How to Keep Your Mind off the Traffic

Traffic jams have been always common here in the Philippines. It would be a great miracle to see the infamous EDSA free from crisscrossing public utility vehicles, overtaking private cars, and most of all, motorcycles trying to budge its way through narrow spaces in between cars. I have to admit that even I question the effectiveness of our traffic rules and regulations, particularly the number coding scheme. I always ask myself, “How come we experience traffic every single day when in fact some cars aren’t permitted to hit the road?”

Everyday more and more vehicles add to our very busy highways. And every so often, untoward incidents and road excavations cause motorists to get stuck in a bottleneck. I’m pretty sure that once in your life, as a driver or passenger, you’ve experienced this already. It can be really stressing and frustrating. Let’s face it, traffic jams are a part of our lives whether we like it or not. It’s a great encouragement that we can draw out something positive, from something thought of as negative. This article will give you bright ideas on how one can productively spend time whilst stuck in those darn traffic jams. Below are some suggestions as to how you can keep your mind off the traffic and on the road.

Extra! Extra! Hear all about it. When driving, it’s not advisable to read a newspaper. Remember, you need to be alert and to keep your eyes on the road to avoid accidents. For drivers, you can get acquainted with current events by listening to your favorite AM station.  Instead of doing this in the office, it’ll be wise to catch up on the headlines while sitting in your car. AM stations provide all kinds of updates, even traffic advisory, which is beneficial while stuck in traffic.

Books that talk. Need to catch up with your necessary reading? Then carry your current novel in your iPod. Audiobooks have been lurking in the World Wide Web for a long time now and most of them are downloadable… for free. Stock some in your mp3 players and let it play through your car stereo. A traffic jam is a perfect opportunity to finish your reading list.

A radio jockey will keep you company. FM radio can cheerfully cause time to fly. The wonders of music can immediately soothe your mood. Radio jockeys, also known as DJs, know how to keep us entertained through contests, programs, songs, and events to captivate us while we sit in the dreaded traffic jam. Most FM stations also provide breaking news and advisories, so motorists get road updates from time to time.


Be a word mole. Have you ever tried jumbling or forming words through someone else’s plate number? Play a word game – converse, laugh and have fun with your passengers; this is an effective bonding activity not only in traffic, but also during long-drives and trips.

Learn a new map. Get yourself acquainted about an area using a miniature map. If your car has GPS installed already, it’ll be much easier for you to learn new routes and detours.  Trust me; you’ll be able to apply your newly acquired knowledge right away. In fact, if the timing is right, you can take the new alternative route you learned right then and there to save yourself from the traffic jam.


Plan your grocery and menu list. Get your pen and scratch paper ready and jot down inventive ideas for cooking up your next menu. Take down the list of ingredients needed for your new recipe. Include daily necessities you need to replenish in your stock. You’re bound to do this some time anyway, so why not do it now while stuck in your car?


Memorize inspirational phrases and Bible verses. Your brain needs to be proactive. Keep your brain cells working by memorizing and reciting motivating quotations and Bible verses. This will enhance your fluency in the English language and will also add up to your word bank. Aside from music, inspirational phrases and Bible verses can also appease the way you think and feel. You might be surprised how these words come alive, especially during circumstances behind the wheel and while on the road.


Draft your to-do list. Plan your whole day ahead. You’re in bumper-to-bumper lines anyway and pretty sure your schedule is already messed up, why not arrange and rearrange your activity for that day. Make necessary phone calls to your business partner, send text messages stating that you’ll be late, and reschedule every activity that got caught up because of traffic.

Next time you get stuck in a traffic jam, take these ideas with you. These will help you take your mind off the frustration and irritation caused by getting stuck on the road and other hot-headed drivers. Experiencing a traffic jam will not only enhance your driving skills, but also your character and attitude towards non-ideal driving circumstances.

About Paw

She's a high school science teacher in a small school in Quezon City. She likes reading books and conceptualizing costumes for cosplay. On her spare time, she writes about anything under the sun, while enjoying a cup of coffee in Starbucks.


  1. Great site you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any
    message boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article?

    I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get responses from
    other experienced individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Appreciate it!

Speak Your Mind