Modern day life has made commuting a necessary evil. At least that’s how most people view it – something that they’d gladly give up, but it’s impossible to avoid. Unless you’re one of those lucky persons who work from home or live in walking distance from their job, you know that commuting can make your life miserable.
Various studies have shown that a long daily commute has a negative impact on peoples’ well-being. Researchers found a clear connection between longer commutes and reduced job satisfaction. Individuals who spend more time in traffic are more likely to feel unmotivated or depressed.
Most of the times it’s not even the drive to and from work that is so difficult to bear, but the many unexpected situations that you often have to face during your daily trips. An accident down the road, delays in public transportation, bad weather or traffic jams can make your morning turn into a real-life adventure. After all the struggle, you have to gather what’s left of your energy and be productive only to do it all again in the evening when you have to get back home, and the cycle repeats every day.
When commuting becomes such a dreaded venture, it’s time to do something about it. Assuming that winning the lottery and quitting your job is not an option, there are a few more realistic measures that you can take to make your life easier:
How about making your morning commute more fun and environmentally friendly? Instead of driving your own car to work you could carpool with cowokers and share with them the good and the bad of commuting. It’s a great opportunity to socialize more, split the costs and the stress of driving to work. Being surrounded by people who understand you and share the same woes will make the burden feel less heavy. Besides, making fun of an unpleasant situation is a sure way to overcome the negative feelings associated with it. Of course, if you’d rather hide under a rock than socialize in the mornings, you can stick to your daily routine.
Book a parking spot
The last thing you’ll want to deal with after a long and tiring commute is not having where to park your car. If it’s hard to find a parking space at your workplace, there’s a simple and easy fix to it: booking a monthly parking spot. This is extremely useful especially in busy cities where finding an available parking spot can be difficult. If you’re commuting to Seattle for example, booking a parking lot can be a life savior. Monthly parking in South Lake Union or in any other busy location in the city can save you a lot of time and stress. Since commuting comes with its fair share of uncertainty, having a regular parking spot means you’ll have one less thing to worry about before starting your workday.
Find alternative routes
Some people like routines in every aspect of their lives. It makes them feel safe and in control and it helps them relax. But sometimes doing the same thing all over again, day after day, can have the exact opposite effect. Commuting is one of those activities that tend to become tedious in time. It’s not something you do out of pleasure, so it’s understandable that taking the same road every day gets tiring. You can find alternative routes for your daily commute as an effective method to fight boredom and anxiety. It’s a good idea to take a more picturesque route, even if it’s longer. If it makes you enjoy your commute, then it’s all worth it. In addition to being a great way to avoid monotony, it’s also very practical to have a different route as a plan B, if for some reason the usual road is unavailable.
Keep yourself entertained
There’s not much you can do when you’re stuck in traffic, but getting angry and thinking about all the things you could be doing instead of sitting in your car, won’t help you either. To make the time you spend on the road more enjoyable, you can find ways to keep yourself entertained and block those negative thoughts. Of course, you can’t watch Netflix and chill, but you could listen to some great podcasts and learn something useful. There are countless options to choose from, so you’ll definitely find something interesting enough to keep your mind busy and make you feel like you’re not wasting your time.
Stay in the know
It’s easier to deal with things when you’re not taken by surprise. It’s obvious that you can’t foresee everything by looking into a crystal ball, but keeping yourself up-to-date can help you avoid unpleasant situations. For example, you can’t control the weather, but you can watch the weather report daily and know what to expect before you leave the house. Listening to local radio reports and checking traffic updates is a good way to find out about delays or events that might affect your trip. Maybe you won’t be able to avoid every problem, but it’s better to be informed about possible issues and prepare yourself mentally than finding out at the last minute.
Let’s go back to the worst-case scenario when you’re blocked in traffic at rush hour. Keeping yourself entertained by listening to music or a podcast can help to some extent. But if your empty stomach starts demanding its rights and all you can think of is a nice dinner in a cozy restaurant, it’s going to be very hard to keep a positive mindset. Since you can’t just ignore biological needs, but you can’t leave your car in the middle of the road to grab a snack either, the only middle ground is to come prepared. Healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables or even nuts will be enough to solve the issue temporarily and keep you going until you can finally have a proper meal.