So, we’ve almost made it through the first week of March and the daily commute is getting you down. We know the feeling. Even though remote work or work from home opportunities are on the rise, most of the workforce either needs to be physically present to do their jobs or work for a company who has yet to embrace the freedom of working from home. Not to mention all the young ones on their way to school every day of the week.
According to the National Traffic Information System, there are more than 11 million registered vehicles on South African roads as of January 2020. That’s hundreds of thousands of cars, trucks, busses, motorbikes using our roads every single day. And that’s definitely too many to imagine. All these people need to get to their destinations somehow, and this means countless wheels on the roads.
So, how do you get through this dreadful part of the day with millions of other South Africans without going off the rails? We’ve got some tips that might help alleviate the stress of sitting in traffic!
- Bust a rhyme
Cranking up the volume on some tunes, singing along to your favourite radio stations or listening to the latest podcast will make your commute go by in a flash.
- Carpool is cool
Any journey could be made more bearable by adding some travel companions to it. This will not only save your sanity in traffic jams, but it will also make the commute easier on your wallet.
- Catch up on some reading
This one should not be attempted by the driver of the vehicle. But if you’re the passenger, go for it. You’ll be amazed at how fast the traffic flows while you’re flipping through the pages.
Another one that should be left to passengers, please. Who can pull their eyes away from the screen when you’re knee-deep into the latest series? This one will require a great deal of data unless you download them onto your device before leaving in the morning. Just remember your earphones to spare your fellow commuters suffering from ‘second-hand series’ or spoilers!
- Comfort is key
Sure you’re on the way to a full day of work, but that doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable on your way there! A blanket or extra jacket can always be used as a comfy headrest when you want to catch up on your beauty sleep while you’re waiting in traffic. Always carry water with you (in a reusable bottle if possible) and stay hydrated. Remember your sunglasses, wear comfy shoes … anything that will make the trip more enjoyable. Just remember to pack work or school appropriate attire.
- Snack attack
Have you ever been hangry? According to the Urban Dictionary, it is “when you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both.” Well, combining hanger with traffic is a recipe for disaster. Have some snacks in the car or your bag for when the hunger strikes and keep your road rage at bay.
- Game on
Once again, eyes on the road! But if your hands (and eyes) are free, play some games on your phone or a handheld console of your choice. You’ll be amazed at how many rounds of Candy Crush you can conquer on the way to work or school.
- Learn a new language
Apps like DuoLingo make it possible to learn on the go. And learning a new language is one of the best things you can do for your brain. Give it a try and soon you’ll be able to make some new friends across the pond, or even just the other side of the train carriage.
- Be creative
Whether you enjoy drawing, writing, knitting or any other hands-on craft for that matter, when you’re not the driver, you’re free to be arty all the way home. It’ll not only get your creative juices flowing, but might help get you out of a stressful work-mindset after a long day at work, or help you relax before embarking on a day behind your desk.
- Plan ahead
Set out your day or week and be ready to go when you arrive at the office. Getting a head start on your to-do list can up your efficiency considerably.
- Phone a friend
If you’re not in the driver’s seat or have a hands free setup in your vehicle, you can phone a friend or family member and catch up on the latest gossip. And if you’re not driving, you are free to text away.
How do you combat the terrible traffic terrors? We’d love to hear from you! Join our bsmart members group on Facebook and let us know.
* Take note - Please stay safe while on the road, whether you’re behind the wheel, carpooling or making use of public transport. These suggestions are just that, suggestions, and it is up to you to use your judgement as to what would be deemed appropriate and safe in any given instance.