Decompress on your commute: how to use your travel time to transition from work to home

traffic jams in the city, road, rush hour

While some of us are lucky enough to enjoy a quick commute to work or are able to get creative by biking or walking, the rest of us can start to dread a long drive at the end of a hectic workday. Instead of relaxing come 5 p.m., we’re embarking on a stressful journey that leaves us emotionally drained and physically fatigued by the time we walk in the front door.

Whether your commute is spent fighting traffic or taking public transportation, the time spent between work and home can be strategically used to reset your mindset. After all, there’s a lot that needs to get done at home before heading back to the office the following day.

Test out these four ideas during your next commute to transition yourself from work mode to home mode.

  1. Listen up. Use your commute to recharge your brain and listen to something that interests you. Try swapping radio stations riddled with commercials that cause irritation for soothing playlists, riveting podcasts or intriguing books on tape. Find a few minutes each week to prep your commute listening list so you can learn something new and relax on your way to and from the office.

  2. Make thankfulness a priority. Whether your day went better than expected or not quite the way you hoped, try using your commute time to focus on gratitude. Spending time thinking about things you’re grateful for, such as your health, family, friends, hobbies, etc., will help to boost positive energy. Even more, it can help you set goals for the next day.

  3. Call a friend. Sometimes the quickest way to leave the office at the office is by calling a friend or loved one. In fact, a study  finds that calling a loved one, even for just five minutes, can create more of an energy burst than an espresso drink. After your commute phone call, you will feel energized to stay productive even after you walk in the front door. So, grab your Bluetooth or speaker phone and start chatting on your next drive .

  4. Visualize your evening. Time is precious after 5 p.m. Make the most of your time at home by visualizing how you want the night to go. Perhaps inclement weather pushes your workout inside or there’s a change in dinner plans when your kids need extra help with their homework. By outlining and prioritizing your tasks, you’ll streamline your nightly routine and won’t get stuck wondering what to do first.

While we can’t escape negative events in our personal and professional lives, we can manage how we handle and react to them. Take a look at page 22 of the November 2016 issue Bright Life  for tips and tricks on stress management.

Author: Stephanie Sample

March 21, 2017