Commuting to and from work can be an exhausting task. There was a time I would ride the bus to and from work, however, I now live in a place where it’s more convenient to drive. My commute Monday through Friday ranges from 45 minutes to 2 hours, one way. Before making changes to my routine, there were many days I didn’t feel like getting out of my vehicle upon arriving at my destination. I always felt so exhausted.
Sitting in a car for an extended period five days or more a week may seem like a waste, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve found that long commutes can allow for much-needed “me” time and the opportunity to catch up on some things that I don’t have the energy to do when I get home after a long day at work. One thing I have learned in my 40’s is to make the most of each minute of the day. Time indeed goes by entirely too fast.
My goal is to make the twice-a-day, 20-mile haul as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Below are tips I use to take the pain out of my daily drive. After making these small changes, my commute is more like therapy and much less burdensome.
Leave home early.
I struggle with this one sometimes, but on the days I can leave early, my entire day turns our so much better, especially the drive to work. Many times we get angry with others on the road for driving the actual speed limit when we are the ones at fault for not planning.
Listen to an audiobook, inspirational recording or podcast.
I love books; particularly self-help books. However, sometimes because of my schedule, I don’t always have time to read as I wish. Starting my day off listening to uplifting and inspirational content puts me in a fantastic mood. I end up feeling equipped to handle any situation that may come up throughout the day.
Use a hands-free device to speak to distant loved ones.
Talking to someone who raises your blood pressure or causes anxiety isn’t recommended. Since I live so far away from home, I will call my family and friends to catch up on what may be happening in their lives and fill them in on what’s going on in mine.
Find a tutorial to listen to.
The curiosity within always has me looking to learn something new. I’m in several business groups on Facebook, and there’s always someone going live to share their most valuable tips. I also like to play YouTube to listen in on my favorite videos such as hair care and photography tutorials.
Create a music playlist and let it play!
I love music. It’s therapy for the soul. The best thing about listening to music when you’re alone in your car is you can sing as loud and animated as you want. You may get some crazy stares, but seriously, who doesn’t do this?
Seek out someone to carpool with.
I don’t do this one because again, I need “me” time. However, for some, other people’s company makes their drive better. Carpooling not only helps you save on gas but on the days when someone else is driving, it gives you a break from being behind the wheel which is always nice.
Ride in silence and reflect.
Being around others doesn’t always allow for quietness so when I need a mental break, this is perfect. Often I’ll drive with no other noise other than what’s going on in my head (which can be quite noisy at times). It’s in these times that I come up with my most significant ideas and find the best solutions for issues.
Work commutes can be a blessing in disguise. It just takes a little imagination. Implementing these simple yet useful tips can better your commuting experience tremendously.
All the best, always.