allow you to wake up an hour earlier and enjoy more time to work through your morning ritual. For those of you who truly can’t stand mornings, going to bed two hours earlier would afford you both of the above options, giving you extra sleep and extra time to prepare.
Dodging Rush Hour
Sitting in rush hour traffic every day can really take its toll on a person’s patience, especially when other motorists exacerbate the situation by pushing in or speeding in residential areas to try and beat the build-up.
Advancements in mobile satnav technology now allows users to predict traffic congestion and potentially avoid busier routes, and with many motorists reporting an increased drive-time of between 15-30 minutes when kids return to school, this can be a huge help.
Google Maps will often suggest an alternative route during a journey, plotting a course that could shave time off your commute each day. Planning ahead of your journey using a traffic navigation app such as Waze will give you an accurate prediction of what time you need to leave in the morning to arrive on time.
Of course, the best way to avoid rush hour altogether is by travelling before or after it. If your employer allows flexi-time (or you’re self-employed) then planning a work day that starts before 8, or after 9 is a great way to eliminate the stress of rush hour, and reduce the amount of fuel you waste each day too!
Reduce the Rage
If there’s no way you can avoid the traffic on your daily commute, then taking measures to reduce stress levels during your drive can be helpful.
Our survey showed that more people are tuning into classical music to relieve their stress (8%), while the same number admitted that road rage has become a recent habit. While classical music may not be your genre of choice, opting for a more calming playlist can help relax the mind and calm feelings of anger while behind the wheel.
How does the September traffic effect your commute? Be sure to leave a comment below and let us know!
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