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7 Ways to Make a Commute Enjoyable

 

Commuting to and from work five days a week—and occasionally sometimes more—is a reality all too many people have to suffer through. While sitting in endless miles of traffic is not all that pleasant, it can be even worse if you do not have the right tools to make it somewhat enjoyable.

Because commuting can increase a person’s stress levels, it is important to attempt to make the commute more relaxing. By reframing the way you commute, your ride to and from work might end being the most enjoyable part of your day.

Here are 7 ways to make the work commute more enjoyable:

1. Be Prepared

Even if you know that there is a probable chance the roads will be congested on your commute, it is natural to hope that this time the commute will be free and clear of brake lights. However, it is important to prepare yourself for the traffic, as it can help you refrain from growing frustrated with the road congestion. As simple as it might seem, mentally preparing yourself for what’s to come can actually help you be more flexible about the situation.

2. Carpool

For some, the commute is difficult because they would rather not be driving. If possible, look to commute with a coworker, as not only will the drive time pass by more quickly with someone to talk to, you can trade off driving shifts. On your off days, you can sit back and relax as a passenger while they worry about the start-and-stop traffic. Plus, you will be able to cut the cost you spend on gas in half, as you both can split fuel costs. If fuel costs are still too much, consider looking for a different car, such as a Jeep or Dodge, which are both safe and fuel-efficient.

3. Activities

Because sitting in traffic can feel like a complete waste of time, bring activities with you to help pass the time. For instance, if you love to read but rarely have the time, look to invest in books on tape. You can finally get to your list of books to read while sitting in your commute.

Or, consider using the time to call a friend or family member who you want to catch up with. Chatting with someone can be a great way to pass the time.

4. Stress Ball

For many, having a stress ball in the car can help ease the frustration and stress of a long commute. The tensing and relaxing that happens while you squeeze a stress ball can help release the stress in your body, helping you to relax and feel more at peace.

5. Music

Load your car up with CDs and fill your phone or iPod with digital music. Relying on radio stations to provide you with the music you want to hear is pretty fruitless, as many stations use rush hour as the perfect opportunity to advertise, meaning you hear more talking and less music. Loading up your phone or iPod with your favorite songs can help you enjoy the commute better, as music can be extremely relaxing.

However, heavy metal music can actually increase stress levels, as studies have shown that hard, intense music can make people more anxious and angry. Look to listen to upbeat music, relaxing songs, or even classical music. Additionally, keep CDs in the car in case your phone runs out of battery. That way you won’t be forced to listen to the radio.

6. Think

Use the time you have in the car to think and focus about certain situations. Instead of worrying about how late you are going to arrive home or focusing on how terrible the traffic is, be more mindful. Sitting in the car is a great time to think about other things you have not had the chance to consider fully. It is a prefect time to get lost in your thoughts.

7. Unplug

For many, work does not always feel like it ended when the day is over. Having to field work calls during your commute can add to the stress of driving in traffic, thus try to unplug when you are driving. The calls will still be there when you get home or when you get to the office the next morning, so relax on the commute.

These tips can help make the trip to and from work a bit more enjoyable.

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