My whole life I thought commuting was a waste of time.
In my senior year of college I moved back home with my family and bought a car. I would have to drive six days a week, several hours each way. It had to be a waste of time, because all I was doing was thinking about getting where I was going—thinking about being at my destination.
This left me with no room to enjoy or grow.
There have been so many articles published about how long commutes are detrimental to your health, so naturally commuting also made me nervous. I imagined it bothering me more and more every day, until finally I’d resent the time I spent in my car.
Luckily, that’s not what happened at all. I learned a lot on my commute and even started looking forward to it.
I’m not a girl who “wastes her time,” so I redefined what a commute meant to me.
Here’s what I found:
TED Talks Playlists.
They are my absolute favorite. When I got home after my commute, I would be bright-eyed, brimming with new ideas and ready to talk—no matter how late it was. Driving allowed me to listen to hours of TED Talks about love, art, vulnerability, prevalence, trust, mortality, building communities or beautiful ideas about human progress.
TED Talks are never a waste of time.
Commuting, specifically driving, is a time to think. A lot of us are so busy that we are always moving from one thing to the next; some of us don’t even slow down to have a meal. Driving is a time where we must slow down, or we are bound to be wrapped up in anxiety. It’s a time to be in the present and enjoy our own company.
Let your mind slip from idea to idea, and pay attention to where your thoughts go. It is a good time to reflect on your day.
Singing is all about breath and has the same calming effect as a slow exhale. This is a natural and human thing to do, even if you may be caught up in a busy or unnatural world. Singing is a beautiful way to connect with your body and breath, no matter what level of singer you are.
If you are having trouble visualizing this, search for vocal breath exercises on YouTube. Everything improves with practice.
Do Some Kegel Exercises.
Age gracefully and improve your orgasms! These are easy to forget if you are doing other things, but on a commute what else will you be thinking about? Time well spent!
Listen to Something Engaging.
Devote some time to an audiobook that expands your viewpoint, or maybe great music. Try listening to a new genre of music. You know, some say listening to classical or jazz improves intelligence. Why not give it a try?
I ended up enjoying my commutes. I learned a lot, and it gave me time to be patient and calm down. I don’t know why commutes have such a bad reputation. If the destination makes the drive worth it, then make the drive beneficial.
If you have tips for commuters, leave them in the comments!
Author: Alisa Cole
Apprentice Editor: Brenda Davidge / Editor: Toby Israel
Image: Nicholas A. Tonelli/Wikimedia Commons