Commute Sucks? Here's How to Make it Suck Less
Picture this: you're in your car, with the sun beating down the side of your face. Your go-to radio station is on, and they're playing an advertisement you've already heard a hundred times that day. Yes, Jack in the Box, I know you have this super awesome happy feel-good time taco deal going on, but Taco Bell already has my heart.
You sink further into your seat, your foot madly rotating from the accelerator to the break every five seconds. You make a solemn wish to be anywhere but here.
As a resident of Los Angeles, I have a long commute no matter which way you slice it or dice it. It's a city known as much for its traffic as it's known for its Jack Sparrow impersonators on Hollywood Blvd. Drive to work, and I'm lucky to get there in under an hour. Public transportation? A guaranteed hour each way no matter what, plus plenty of catcalling along the way for good measure. Ya know, it's one of those, "choose your shit sandwich" situations either way.
Does anyone else relate to this reality? If so, here are some ideas on how to make a crappy commute a little less crappy.
I promise I don’t mean this in an “Oh my God I just love all of this traffic and I'm SO grateful that guy driving the white Prius was born, otherwise I would have never experienced the joy of being cut off by him” way. Just take a few moments to reflect on what you’re thankful for. At the very least, it'll shift you towards more pleasant thoughts.
Talk to yourself.
Hear me out. Ruminating about the high points and low points of the day - out loud - often provides me with more insights than if I were to let my mind spin in circles. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.
Take some time from your commute to focus solely on mindful breathing. This can work wonders for reducing anxiety - I don’t know if there’s any witchcraft to this particular way, but I like inhaling for three seconds, holding for one second, and exhaling for three seconds. This practice is also good because it prevents me from hyperventilating or passing out at the wheel. #sexy
”Commute dates” with long distance friends and family.
What better way to make good use of this time than to catch up with those you don't see often? We often get so wrapped up in our busy routines that we drift apart from those who live far away. Let’s solve that and make our commute less crappy while we’re at it. Make sure you schedule in advance so you don't get the dreaded, “straight to voicemail.”
Not just any podcast. Find the podcasts that make you laugh. The podcasts that light up your LIFE with joy and inspiration. Need some ideas? Here are a few of my favorites: By the Book, The Marie Forleo Podcast, The School of Greatness.
Learn a skill.
Most people suggest learning a language on your commute - but don’t stop there. Countless skills can be learned on the go by listening to audio books, online courses, podcasts, and Youtube videos. If your commute is an hour round-trip (lucky you, by the way!), that’s an hour of learning each day.
Do you spend a lot of time commuting to work? How do you make it suck less? Help a girl out by spilling your ideas in the comments below.