There is nothing quite like getting into your car at the end of a busy day, with no rush, taking a deep breath, and hitting play on your favorite playlist. It’s even better if it’s a beautiful day where you can have your sunglasses on and windows down! You deserve that feeling everyday when you get into your driver's seat!
Making your time in your vehicle work for YOU can be a great way to set yourself up for enjoying your commute whether it is long or short. I will be sharing 3 ideas to get you started!
1. Be Purposeful About Enjoying Your Drive
These days it seems we all have packed schedules where we are going from one meeting, appointment, activity, etc. to the next. With our days being busier than ever, the time we spend driving has the opportunity to make a positive impact on us.
If we choose to let go of the need to get everywhere as fast as possible and our frustrations with other drivers, our time in the car can help us truly decompress and get to our destination feeling refreshed rather than even more burnt out.
It’s not just changing our mindset that will help us make this adjustment. It is also making a habit of giving ourselves extra time to get to our destination. I have been guilty of having a bad habit of trying to time out how long it will take me to get to my destination and leaving with just enough time to get there when I want. This often leaves me in a rush which adds stress instead of reducing it.
Whenever I give myself extra time to get to my destination, I notice it is much easier to feel relaxed during my drive. It also helps me be less irritated with other drivers on the road. You know the kind, the ones that don't use blinkers while they cut you off or the ones that drive slowly in the left lane (I better stop there before we all get irritated lol). Plus, reducing any added stress on yourself improves your mood, making you happier going into whatever your day holds next!
2. Listen To Something You Love
When I am driving, I typically rotate between my favorite playlist for the day, a podcast I love or an audiobook. Some people even like to take their commute time to learn new skills or languages.
Whether you like 80’s hits, classic rock, country, hip hop, or bluegrass, having your favorite music playing on your way into the office or on your way home can be one of the best ways to enjoy your drive. Take some time to make a playlist with your favorite songs. Or even make multiple playlists you can choose from depending on what suits you best that day.
Another great option would be finding podcasts or audiobooks that you enjoy. There are so many podcasts out there that cover virtually any topic, you’re bound to find one that sparks your interest. The same goes for audiobooks, too! There are some great apps out there where you can find audiobooks, such as Google Play Books, Apple Books, Audible, or even your local library. These days library’s have phone apps that include free audiobooks to listen to!
What’s important is choosing something that you like and that helps you to decompress. The options are endless!
3. Make Your Vehicle Work For You
Finding ways to customize your vehicle to fit your needs is also a great way to enjoy your time driving. Below is a list of 7 items to enhance your time in your vehicle.
This one is an essential for me. Sometimes I only have a short drive before I get to my next destination, so being able to charge my device quickly can be a life saver.
2. Phone Mount:
If you often use the GPS on your phone, having a mount for it is very helpful. It keeps it out of your hands, in sight, and out of risk from accidentally falling with sudden braking or turning. This helps to make sure you are driving safely, while still being able to see where your next turn is!
3. Car Garbage:
Keeping your vehicle clean can be another great way to improve your enjoyment during your commute to and from work. Having a specific spot to put your garbage can be a big help in maintaining your vehicle’s cleanliness. If you have children in your vehicle, it is also a great way for them to help keep the vehicle clean!
4. Car Alexa:
Do you have a vehicle that doesn’t have a bluetooth connection, like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? Try using Amazon's car version of Alexa, the Echo Auto! This is a great hands-free solution for vehicles that may be older or simply don’t have a hands-free feature. You can mount it using a sticker attachment or simply use a vent mount. Echo Auto goes beyond music and phone calls - it provides all of the classic Alexa features that you know and love!
5. Car Lights:
Looking to add some fun to your vehicle? These lights are a great option to spice up your interior and make your car ride feel like a party! They can change colors with the click of a button and automatically turn off and on with your vehicle. Just remember to always drive responsibly!
6. Dip Clip:
Whoever came up with this is seriously a genius. Have you ever been in a rush and had to eat quickly while you drive? It’s always a struggle when you want to dip your food, but have to try and balance the dip container on your lap or put it deep in the cupholder. Why not make your car snacking easier and cleaner? Simply attach the clip to your vent and stick your dip container inside and voila - easy dipping!
Looking to really bump up your relaxation after a long day at work? You should try this seat massager that plugs into your cigarette lighter! There are even variations that double as a seat warmer for those cold days (all you Minnesotans & Wisconsinites know what I’m talking about). Who knew this was a thing? If your favorite music doesn’t work, maybe this is worth a try!
Ultimately we all have enough stress in our days between performing at work, being present for our family and friends, getting proper exercise and nutrition, making sure we have enough sleep, oh and drinking enough water in a day. Why not take those moments we have alone in our vehicles to decompress from life and use it as an opportunity to actually help ourselves?
I will start being more purposeful to give myself some extra time to get to my destinations. What will you do?
- Julia M.