Unless you're fortunate enough to work at home or live next door to your office, there's nothing you can do to avoid the daily commute (no, sleeping in your office doesn't work!). For those who experience heavy traffic, the commute to and from work is a nightmare, something to dread every morning and evening.
But do you really have to hate your commute? Why not find a way to make your commute just a little bit less stressful? Here are a few tips to help you out:
- Unplug -- This may be easier said than done, but it's worth the effort! While you're sitting in your car on the way home or to the office, make it a point to ignore the annoying buzzes of text messages, Facebook alerts, or Tweets. Disconnect from all outside communication (unless you are waiting for something important), but focus on the here and now. Listen to music, enjoy a light snack, or practice car meditations. Be in the present, and keep all outside distractions until you get home or to the office.
- Listen to audio books -- Story time! What could be more awesome than listening to an epic fantasy, twisted crime novel, or action thriller while sitting in Los Angeles traffic? Audio books will give you something to focus on as you sit and drive, taking your mind off the traffic around you. Not only is it awesome entertainment, but it's great for your brain! You can even listen to self-help or motivational books, promoting education and self-improvement while fighting the stress of traffic.
- Leave earlier -- Who says you have to sit in L.A. traffic every day? Rush hour occurs between 7 and 9 AM and 5 to 7 PM, so those are the times you'll want to avoid driving. However, why not leave for work a little earlier? If you're out of the house by 6 AM, you can usually beat the traffic. Do the same at the end of the day (leave around 4 PM), and you'll get home before the traffic gets crazy. If your boss is okay with you shifting your schedule slightly, it will save you a lot of wasted time and stress!
- Aromatherapy -- Aromatherapy has been proven to help you relax, so why not try experimenting with soothing scents? You can use air fresheners to flood your car with the relaxing smells of peppermint, jasmine, lavender, and lilies. If you want something stronger, you can purchase an essential oil diffuser designed specifically for car aromatherapy.
No one says you have to hate your commute! Find ways to chill out, relax, and enjoy the drive, and you'll find that the time spent in your vehicle to and from work can be some of your favorite times of the day.