Life in New Zealand, mental health, Reflecting

Stuck in traffic 

Lately I have spent a lot of time in traffic. My commute into the city is easily taking an hour most mornings and I spend a lot of time not moving at all. My natural tendency is to get stressed out when I am stuck like this as I worry about being late for work, but this term I have been working hard on staying calm and reframing how I feel about this time in the car.

Firstly, when I am stationary, instead of getting frustrated, I am trying to pay more attention to what I can see. As the sun rose a few days ago and I wasn’t moving anywhere, instead of fretting, I focused on the colours of the sky and snapped this picture to remind me just how beautiful the sky is.

Secondly, I have decided to view my time in the car as an opportunity to learn new things. My friend and colleague Rebecca mentioned ages ago that she listens to podcasts when she is driving to and from work and I have recently adopted this habit too. I listen to audio Ted talks, philosophy podcasts and my favourite ‘Happier’ Podcast with Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft. I am also toying with the idea of learning Hebrew in the car so I can tick that off my bucket list. Sometimes, I actually feel sorry for people who don’t commute in heavy traffic and so miss out on this precious opportunity to learn, think and grow.

Thirdly, I try to remember every morning how lucky I am to have a nice car and a job that I like to drive to. Not everybody is so lucky- I certainly haven’t always been this lucky and remembering this fact, helps me to rise above any frustration I would otherwise feel.

Whenever your stress points are in your day – is there a way you can reframe them? Can you try and pick out something positive and change your perspective? In any case I hope you have a lovely day and a happy week!



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