Whether it be on the way to or from work, your commute can have a notable impact on your mood throughout the day. In the morning, it can affect how you’re going to feel throughout the workday. On the way back home, it may determine your ability to decompress, and how you’ll feel during the evening. We want to be mindful of how we use this time, and whether or not we use it productively. To help you better manage these drives, we discuss how to have a more relaxing commute.
Don’t Get Stressed by Traffic
Many individuals report this to be one of the worst parts of their commute—especially during rush hour. Bumper to bumper traffic and the blaring of horns isn’t exactly the way that most people want to spend their time. However, we must learn how to accept the things we can’t avoid. If you can practice different ways to stay calm despite the traffic, your commute will drastically improve.
Don’t Talk on the Phone
Many people spend the entire workday interacting with people, only to have a family that is waiting to spend time with them at home. These are things to look forward to, but your time alone is still important. Commuting provides you with the opportunity to sit with your own thoughts. Instead of involving yourself in more social interactions on the phone, take this time to focus on you—this can significantly influence your mood.
Listen to What Makes You Happy
There’s nothing quite like your favorite podcast or music to help the day move along—in fact, sometimes it gets so exciting that you don’t want your journey to end. Be it your specially curated playlist or latest podcast binge, putting on what makes you feel good will ultimately improve the outcome of your day.
Swap out your air freshener for one with a calming scent such as lavender, vanilla, or ylang-ylang. Scents greatly impact our mood, so it’s great to choose one that will calm you down when stressful situations occur on the road.
Block Intrusive Thoughts
Time to yourself can be incredibly therapeutic, but it can also be extremely stressful. If you had a bad day at work, the commute allows you to boil with frustration. As such, it’s important to know how to stop any negative thoughts in their tracks. Practice redirecting your thoughts whenever you notice them spiraling into a pool of negativity. Though it can be difficult, it is possible to accomplish this should you persist in your efforts.
Have a Morning Routine
If you’re rushing out of your house every morning, you may spend the ride wondering if you forgot anything, allowing the stress to linger. Establishing a morning routine will help you find relaxation and comfort in a pattern. Do simple things such as laying out your clothes and prepping the coffee maker the night before you leave. An orderly first few minutes of your day will help you have a peaceful drive.