If you can’t change your commute, enjoy it! This is a time five days a week in which you can do (within reason) what you wish. It doesn’t need to be a stressful time that you dread. With these six tips, you can decrease stress and actually start looking forward to your drive to and from work:
- Ride in style. If you enjoy the vehicle you’re in, like a new Mazda6 sedan, you’re going to look forward to the drive. Make sure to keep the car clean and organized. The human brain craves order and having everything organized will instantly help put you at peace. If you drive an old car that’s about to break down or one that’s in desperate need of a detailing, it’s no wonder you dread your commute.
- Carpool if you’d like some company. Not only will carpools give you time to bond with others, it will also cut down on the cost of commuting. Your company might even offer special perks for carpoolers, like designated parking spots. For social butterflies who feel like time flies when they’re in good company, this is an easy way to make commutes fun.
- Listen to an audio book or podcast. Listening to music can be enjoyable, but depending on the music it can also put you in a more excitable mood. This might not be the best thing first thing in the morning. Ditch the radio (and the commercials) and dedicate this time to something you enjoy. The very ambitious might also want to listen to a language recording or otherwise find an avenue for bettering themselves.
- Leave earlier. Maybe leaving earlier will mean avoiding traffic and having time to make a proper coffee at work before the day begins. Maybe you’re always stressed out that you’ll be late and have been thanks to an accident or breakdown. When you’re not worried about time or you can avoid extra traffic, you’ll be a lot less stressed.
- Breathe. It’s a cliched suggestion, but actually practicing your breath while in your commute can help you manage your blood pressure. Almost nobody makes full use of their lungs, which means they’ve atrophied. A simple four-part breath where you inhale, hold, exhale, and hold in equal counts can be a great way to remind yourself to be patient and take care of your body.
- Turn off your phone. Your phone isn’t just a dangerous distraction, it’s also a source of more stress. The constant buzzing is doing you no good. There are plenty of apps that even reward you for having your phone off while driving.
Arriving at work stressed is no way to start the day. It will have a negative trickle-down effect. Use your commute to imbue calmness and good energy into your day.