Does your commute have you drained?

Written by: Ashley Proctor

By population Dallas, Texas is the 9th largest city in the United States. The Dallas – Ft. Worth metroplex offers its citizens a lot. From social events, good culture, art shows, wine walks, music festivals, sporting events and more! Over the years, the city has seen a rise in development, company headquarters, and jobs. Naturally, this would bring a little something called traffic, which is to be expected in a big city but it can still be overwhelming to deal with.

More and more companies are starting to see value in allowing their employees to work remotely, usually 1-2 days a week. That being said, the majority of people still wake up at 6:00 AM, sit in rush hour traffic, work from 8 to 5, then sit in rush hour traffic on their way home. Besides boredom, why is a long commute such a big deal? Studies show a time-consuming commute can have detrimental effects on mental and physical health. It can contribute to a number of negative outcomes including high anxiety, poor sleep, unhealthy weight and high-stress levels. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Below are some tips to help make the most of your commute.

So here’s the deal…

  1. Before you begin your drive to work check the traffic. Radio traffic reports rarely help anymore. Use Google Maps or Waze to check for traffic before you leave your home or office, this way you can plan ahead to ensure you are taking the most efficient route. These systems keep traffic in real time and knowing about that accident on i360S can make all the difference.
  2. Try not to spend your entire commute staring at your phone. Most of the work day is spent looking at a computer, so use this time to give your eyes a break. Talk radio, podcast, audio books, and music are a great way to pass time during rush hour. Talk radio will keep you in tune with current topics that can be used as conversation during after-work happy hours. Listen to profession specific podcast. These can be used as continuing education and possibly help at your job.
  3. Don’t go home directly after work. Run a few local errands first to avoid the 5 o’clock traffic. Once you finish your tasks then start to make your way home and you’ve cut at least 30 minutes of standstill traffic out of your commute.
  4. Try spending some time with yourself, enjoy the peace and quiet, detach from technology and the world, talk to yourself about your life goals or work on any spiritual connections you may have.
  5. Struggling to get the proper water intake in every day? Use your commute to improve your health by drinking the recommended 64 ounces of water per day. Grab a 32oz water bottle and divide the time into four sections. Make it your goal to drink half of it by the time you get to work in the morning. Then finish the other half by lunch time. Refill the bottle and finish the other half by the end of the day and the other half by the time you get home from work.
  6. I think we can all agree that time moves extremely fast. Use this hour of your day to call and check on your loved ones. When is the last time you spoke to your mom? Have a child in college? Haven’t spoken to your best friend in a while? Maybe you have a sibling who recently moved away that you haven’t had the chance to catch up with. Once a week put these phone calls on your agenda.

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