In the latest edition of Lifetime, a segment on the local CTV newscast, Pauline Chan gets some advice from psychotherapist Nicole McCance on coping with the stress of mall parking lots. McCance recommends that drivers prepare in advance for the stress: her advice on controlling lot rage is to eat a meal before you go to the mall, wear comfortable shoes, and make a shopping list. In the clip, McCance says that traffic in a parking lot is beyond people’s control, but that “they can control whether they’ve gone to the bathroom or eaten.” The segment summarizes her points in a bullet list that includes items like “breathe” and being “aware of [your] body.” This is hard-hitting stuff.
Okay, I know that it’s busy at Yorkdale at this time of year, and that finding a parking spot can be stressful. But seriously, if you need a therapist to remind you to breathe while prowling the lot and to eat a meal in advance so that you don’t starve to death while hunting for an elusive 150 square feet of asphalt on which to park your automobile, I feel comfortable making two statements about your quest:
- You’re doing it wrong.
- There’s a better way.
Strangely (or not), none of McCance’s suggestions involved avoiding the stress entirely by not driving a car to the mall, shopping online, getting your act together so that you can shop in the weeks before the holiday crush, or simply opting out of the annual consumer frenzy.
Me, I’m going to cope with mall parking lots the same way I always do: by taking a three minute stroll down to the Danforth where I’ll do what little Christmas shopping I still do. And I won’t have to perform breathing exercises, talk myself down from sidewalk rage, or circle the block endlessly looking for somewhere to park my conveyance. I feel the stress melting away already.