Traffic jams, buwis-buhay drivers, jampacked trains—these are just some of the realities that you have to deal with on your daily commute to and from work. We know that the struggle (and the hassle!) is real! But before you let that annoying MRT seatmate or that rude driver who keeps on cutting in to your lane get to your nerves, read on. We’ve got simple stress-busting tips you can do now—whether you’re riding a UV Express or driving your own car.

Whether it’s tilting your head from side to side or rotating your feet to relieve the strain on your ankles, stretching during your commute releases the tension in your muscles. Here are some simple exercises you can try while you’re stuck in traffic:

1. Contract your abs by pulling the belly button towards the spine without holding your breath. Hold for two seconds, release, and repeat 16 times.

2. Place a pillow or towel between the knees and squeeze. Hold for two seconds, then release slightly. Repeat 15 times.

3. Press palms together and squeeze for two seconds, release, and repeat 15 reps.

4. Place palms on the ceiling of the car, shoulder-width apart. Press into the roof for two seconds, then release. Repeat for 16 reps.

Listen to calming music

Jeepney drivers swerving, taxis cutting in your lane, and motorcycles appearing left and right–let’s admit it, driving around the metro can feel like a real-life episode of Survivor. Calm your nerves by playing soft music. This trick soothes the mind, too as it is considered an extremely effective form of stress management tool.

Take a whiff of relaxing scents
You’ve probably heard of the word aromatherapy and believe it or not, taking a whiff of certain essential oils like sandal wood, peppermint, and sage can help you de-stress.


Leave home early
Commuting can be less stressful when you don’t have to rush or worry about running late. The solution? Leave home early to avoid the morning rush. Another advantage of getting a headstart early in the morning? Arriving in the office early gives you enough time to transition to “work mode,” and allows you to get more things done. Click here for tried-and-tested tips on how to become a morning person.

Prepare everything you need the night before
Whether that’s your outfit or your kid’s lunch for the day, preparing everything you need the night before will streamline your get-ready routine in the a.m. No rush, no hassle, and hopefully, less stress.

Stash a stress ball in your bag

When driving or holding on to hand rails for too long, your fingers tend to stiffen. Squeeze your stress away with a handy stress ball. The clenching action of your fists will help release built-up tension in your hands. So remember, in times of stress, just squeeze and release.

Photo: Flickr via Creative Commons ; Giphy

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