Stress can seep into your daily commute and put a damper on the rest of your day. After all, gridlock or busy trains and buses will only increase stress and fray your patience. But you can brighten your day by taking little steps to liven up your daily commute.
Before You Begin the Morning Commute:
- Get a good night sleep. If you’re tired in the morning, you’ll be tired and fidgety on the ride over. Get enough rest so you feel refreshed.
- Wake up with a smile. Your attitude from the moment you wake up will determine how you handle the rest of your day. You can choose to wake up with a smile or choose to dread the day ahead.
- Have a healthy breakfast. A healthy start to the day will give you the energy you need to make clearer decisions and accomplish more. It doesn’t have to be a big breakfast, but you must give your body the fuel it needs.
During the Commute:
- Spice up your routine. Try a new route or make a stop at a bakery for some fresh bread. Doing something different just might be that spark you need to get out of your dreary and stressful routine.
- Sprinkle some silence into your day. Your day is noisy as it is with all the phones, bells, beeps, voices, and advertisements bombarding you. Listen to the little things you tend to ignore – like your own thoughts. You just might be surprised with what you hear.
- Skip the depressing news radio. If you’re a news junkie, listen to one news segment then switch stations or listen to some soothing music. Depressing news will only bring you down.
- Look forward to something special. Give yourself a prize to work towards throughout the day. Maybe it’s a romantic dinner in the evening, or a movie night with friends, whatever it is, get excited and skip the stress.
- Listen to audiobooks or podcasts. You may not be able to read while driving, but someone can read to you. Download some audiobooks or podcasts so you can learn something new and relax. Take a look at the iTunes Store for some free content.
- Listen to music that elevates your mood. If music reflects your mood, then listen to uplifting music on your journey. Don’t get sucked into listening to depressing music to reinforce your feelings.
- Brighten your face. Smile a little more or simply lift your eyebrows a smidgen. It’ll brighten up your face.
- Do something productive. The poor lighting and somber mood of the bus or train may not be ideal, but I’m sure you can make the best of it. Exercise your brain by doing a Sudoku puzzle or reading a book.
On the Ride Home:
- Focus on the positive. Remember how you were looking forward to something special? Focus on that. It’ll get your mind off of your long and grueling day and onto something that excites you.
- Quit rushing. Everyone around you may be in a rush, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be. Use your time to think, strategize, or reflect on your day. Self-reflection is a great stress management tool that allows you to re-focus your mind and re-channel negative energy into a motivator for the future.