Commuting to and from work can be an exhausting task. There was a time I would ride the bus to and from work, however, I now live in a place where it’s more convenient to drive. My commute Monday through Friday ranges from 45 minutes to 2 hours, one way. Before making changes to my routine, there were many days I didn’t feel like getting out of my vehicle upon arriving to my destination because of feeling so exhausted.

Sitting in a car for an extended period of time five days or more a week may seem like a waste, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve found that long commutes can allow for much-needed “me” time. This is also when I come up with many great ideas.

My goal is to make the twice-a-day, 20-mile haul as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Below are tips I use to take the pain out of my daily drive. After implementing these practices, my commute is more like therapy and much less burdensome.

Keep Your Sanity

1. Leave home early. I struggle with this one sometimes, but on the days I am able to leave early, mornings are so much better! Many times we get angry with others on the road for driving the actual speed limit when we are the ones at fault for not planning ahead.
2. Listen to an audio book or inspirational recording, such as the Bible or a podcast.
3. Use a hands-free device to speak to distant loved ones. I don’t recommend using this time to talk to someone who raises your blood pressure or causes anxiety.
4. Listen to a tutorial.
5. Create a music playlist and let it play! Singing along is encouraged.
6. Find someone to carpool with. I don’t do this one because again, I need “me” time. However, for some, other people’s company makes their drive better.
7. Ride in silence and reflect. Being around others doesn’t always allow for quietness so when I need a mental break, this is perfect.

The key is to focus on what gives you calmness while staying alert. Making these simple modifications can better your commuting experience tremendously.