Sometimes a long commute is inevitable. You may be stuck in your car, driving the same route over and over, but that doesn’t mean your commute has to be a drag. Here are some simple ways to make your drive to and from work a pleasure.
Get an Electric Vehicle
The worst things about a long, hectic commute are the boredom, the feeling that you are wasting time, and the expense of fuel and maintenance. At first glance, you may not see an electric car as a solution to these problems, but look again.
Electric cars are quiet. In fact, they run almost silently. That means you can more comfortably listen to whatever interests you during the commute. If you are doing something you enjoy or feel has value during the drive, you are less likely to feel like your drive time is a waste of time.
In terms of fuel and repairs, electric vehicles have a proven record of saving a ton of money. The cost of charging the battery is typically a fraction of the cost of traditional fuel. With electric cars becoming increasingly popular, it’s becoming easier and easier to find a Tesla charger for home and on the go. Also, because electric cars have so few moving parts, there is much less wear and tear as you drive, which means much lower maintenance and repair costs.
Keep Your Car in Good Repair
A malfunctioning car is a major stressor. Wondering if you will make it to work is a headache you don’t need. Being unexpectedly delayed because of a breakdown can be a nightmare. Take one stress of commuting off your mind by keeping up with car maintenance. Regular oil changes and check ins with your mechanic will ensure that being able to physically get from home to work and back again is not a worry.
Learn As You Go
Just because there are limited things you can do and accomplish while sitting in a car, that doesn’t mean time in a car has to be wasted time. Shift your thinking. Instead of thinking that commutes are drudgery, think of that period of time as a treat for your own quiet pleasure.
Find a podcast or audiobook to listen to. Practice a foreign language. Reflect on the things you are grateful for. Work on developing new skills or habits. We are lucky to live in a time when there is an app for just about everything. If you want to hear it on your drive, there is an app for that.
Stow Your Phone
Besides having an app running on your phone, you shouldn’t have any contact with your phone while driving. This should go without saying, but distracted driving is still a major cause of accidents on the road. Give yourself the gift of a drive with less stress and more safety. Get set up with what you want to listen to for your ride to work and then put your phone away.
Many of us sit in the car during our commutes and then sit at our desks for most of the work day. That’s a lot of sitting. If you sit and type for work, it may be difficult to move around enough, which leaves you feeling stiff and sore. Although you need to be very mindful of safety on the road, your drive may offer you an opportunity to loosen up your muscles and get your blood flowing.
Try these simple car stretches the next time you find yourself cruising along or are stopped at a traffic light. Alternate clenching your fist as tightly as you can and then spreading your fingers as wide as they will go. Flex your wrist as far forward and backward as you can, slowly. Roll one shoulder at a time backwards ten times and then forward ten times.
You can stretch most of your body from the waist up, so long as you go slowly. These stretches are more about holding a position and not about being athletic.
Catch Up on Non-Work Phone Calls
If you mentally categorize your commute as part of your work time, as many people do, you have the opportunity to give yourself a bonus. If your boss told you that your company was going to pay you to spend an hour a day catching up with your friends and loved ones, you’d be pretty happy.
When you are in your own car, you are your own boss. That means you can give yourself that exact gift. Instead of trying to work on your commute, which can increase your stress and distraction while driving, consider taking that time to connect with the people you don’t see often enough. Talking to the people who make you happy is a perfect way to bookend your workday.