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Like in many West Coast metros, the phrase “rush hour” in San Diego doesn’t quite cut it, because traffic actually spans many hours, and it takes a whole lot of local savviness to get ahead of it (or behind or around or over or under).
Weaving your way through the madness can feel like a triumph, but what if you could get home from work without feeling like pulling your hair out?
Believe it or not, that dream is possible. Here are some tips to help you handle just about anything San Diego rush hour has to throw at you (minus the road rage).
It’s no secret that working out is one of the best ways to keep stress at bay. Stop off your route for a fitness class! Not only will you get rid of all that “I-hate-traffic-and-everyone-on-this-freeway” energy, but you’ll also have a rush of endorphins elevating your mood.
Finding a class that fits your schedule, daily route, and workout preferences may seem like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. Take a look at the *tons* of studios on the Mindbody app for classes based on time, location, and fitness category so you can choose the best one for you. To make it even easier, we did some research (and tried some classes) for you! Check it out.
If you live up in North County...
Try a class at Lagree Fit & Versa Fit in South Oceanside right at the end of the 78. Their Versa Fit classes are only 30-minutes, and trust us, they’ll whip you into shape in the morning. Or if you like to work out on your way home, meet some friends for a Dollhouse Fitness pole dancing class or Pilates at Pilates Republic, both off the 5 in Encinitas.
If you work in the Carmel Valley/Sorrento Valley business district...
There’s plenty of great fitness studios you can hit right after work to kill some time before jumping in the heavy traffic going both north and south. There’s an F45 Training right off the 56 with 45-minute long cardio and strength training classes and a BARRE + bay wreath just above the 5-805 split (with barre, flowers, and coffee?!). Heading home towards PB? Infinite Fitness has got it all (bootcamp, Pilates, interval training, + more) right off the 5 in Bay Ho.
If you take the 805...
If you stick on the 805 during your commute, hop off for a quick Pilates class at Beyond Pilates in Normal Heights. Want to take out that pent-up road rage in a healthy way? Try BoxFit in North Park for a fun and challenging class. Maybe you’re more into bootcamp and strength training... try Renegade Fitcamp on University Ave to feel the burn.
If your office is downtown...
And at the very end of the 163 in Cortez Hill, there’s a great little yoga studio called (you guessed it) The Little Yoga Studio. Stop here for a post-work Vinyasa to calm yourself down before jumping on the road. On the way up the 5 in Bankers Hill, Saffron & Sage also has yoga, and they offer tons of wellness treatments as well if you’re feeling a little more adventurous. Want to sweat? belle + barre has a heart-pumping heated barre class off the 163 in Hillcrest. Don’t like the heat? Try Studio Barre right down the street (you don’t have to be a barre pro to try it)!
More of a passive listener than a daily exerciser? No problem—there’s more than one way to keep your cool when you hit that 5-805 Split. Rather than getting caught up in the relentless bobbing and weaving of other impatient drivers, or the stop-and-go flow of the cars in general, simply put on a podcast to keep you entertained (and grounded)!
If rush hour has you feeling especially frazzled, try playing The Mindful Podcast. This features short episodes that help you practice—you guessed it—mindfulness. You’ll be amazed how much a quick bout of meditation transforms your attitude toward the traffic.
Or maybe you’re more interested in something that will help you regain a positive perspective. The Happiness Lab podcast is full of impactful episodes on the science of happiness and tools to increase your overall positivity.
If you practice yoga or meditation regularly basis, you know how much breathing can transform your physical and mental responses to a situation. Instead of wracking yourself with tension as you try to make your way west on the 52, try out this simple breathing exercise:
1. Inhale through your nose slowly, trying to fill your lower lungs first before moving into
2. Hold the breath for three seconds.
3. Exhale slowly through your mouth, all while relaxing areas that commonly hold tension
such as your jaw and shoulders.
If you could use a little help relaxing, stop for a massage, facial, or body service (think peels, scrubs, and wine therapy) after work downtown at Alleviating Whispering Waters Day Spa. Then, turn on The Complete Rush Hour Chill Out Experience playlist, and you’ll be able to breathe through rush hour like a pro.
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.