Beat The Stress Of A Long Commute With These Tips

by Simona Terron
Did you know that the average American commutes for nearly 25 minutes each day? The number of people with extreme commutes has gone up by more than 25 percent since 1990, according to experts at the Transportation Research Board.

How long is your commute? Do you find yourself unable to do anything other than just crash when you get home? Do you find yourself unable to do simple things like catch up on your hobbies, make dinner for your family, or even just unwind with your spouse?

We’re here to provide you with some simple tips to combat the stress and fatigue from your crazy long commute. It’s no secret that sitting hunched at a desk for hours on end doesn’t do your body any favors. Aching knees, strained backs, tired eyes, and cramped feet are all regular afflictions that seem to take on gargantuan proportions at the end of a long working day. But before we tell you how to revive yourself, we thought it might help to try out these 5 easy ways to minimize the physical strain during the commute.
  1. Best Foot ForwardTake off those high heels or shiny lace ups, and slip into something that offers more support and comfort. It can be a great way to mentally shift gears as well, preparing you to unwind for the journey back home.
  2. Sit Tight: We tend to forget just how much our posture affects us. The way we sit controls our breathing, circulation and even the strain on our muscles and joints. So simply adjust your seat to ensure that all of these are optimized.
  3. Adjust Your Seat: Don’t forget to adjust your seat so that you are driving in a position that won't cause you to develop long term joint pain and muscle injuries. Stiff neck, foot cramps, lumbar pain, side aches, and eye strain are common among drivers, and have given rise to the term Repetitive Driving Injury.
  4. Warm Up: During winters, we let our cars warm up before driving them. Give your achy, hardworking body the same consideration by stretching a bit just to let the kinks out after a whole day hunched at your desk. Here are a few yoga poses to warm up your body.
Now that you’ve successfully got yourself home safe and sound, here are 5 tricks to de-stress and spring back to life:

Aroma Or Essential Oils: Just breathing some refreshing and energizing aromatherapy oils can have a soothing effect on you in mere seconds. Lemongrass, sweet orange, peppermint, lemon or bergamot can be wonderful as pick-me-ups, while lavender, ylang ylang, or vanilla can lull you into a sense of deep relaxation. Carry one little vial of the former scents for during the journey and another vial with any one of the latter scents for when you get home. Read more about why essential oils can help with anxiety

Touch Therapy: There’s a reason hugs are considered so restorative. Just being gently squeezed by your loved ones can release a bunch of feel-good endorphins that drive stress away in a minute. If you live alone, coming home to a pet can be very therapeutic. Even wrapping yourself in a warm fuzzy blanket or slipping on snuggly socks while you sip on something can do wonders.

Temperature Control: Being trapped in the cold outside can bring even the most positive person down. When you get indoors, pour yourself a hot drink or dine on some steaming food. Even a hot shower or a relaxing bath is a great idea.

Meditation: Just breathing steadily or chanting a mantra can calm your nerves. If you prefer, you can indulge in some energetic dance meditation, this will help release all the tautness in your body and get rid of the stored aggression. You might even get just enough of a workout to be physically tired enough to sleep more deeply.

Music: Some folks enjoy ending the day with a bit of western classical music wafting through the living room as they unwind on the couch. Others use Rock 'n Roll or a bit of hip hop to shake themselves back to the present. Whatever your choice of juice, fuel up, and let the tunes takeover your senses.

The tips and tricks are just a handy guide to help you recover from a long commute, but having a positive attitude and reminding yourself of what really matters to you in the long run, can have much longer and further reaching effects on your psyche.

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