Long commute got you down? Try these 6 tips and see if your mood improves

When the world thinks about cars, a reflex action is to think about the great state of Michigan.

Being the automotive capital of the world, our state uses public transportation far less than it does individual motorists.  The city of Pontiac alone maintains both the most motorists driving solo during their daily commute and the lowest amount of people taking public transportation to work in the entire nation. Unfortunately these stats, coupled with Michigan weather conditions and highly congested traffic, result in commuter burnout and overloads in anxiety, stress and physical discomfort.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to fight an unpleasant commute. Whether it’s giving yourself a physical boost on your ride to work or just changing up the routine, several options are out there to make even the longest daily drive feel shorter and more enjoyable. Here are some ideas to try out the next time you hit the road:

  • Start the day off right: As simple as it sounds, getting a good night’s sleep and starting your day with a cup of coffee or tea are important factors in a morning commute. Regulate these patterns to make your trip to work feel less tiring and more manageable.  
  • Go your own way: …within reason.  Use a GPS app or device two days a week to find alternate routes that break up monotonous drives and sometimes provide a more scenic view. Most GPS services also offer traffic monitoring to help you avoid accidents or highly congested routes.
  • Break the “sound barrier”: Rather than just traditional talk radio or music programs, try broadening your listening horizons. Comedy podcasts, audio books and motivational playlists all break the norm of a typical commute.  
  • Car Yoga: Different breathing and arm techniques can help relax you as you drive and prepare you for whatever day lies ahead. Check out this routine to de-stress as you head to work.
  • Treat yourself to something small: Putting a couple bite-size dark chocolates or snack bags of roasted edamame in your car’s armrest can provide a great pick-me-up mid-commute. Other nonperishables like granola bars and dried fruit are also supplemental boosters that keep energy up during a long drive.
  • Practice proper posture: Though sitting up properly is important, the best way to sit in the driver’s seat is upright but leaning back a little. Propping a rolled towel between the small of the back and the seat can also help take pressure off of lower lumbar regions.

Photo Credit: Johnny Ainsworth

Taylar Kobylas

About Taylar Kobylas

Motivation from those surrounding me and positive vibes keep me happy and healthy. I’m passionate about traveling, laughter, locally sourced food and goods, and the great state of Michigan.
 
 

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