With more than 4 million people spending an hour or more traveling to work, Americans have less time at home and more in the confines of car, bus or train.
Picture this: It’s 5:15 p.m., the caffeine has long worn off and you’re sitting in the car in-between the office and the leftovers waiting for you at home in your fridge. While two-day-old spaghetti doesn’t sound particularly savory, you swear the commute is two-times what it used to be.
And the thing is, you’re not totally wrong. A 2018 report from the U.S. Census Bureau found that the commute of many Americans has been slowly increasing over the past few years. With more than 4 million people spending an hour or more traveling to work, Americans have less time at home and more in the confines of car, bus or train.
If Spotify and Audible aren’t helping to pass the time, consider passing the time with a series of activities that will not only sharpen your mind, but help keep stress at bay.
Here are four exercises that can help reduce stress and elevate health:
Whether stretching toes out inside stilettos or merely trying to get the blood moving during a particularly frustrating merge, try flexing and unflexing your toes. Advanced Foot and Ankle Care Specialists in Dallas, Texas says that people who regularly stretch their feet and toes can improve flexibility, and increase blood flow.
Can you work your brain while keeping an eye safely on the road? Consider listening to classical music, which isn’t actually proven to raise your IQ, but can help calm your mood by lowering your blood pressure and sharpening your memory.
Here’s something crazy: Tapping your fingers can actually reduce stress and anxiety. Called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), you tap fingers along with a mantra on your body’s meridian points, which include the eyebrow, side of the eye, under the nose, chin, and more.
Dr. Jo believes stretching the neck is a great way to not only release tension, but neck pain as well. Cervical rotation, where the head tilts from side to side, helps elongate the neck and can be done with eyes firmly on the road. See a few more neck exercises here.
And when all else fails? Crying works wonders.