If only we could all walk to work. What a dream. Telecommuting has taken some of us off the roads, but actual commuters are still fighting for highway space… and hating it every single day, twice a day. Physically, bodies tighten up. Mental stress means emotions flare, and relationships can ultimately suffer. It’s not a subject I ever intended writing about because, truth be known, I hate to drive and would move to the ends of the earth not to.
But there is hope. Small adjustments to this time can make it less hazardous to your health. Periodically flexing and stretching the muscles of your neck, shoulders, legs and back will make a big difference in the physical effects of sitting behind the wheel. Listening to Mozart is extremely relaxing. I’m not big on classical music but have experimented, and it works. Leaving the house a little earlier will ease time pressure so that highway surprises won’t make you crazy. But if you don’t want to set the alarm any earlier in the morning, this means deciding on clothes, making lunches, and setting up the coffeepot the night before. According to Aromatherapists, hanging a fragrance in the car, like lavender, will help you stay relaxed. The trick is to feel calm BEFORE getting into the car. That’s key to rebuffing any highway aggravations.
These are all physical things to experiment with, but the thing that will make the most difference is altering our mindset toward commuting. Especially mine. Changing the way you look at something is such a mental challenge, but worth it because it changes everything else. What if your expectations of that drive changed? What if, instead of an inconvenient step to getting someplace else, you could see it as an actual event in itself? Then, instead of getting stressed out everyday, you could actually sit down and plan what you WANT to do. I’m imaging that a person could even start appreciating and valuing that transition time between home and office. Less stress might open their mind up so they can maybe solve a problem that’s been weighing on them or make a decision they’ve been wrestling with. Maybe even get some great, new idea that’ll make their life easier.
Just another recipe for lemonade when you’re stuck with a got a car full of lemons.
Do you have any hints for making this time better? What is the most aggravating thing about commuting for you? How is it affecting your life?