It can be deflating to get ready for work feeling like nothing can stop us from a productive day and then Bam! You’re stuck in traffic on your usual morning commute. Unfortunately, it is a routine part of almost any job, unless of course you work at home or within walking distance. For the rest of us, here are some tips to make that daily commute just a little bit easier.
- Change Your Scenery: Chances are you likely follow the same routine every day. That is, you take the same route home that you took to work that morning. Try changing it up and start searching for new ways to get to and from work. Instead of taking the highway, try taking the route that brings you through the park. Traffic patterns may differ in either direction.
- Listen to Podcasts: National Public Radio collects data from listeners, radio producers, writers, and other media groups and compiles a list of favorite podcasts that may help that time spent bumper-to-bumper a little more enjoyable. Take a moment to educate yourself and find your favorite station to help time fly by.
- Pack A Snack: Pack your favorite snack for those long rides home, one that you can safely munch on while driving or sitting in traffic. A bag of pretzels, trail mix, some fruit, vegetables, or cheese can really help you relax on the long ride home. Nothing is worse than being overly hungry and stuck in traffic.
- Educate Yourself: With the advancement in technology it is easy to occupy one’s self in a hands-free way with some of the new apps that have hit the market. Duolingo is a great way to learn a new language, and the best part is that it is a free app.
- Sniff Some Aromatherapy: Yes, aromatherapy can help spice up the inside of your car while relaxing you as a wave of brake lights streams through your windshield. Using essential oils can help calm and relax you even in the thickest of traffic jams. Not only can aromatherapy affect us emotionally, but it can also bring about physiological changes in us.
- Stretch: A great way to loosen up and feel relaxed before you commute is to stretch out, especially after sitting behind a desk all day. Taking 10 minutes and doing some quick easy exercises before you get behind the wheel can have a positive effect physiologically. If you’re in a rush (which many of us are) try stretching as the car warms up or while you’re sitting at a traffic light, but avoid doing so while driving.
- Carpool: If you work with someone who lives close by suggest carpooling with them. Traffic is never as bad when you’re with someone compared to when you’re driving alone. Social interaction can help distract you and help you avoid feeling isolated. Work out a schedule and alternate driving responsibilities so that you can each take a break from being behind the wheel. Bonus: you’ll be helping the environment, too!