How to Not Lose Your Mind When You’re Stuck in Shore Traffic

Namastay calm, cool and collected ... even when someone cuts me off ... for the third time.

It’s Fourth of July weekend, people! Which means the inevitable Fourth of July Shore traffic is in many of our very near futures. To make sure you don’t turn into one of these people screaming obscenities out your car window, we asked mindfulness coach and meditation teacher Ali Tomlinson, of In-Power Performance Coaching, for her top tips to stay sane when stuck in Shore traffic.

First step? Submit to the fact that — despite your best intentions and your very early alarm — you will, most likely, get stuck in traffic. Then, read on for the rest of Tomlinson’s tips to deal once you are.

1. Face it: There is going to be traffic. Lots of it. 
“Just get on board with the fact that YOU ARE GOING TO BE SITTING IN TRAFFIC. When you come to a halt after only 20 minutes of driving, don’t be shocked — just remember that you prepared for this and you will get to where you are going. It might just be a bit later than you thought.”

2. Move around before you sit around for hours on end. 
“Knowing that you are likely to be sitting for a bit, it’s a good idea to get a solid sweat or workout in before you leave. Do some yoga, go for a run, or hit a spin class so you can use the longer ride as your rest and recovery time for the epic weekend ahead!”

3. Breathe. (Don’t roll your eyes — it works!) 
“If you feel the frustration, rage or need to shout four-letter words welling up inside, TAKE A BREATH. Practice some deep breathing to bring on the calm. Try inhaling into your lower belly for a count of four and exhaling for a count of four. Try doing 10 of those four-count breath cycles to find your zen amidst the madness.”

4. Prepare your playlist ahead of time. 
“When I am in my car, I like to take full advantage of the time to perfect my Carrie Underwood. Get your playlist together and be sure to include songs that you can’t help but rock out too. Sing, dance, have a good time and forget about who is watching — Shore traffic is your time to shine.” »» If you don’t have time to prepare the perfect playlist, our Be Well Philly Ultimate Workout Playlist is always a good standby.

5. Get some perspective: Yes, you are stuck in traffic … but on your way to a weekend at the freakin’ beach, after all. 
“You are responsible for your interpretation of every single event, so choose gratitude. While sitting in traffic may not be the most fun thing ever, the reality is that you are sitting in traffic because you have a car that is taking you somewhere that you will be able to enjoy a few days of fun and relaxation with people you love and care about. While the traffic may be a bummer, you can shift your focus to what is right and ride that high allllll the way to the fireworks show!”

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