Commutes can be a huge chore, and we all know it. The average American has a 26-minute commute (one way) every single day. If you multiply that out across every day you will work in your life, you will end up spending around 9 whole days of your life commuting. Commuting has also been linked to increased blood pressure, risk of depression and higher anxiety. But your commute doesn’t have to be miserable. In fact, it can transform into one of the best, and most relaxing parts of your day with just a few simple changes.
- Plan Ahead – One of the easiest things you can do to reduce the stress of your daily commute is to plan ahead for it. There is nothing worse than turning up late for work thanks to unexpected traffic from an accident or bad weather, and unexpected traffic can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. Listen to a radio traffic report about half an hour before you plan to leave to know what to expect. Apps like Google Maps make this easier than ever by estimating your commute time and can even course correct to help you avoid the worst of the traffic.
- Listen to Something You Like – Most cars today come with built in Aux ports or can be synced to your phone with Bluetooth. Take advantage of this technology by listening to more of what you want. If you get sick of your music, download a few audiobooks or subscribe to podcasts that interest you to shake it up a bit. These all help the time fly and keep your mind off of how mind-numbingly slow the driver in front of you is moving.
- Carpool – This saves you from a lonesome commute, a lot of gas money, and planet all at the same time! Carpooling to work with a friend or coworker gives you someone to talk to, which will keep you from getting bored and bring you close together as friends or colleagues.
- Be Energized – Nothing makes your commute worse than feeling tired or sluggish behind the wheel. Keep yourself up and alert by taking your morning coffee or tea to go. A Bizzy Double Shot can be a great way to boost your energy in the morning and keep you powered throughout the day.
- Start a Journal – This one is pretty much only for people who use public transportation to commute (please do not journal and drive). Journaling is a great way to exercise your mind by writing about whatever you want. This simple activity can keep your mind off your long commute and will help you organize your thoughts for the day going forward.
- Take a Scenic Route – Sometimes a change is as good as a rest, and this is definitely true when it comes to your morning commute. Check your route for alternate routes through nice neighborhoods, past lakes, or along parkways. These may add a few minutes to your commute, but they are usually well worth it.
Whether you commute 20, 60, or 90 minutes, make it a point to change your commute from a chore to one of the most relaxing times of your day.
- “Commuting Is Bad for Your Body and Health.” Time, Time.
- Ingraham, Christopher. “The Astonishing Human Potential Wasted on Commutes.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 25 Feb. 2016.