Commuting: Another major stress for Chicagoans - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Commuting: Another major stress for Chicagoans

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago is heading into the height of its summer construction season and officials at the Illinois Department of Transportation say it’s about to get ugly, even on the weekends.

Bridge work on the Kennedy near the Ohio Feeder and Ontario entrance ramps during the last three weeks of June will mean serious gridlock and high wait times for drivers. You may have already noticed commute times to and from work are on the rise and a single accident only makes matters worse.

For commuters who get caught up in the mess, it can become a very frustrating and stressful ride.

“It can kill you,” said Loyola University Medical Center Cardiologist Dr. Amir Darki.

Darki works with heart patients who deal with daily stress.

“Stress is not good for anybody, especially someone with a heart condition,”Dr. Darki added.

Dr. Darki explained when people sit in traffic their heart rate goes up and increases the body’s blood pressure. Hormones also secrete in the body and the “fight or flight” feeling kicks in. All of the emotion affects a person’s cardiovascular system.

Dr. Darki recommends avoiding the stress of a nightmare commute. Some people don’t have a choice and they have to travel by car to get to work.

Anita Chlipala, a Chicago Anger Management Therapist says when people experience frustrating situations on the road they feel they have no control, but the reality is, we do.

One way Chlipala said you can take control is to call your boss or your spouse and warn them you are stuck in gridlock and running late. She suggests thinking of the commute as “me” time and crunch your abs time.

“Find a podcast you like, get some audio books, or learn French or Italian or talk to an old friend,” Chlipala said.

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