If you instantly feel enraged by being stuck in traffic or struggle to stay awake while being on the road, you might be suffering from travel fatigue.
Travel fatigue, or road stress, is a recognised condition described as the feeling of burnout, brought on by travelling regularly for days, weeks, or months on end.
Try these five tips to help reduce your traffic stress levels:
- Sleep banking: If you know a long trip is coming up, try sleep banking i.e. go to bed earlier or wake up later to gain some extra sleep time in order to have a surplus of sleep during sleep deprivation periods.
- Pack padkos: Food may be the last thing you think of as you tackle the journey home after work, but being ravenous or thirsty while stuck in a traffic jam will only exacerbate your discomfort levels. Your diet plays an important role in how alert and energetic you feel daily. Stay hydrated and make sure you aren’t hungry or thirsty during commutes or long-distance driving.
- Load up on vitamin B-12: Boost your folate and vitamin B-12 intake, which in turn can help you feel more energised and alert, improving your body’s ability to buffer traffic stress. These vitamins play a role in red blood cell production, which helps you ensure that your brain can access the oxygen it needs to work optimally. These can be kept at healthy levels by eating legumes and bread as sources of folate, and meat and dairy for vitamin B-12.
- Take regular breaks: If you drive long distances, take a 15-minute break every two hours or every 160 km travelled, and stretch your limbs by taking a short walk to refresh yourself.
- Avoid peak traffic: If you cannot work from home and have quite a long distance to commute, try to negotiate arriving earlier and therefore leaving earlier or starting later, to avoid peak traffic times. If you cannot change your work hours, consider going for a jog near your workplace or sign up to a nearby gym and get your exercise in before or after work. This will improve your overall wellbeing and reduce your time stuck in traffic.
For more road safety and insurance tips, visit MiWay Blink