Driving to and from work can be a real drag. You already work what feels like an eternally long day; adding a commute makes it even longer.
The average American commuter travels 18 miles (and 26.1 minutes). That’s nearly an hour a day, more if you live in a high traffic area or commute an above average distance.
Why not make the best use of that time? Here are some tips to make your commute safer, more enjoyable, and even productive.
To Keep Your Brain Sharp
Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts are the modern version of pre-television radio shows. They can be funny, informative, engaging or a medium for some fresh storytelling. Give some of these a try:
- Nurse Talk: Smart and witty commentary covering healthcare news.
- Re: Sound: Stories and sound bytes from around the world.
- In Our Time: BBC series exploring religion, science, culture, and philosophy.
Learn a language
Whether you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, or you want to brush up on your high-school Spanish, the car is the perfect place to practice.
Take a breather
A car-friendly aromatherapy diffuser disperses essential oils through the air. A relaxing oil, such as lavender, can ease your stress with every breath.Car Scenter Electric Diffuser sold on Amazon.com
Drink some tea
This tea travel mug makes taking tea-to-go a breeze. Peppermint tea is naturally caffeine free and can both relax and energize you for your drive.
Unload your mind
If you have a virtual personal assistant in your phone known as Siri (she’s not just for making John Malkovitch laugh), you can create a to-do list verbally, with reminders. Purge your overloaded brain of undone tasks so you can enjoy some quality you time in the car.
To Combat Drowsiness
Drive with a friend
Having someone to talk to can keep you feeling more alert. A friend may also be the one to push you to take a break if you do seem too bleary eyed to drive.
Take a power nap
Taking a short 15- to 20-minute nap before starting your drive can improve your alertness. Some recommend having a little caffeine just before you doze, so that by the time you wake up, you’ll start to feel the extra energy boost.
Feeling Drowsy? What Won’t Work
According to the State of New York Department of Health, the following activities actually don’t prevent you from nodding off while driving drowsy.
- Loud music
- Chewing gum
- Opening the windows
How long is your commute? What do you do to get the most out of your drive?