I feel you. My commute is probably in the middle range, with some people commuting way more than me and some people way less. My drive time, now that summer is over, is about one hour. But it is only to go 10 miles...does anyone else think that that is crazy? But however log your commute is, I have some good advice on how to make it more enjoyable. Here are my tips.
Listen to Audiobooks and/or Podcasts
This is definitely one of my top recommendations. No matter how old we are, we can always benefit from learning new things. Find something you're interested in and subscribe to podcasts about it. There are so many encouraging and uplifting ones out there to start your day off right. I use the Downcast app because you can download on Wi-Fi and then it won't use data while you're playing it in your car. Or, invest in some good audiobooks for books that you have on your list to read but have never gotten around to. It will surprise you how quickly you can read books when you listen to them!
I am re-using this one from my previous post, "How to stay healthy in a desk career." I have heard from older folks to really pay attention to your dental health; that dental problems are no fun. So for those of us that find it hard to discipline ourselves to floss our teeth every day, this is a perfect solution. What better time than when you are trapped in your car to use a handheld flosser to get it over with. I keep a bag of those disposable ones in my console so I can see it, and I carefully floss while I sit in stop and go traffic. Now if your drive includes faster traffic and more turns that require driving skill, please do it while stopped at a stoplight.
Listen to Music
Listening to music releases dopamine in our brain, making us happy. Also, it is said to cultivate creativity. So indulge in some of your favorite music, just be careful to not get too into the music that you're not paying complete attention to the road.
Pray for Family, Friends, and Co-workers
"With God's help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes." – Psalm 60:12
There is power in prayer. Praying about my own difficulties and the needs of others is a part of my mornings and my everyday moving through life. Invite God to be Lord of your life and commune with him in prayer. He cares about you and wants a relationship with you. We can't do it on our own and that's why God sent Jesus to atone for our sins. Trust in Jesus to forgive your sins and live life free from that huge burden. Choose every day to repent and come to God in prayer. Through knowing your creator better, you will become the best you that you were created to be. Also, as you pray for others, this outward focus will help you to be a better friend and just a happier person. I have learned the hard way the truth that constant inward focus leads to depression. It is when looking to others, praying for and physically meeting their needs that you find the greatest joy.
Drink some healthy fluids
Sipping on any of these suggestions while driving can kickstart your day because even the slightest dehydration can make you tired. Made another step towards health, check!
• Warm Lemon water + splash of apple cider vinegar – aids digestion, boosts your immune system, good for your skin
• Kombucha – contains probiotics which nurture your digestive system
• Coffee – Improves energy levels, increases metabolic rate. Just make sure it's not laden with too much creamer and sugar. It can act as a diuretic, so make sure to drink more water than coffee.
• Green tea – excellent source of powerful antioxidants
• Green smoothies – This can be a few servings of veggies that you wouldn't otherwise get in the morning. It is also a great source of fiber.
This is for those of you that have blogging or other creative ventures as a part of your job description. Brainstorming through ideas, like I did this morning to come up with the idea for this blog, can be a productive time. The quiet in your car may be something that in other places of your life is hard to find. So take advantage of the blank canvas that is silence, and let your mind go to new and innovative places.
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