Nearly two thirds of working-aged adults in the US (18-64 year olds) commute to work daily—and that’s not counting all of the students commuting to school. For most of us, commuting is something to get through—a cross to bear. But what if it could be different? What if you could actually enjoy your commute? Or, at the very least, not dread it. If the proposition sounds kind of crazy, we don’t blame you, but Quoted is here to help you realize the dream.
Mix up the monotony
There’s a lot to be said for routine, especially in the morning. Getting up and out the door, fighting traffic, weather, and public or private transportation can really take it out of you, and having predictable comforts and benchmarks can help lessen the strain. Maybe you queue up your favorite podcast each morning, or you like to bring your coffee from home and sip it while you go. But we at Quoted hereby give you permission to try something new, something out of the ordinary—something to truly shake things up during an otherwise un-shakable chore. If you usually listen to NPR’s Fresh Air podcast, consider giving the DJs at your local station a chance—sure, the victims of their prank calls might really be voice actors, but it’s still some good old-fashioned entertainment. Or maybe, instead of bringing your coffee from home, occasionally treat yourself to the coffee shop by work (and maybe pick up a chocolate croissant, too). A little something to look forward to once in a while might help you shake out the cobwebs.
Pick up a new car accessory for some fun:
If you’re spending so much of your time in your car, you might as well make that time more comfortable, right? A few ideas of how to do so:
Try a new radio routine:
One of the easiest and most fun ways to shake things up and really enjoy your commute is to update your listening material. Quoted’s suggestions:
Podcasts that keep us up-to-date on the news, as well as major cultural happenings:
For some cocktail-party banter, given to you in podcast form:
- Reading Lives
- The New York Times Book Review
- Dinner Party Download
- And the ultimate: 99% Invisible
And for some fun:
Ways to Keep Cool
For those of you who’ve had it up to here with driving, and tend towards road rage, read this and then take some deep breaths. If you are like most of us and once in a while get fed up with the traffic, other drivers, or road construction delays, here are some ideas for changing your mindset and keeping yourself grounded.
- Try the Quieting Reflex, developed by Charles F. Stroebel, MD: it only takes six seconds. Whenever you become tense, smile inwardly—the release of endorphins will calm you, and say “Alert mind,” as you inhale and “Calm body” as you exhale—to center your thoughts.
- Consider Mozart: listening has been shown to lower blood pressure and have a calming effect (particularly on drivers).
- Bring the focus back to yourself: plan your day, spend time working out a difficult problem you face at work, or even make a (mental!) list of birthday presents to pick up for loved ones–anything to take your mind off the strain and put it back where it matters, with yourself.
Another think-outside-the-box idea we’ve discussed before: find a companion to share the ride, or better yet, to share the driving, too. Carpooling isn’t just for kids and sports practice–with new apps and a culture that’s becoming more and more used to ride sharing in general, the door has never been wider for saying sayonara to the solo car ride.
We’d love to hear from you: what makes your commute bearable? How do you perk up your trip when you realize you’re in a commuting rut? What kinds of car gadgets do you love, and what are your favorite things to listen to?