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What effect does commuting stress have on your health and well-being?

Last Updated Nov 15, 2017 at 7:21 pm EST

We all know commuting can be stressful.

Whether you’re stuck in a monster traffic jam, or crammed onto a packed subway, the daily grind can result in rattled nerves and lead to some serious physical and mental health issues.

We spoke to some health experts about how commuting can impact your well-being.

Signs of a stressed out commuter: (Source: Dr. Christina Wickens, CAMH)

  • Physical symptoms like cardiovascular stress
  • Mental health issues, like depression
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Lower life satisfaction

 

Societal Impacts of stressed out workers

  • Lower productivity, not able to stay focused or complete tasks on time
  • Behaving more hostile to coworkers
  • Negative impact on homelife

 

Ways to beat the bumper-to-bumper blues

  • Give yourself extra time to get to where you’re going. “Anytime you’re running late it makes even a minor annoyance that much more frustrating,” Dr. Christine Wickens explains.

 

Move closer

“If you moved out of the city because you got a bigger piece of land or you got a cheaper house, you have to factor in the physical toll (the commute) takes on you. Amortize that over fifteen or twenty years,” Dr. Oren Amitay suggests.

Find a flexible employer

“See if you can change your schedule to see if you can travel at a less intense time,” Dr. Amitay says.

Distract yourself.

“Take a breath. Do some relaxation exercises. Listen to music that relaxes you,” Dr. Wickens says.