Getting married 4 months ago meant moving into a cute little townhouse with my favorite person, but it also meant extending my commute to and from work by 20+ minutes. I know in the scheme of things that 20 extra minutes doesn’t sound like a lot, but it seriously impacts my day. Work is stressful as it is and sometimes adding a long drive home with bumper to bumper traffic can make my mood even worse. I found that I was letting the drive get the best of me and sometimes coming home in a foul mood to my husband.
Nonetheless, these bad moods, moments of road rage and dread for the commute home had to go. I realized that the drive isn’t going to get any shorter and traffic is only going to get worse as our city grows, SO I had to find a way to make the best out of it. If you live in a city like Atlanta or Charlotte, chances are your drive home is even worse than mine… or maybe you live in NYC and have to spend a good amount of time on the subway, either way, this time can be really productive and actually a positive thing. I’ll tell you how with these 5 ways to pass the time on your drive home from work!
1.Use this time as a catharsis
Like I mentioned earlier, work is often really stressful for me. I work as an Account Manager at a marketing agency managing a ton of marketing plans for several clients. It’s a high pressure job that is mentally exhausting. I’ve found that instead of trying to breeze my way through my drive to get home, I can often use this time to release any and all stress and negative emotions. Depending on the day, you can either find me screaming out my negative energy to my favorite rock song (ex: Paramore’s Misery Business) or releasing stress and calming myself with a slow song like Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me. In one of my past posts where I talked all about my morning routine, I stress the impact music can have on your mood – it applies here too, so be sure to fill your commute with songs that are good for your soul.
2. Catch up with your mom or old friends
I have never been good at talking on the phone… honestly sometimes it feels like work. As much as I want to stay connected and know what’s going on in my friends’ lives, there’s usually a ton of other things I’m distracted by or feel like I need to be doing rather than sitting on the couch on the phone. However, when I’m driving home from work, I can’t be working out or blogging or doing any of the other 1000 things I need to get done, so it’s the perfect time to catch up with loved ones. My mom always seems pleasantly surprised when I call her on my way home from work. We catch up about what’s been going on in each other’s lives, talk about work, plans for the weekend, etc. This also works really well for long distance relationships. Phone calls with far away friends often take longer since you feel so absent from each other’s every day lives, so this is the perfect time to do it and give them your undivided attention. A lot of times I’ll be surprised at how quickly I seem to get home and how my conversations tend to end just in time for me to pull in the driveway.
So, y’all might think this one is a little weird, but I promise if you’re spiritual at all, it works really well. First and foremost, DON’T close your eyes, please! I don’t want you to get in a wreck. I know praying is a really important part of every day, but sometimes I’m so tired that I forget to pray at night, so I try to make a habit sometimes to pray on my drive home. I’ll soak up the sunshine, turn the music all the way down and just talk out loud. It’s just like having a conversation with someone in the car, except I’m praying to God. I’ll pray about everything I’m thankful for, everything I need help with and even ask for a little forgiveness. You’d be surprised how much this does for your spiritual connection, but also how much it positively affects your mood.
4. Make a list
Again, this probably isn’t the best time to pull out a piece of paper and pen and start making a list… although those are my favorite lists to make, but your phone can be a really great tool here. You can literally say to Siri, “Siri, make a note”and she, or he in my case, (I’ve programmed my Siri to be a man…and to call me “baby girl”, but that’s really not important here lol) will respond by saying “ok, I can take that note for you…just tell me what you want it to say”. Then you can rattle off anything you want to make a note of before arriving home. I’ll often create a grocery list, keep track of blog post ideas or get Siri to create a list of the things I want to accomplish once I get home. It’s a really a good way to stay organized and definitely makes you feel like the drive home is a productive use of time.
5. Listen to audio books
Do you find that you love reading and never seem to have time to do it? Or maybe you love a good story, but find reading to be tiring. Well in either case, you’re lucky that on your way home you can listen to an audio book. It sounds silly and like what 40 year old moms do, BUT it’s actually pretty cool. It’s always the worst when I’m reading a good book and then have to leave for work and feel like I’m left hanging, wondering what happens next. Well now, I can just listen to the book in the car. It makes the drive to and from work all the more interesting and passes the time way more quickly. Plus, you learn something when you read (or listen to a book) so there’s really no downside to it.
So, if you find your commute home from work to be cumbersome, I challenge you to try a few of these techniques. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly the drive will go, how productive that time can be and how much it can improve your mood. Let me know how it goes! 🙂
C’est la vie,