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Have a less stressful holiday season by using public transit

Posted November 14th, 2019
Laughing woman listening to music inside bus

Holidays can be stressful. Using public transit can help.

‘Tis the season to freak out?

The holidays can feel very demanding — parties to attend, gifts to buy, food to prepare, houses to clean, friends and family to entertain…phew! For some, the holidays can be a depressing time. Feelings of sadness, loneliness, and anger can intensify when contrasted with the joy expected from the holidays. In addition, even in southern California, the shorter winter days can trigger bouts of depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for some people. Then there’s the additional expenses. Money, in particular, can be a cause of stress.

If you’re looking for ways to keep the holiday season enjoyable instead of stressful, using public transit can help.

  • Don’t abandon healthy habits. Getting plenty of sleep and incorporating regular physical activity into each day will keep you recharged and better able to handle the demands of the season. People who use public transit tend to walk more than those who drive, and it’s easy to rest your eyes or even take a quick nap when someone else is doing the driving for you.
  • Take a breather. Make some time just for yourself. Spending 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. While you’re on the bus, practice slowing your breathing while clearing your mind and restoring inner calm.
  • Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community. Certainly, public transit can take you to local community or religious events. But, unlike getting there by car, the trip itself is full of human interaction. A simple, smiling interaction with your bus operator and fellow customers can provide a feeling of support and companionship.
  • Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, visiting friends, and other activities. Business hours may change around the holidays. You can get emails or text messages from us whenever our service changes — sign up here.
  • Focus on something else for a while. If you’ve made your list and checked it twice…then three times…then four — maybe it’s time to shift your thinking. Your time spent in transit can be a nice break to listen to music, read, or pick up a new hobby like knitting. Studies show that repetitive activities such as knitting, crafting, and latch-hook have a calming effect.
  • Find the quality time. Zipping from place to place can have you feeling like your own family members are strangers. Public transit can help you recapture some time to reconnect with your loved ones. Instead of focusing on the road and worrying about traffic, use your time spent in transit to your next event to talk face-to-face with your family.
  • Seek the sun. Our bodies react to the unique wavelengths of light that come from the sun, and it can unsettle our emotions when we don’t get enough of it. On top of that, we get essential Vitamin D from sunlight on our skin and hair. Transit users may have more opportunities to catch a few rays as they go about their business, either during a short walk to the nearest bus stop or while transferring from one station to another.
  • Stick to a budget. Breaking your bank over the holidays may lead to a difficult new year, and worrying about it can crank up the stress. Figure out how much money you’re comfortable with setting aside for holiday expenses, and then look for resourceful ways to find maximum joy for minimum jingle. The internet is full of great ideas for low-cost presents, decorations, and more. Here again, public transit can help. Gas and parking costs can really add up. Transit agencies offer passes and discounts that can make riding with them very affordable. (Check out our passes and discounts to see what would work best for you.)

No matter what this season has under wraps for you, we hope you’ll do just like our buses do … and roll with it!

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