I’m back at work and that means back to a long commute.
The roads are relatively calm and will be for the next couple of weeks. School goes back in Australia at the end of January. Trades go back on the tools around that time too.
I’ve come to love my holiday season commute, but the reverie comes to a screeching halt all too soon. Where we live isn’t serviced that well with public transport and my job is half way across the city, so I have to drive.
Commuting used to frustrate me a lot more than it does now. I’ve worked on tweaking a few things about how I drive to make things a bit more zen in traffic and I thought I’d share them with you.
Ten tips for a calmer commute
- Drive barefoot or just in socks (unless it’s illegal where you are, try minimalist or barefoot type shoes). Kicking off my shoes always feels freer & makes me relax instantly. You can feel the pedals so your proprioception is improved as your feet are not stuck in rigid shoes. I managed to fix my plantar fasciitis by driving barefoot.
- Ring a friend or loved one before you get on the road. Just a short call to tell them the main stresses of your day. Finish the call on a good note; tell them what you are grateful for as well. It’s not a lengthy whinge-fest, just an opportunity to shift what I might tend to end up ruminating over in an unhealthy way.
- Go for a walk around the block. If you have been sitting at a desk all day or standing a lot you will likely be a bit stiff and a long drive is going to further add to that. I like to get the blood flowing for a few minutes before setting off.
- Stop at the half way mark. When traffic is super bad due to weather or an accident I get out and run a couple of errands, do a bit of grocery shopping or drop in to see a friend. Usually things have cleared up by the time I get back on the road and I feel nourished by a good chat or productive because I did a couple of chores.
- Cleanse the car…no, not give it a wash…I mean clear any negative energies from yourself and the car before you drive off. I keep Rescue Remedy for me and a Space Clearing mist for the car in my bag. Ok, so not all of you will up for that but I highly recommend it.
- Try different commuting times. I’m lucky enough to have flexible hours which meant I could try getting on the road at different times to see how that affected my commute times. I now know what the sweet spot is for both morning & evening.
- Hang back a bit. Yes, that’s right…don’t tailgate! It just revs you up along with other drivers. It accentuates how long it feels like I’ve been on the road and I get home in a far from relaxed state. Not to mention it’s just rude…we share the road right!
- Create a ‘happy drive’ mix. Back in the day that would have been a mixed tape…now you might prefer a cd, usb or your iTunes library. Whatever the delivery method have a few songs that without fail change your mood from stormy to smiling.
- Try a different route. Going the same way everyday can further accentuate how long your commute really is. I found I would get frustrated if I noticed it took 10 minutes longer than it usually did to get to the half way mark. Mixing it up a bit and trying different ways to get to your destination adds new things to look at. I try to find more scenic routes when I can.
- Get an education. I LOVE podcasts. I don’t regret the 12 hours a week I’m in the car anymore, since I swapped to learning in the car.
What tips & tricks can you share for ensuring a calmer commute?
From my heart to yours,