Of all the things that cause stress throughout the day, your daily commute shouldn’t be on the list. In fact, when you think about it, it’s the only time each day we’re free to not do anything.
On average, a US commuter spends about 50 minutes in their car each day, and that means plenty of time for improvement. Stress less and make the most of your drive to work with these five quick tips for a happier commute.
- Consider carpooling
Sharing rides aren’t for everyone, but it’s definitely an option worth considering – especially since it’s better for the environment, too! Car-sharing can reduce stress in terms of “giving up” control and regarding the social interaction that occurs during your ride.
- Learn something new
If you’re more of an introvert (or, at least in the morning), a solo commute might be more your style. In that case, listen to an audiobook or download a podcast. Use that dreaded daily gridlock as an opportunity to tune out the daily stressors and feel inspired.
- Avoid stop-and-go traffic
For most people, nothing is more stressful than that stop-and-go on crowded roads. To make your commute more enjoyable, try taking the more scenic route. A smooth drive is bound to be less stressful even if it is a little longer than your normal route.
- Leave 10 minutes earlier in the morning
If you feel like you’re going to be late, you tend to drive faster and more recklessly. But, if you add that extra time to cushion your drive, you’ll arrive much happier. Some of our biggest stressors are ‘timing’ and ‘urgency.’ You’ll feel better by removing them from your morning routine.
- Be prepared
We’ve all experienced those commutes where even the slightest change in weather has its effect on traffic conditions. With all the hustle and bustle in the morning, it’s easy to forget to check the weather before you leave, and by then it’s already too late. Check the forecast the night before, and stay alert for traffic reports to avoid being blindsided by road conditions or other stressful hold-ups.
Stress less by following these tips for a happier commute and don’t forget to keep your car equipped with the essentials.