Tips For Enjoying Your Commute
If you’ve ever had to drive more than a few minutes away to work, you know the dread that comes with commuting. It can feel like wasted time or a huge inconvenience – but only if you frame it in that manner. If you take a bit of time to look at how you spend your commute, you can actually turn it into a useful – if not necessarily entertaining – part of your day. Below are just a few of the ways you can make more of your commute and improve your day at the same time.
1. Understand Your Decision
A good way to find some peace with your commute is to understand that you’re ultimately in charge of the process. Can you make traffic go away? Of course not – but you must understand that your commute is part of the decisions that you’ve made. You chose to work in one area and live in another. While the locations of those two places might not be ideal, your commute is part of the deal you’ve made with yourself. If your commute is unbearable, then, it might be time to consider some new choices.
Sure, you might not be able to find a new job or move to a new house, but you can change how your commute works. Would it help to start leaving for work earlier? Would taking public transportation make a difference? If you look at the changes you can make, you can take a little bit of that control back.
2. Find Something Enjoyable
If you’re commuting on your own, you have a rare chance to enjoy being in charge of at least some of your own atmosphere. Your commute is a great time to find something hands-free that you enjoy and to engage in it while you’re on the road. While you might not be able to read or watch a television show, there are still forms of entertainment that are open to you.
One great option is to listen to an audio book. A full recording of one of your favorites or even a new book that you’ve never had time to read can make time fly by while you’re in the car. There are even some audio books that have full cast recordings, allowing you a rare chance to experience something of an aural play.
If you don’t fancy an audio book, you might want to try a podcast. These downloadable shows allow you to keep up with the news, listen to interviews with people you admire, or even keep up with old-fashion radio-style entertainment while you are on the go. With the sheer number of podcasts out there, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll find something that aligns with your interests.
Another great aural solution is to download an app or program that will help you with guided meditation. While you certainly shouldn’t work with anything that will cause you to take your eyes off the road, you can find a program that will help to guide you through the process of centering yourself and becoming less stressed. These programs are fantastic because they can actually help you to set you on the right path for the remainder of your day. Consider one of these apps so that you can be fully present when you arrive at work or when you get home.
4. Listen to Music
Music has many fantastic benefits. It can help you to center your mind, reduce your blood-pressure, or just pass the time more quickly. While there are notable cognitive impacts related to listening to complex classical music, you can actually get significant benefits from listening to almost anything you enjoy. Getting into the right state of mind can be much easier when you have the right soundtrack.
If you can’t find the right music on the radio, you can check out any of the many streaming services on your smart phone. Virtually every type of music ever composed is represented, so you’ll always have access to something you like. If you are willing to take some time to look at a play list, you can find a great way to kill time on your commute.
5. Be Mindful
Your commute can be a powerful time if you choose to put it to use. Practicing mindfulness might feel like it’s better done at home, but the truth is that your car can provide an excellent atmosphere. After all, you’re alone, you have few distractions, and you have the time to really think about what’s important in your life.
There are dozens of great apps and books to help you with mindfulness, so consider downloading one to listen to on your commute. If you are already in a state where you’re practicing mindfulness, dedicate some of the time in your car to deciding on what’s really important.
6. Turn it Off
Finally, try to remember that the time you spend alone in your car is not necessarily time you’re wasting. You don’t need to have any outside distractions – sometimes being alone with your thoughts is enough. This is your time to relax, turn off your mind, and get into a better headspace.
Use the commute into work to deal with all of the thoughts that might take you away from your job. Use the commute home to get yourself free of work stress and to concentrate on your regular life. If you can spend your time commuting unplugged, you’ll be able to be more present when you’re not in the car.