Travel is a staple in the world of PR. A perk of small town living is the lack of a commute in the morning. For four years my commute was a grand total of two minutes (four if I hit the one red light). Never did I expect to come face to face with the challenges of being a commuter until this summer.
My work commute should take exactly 40 minutes, but with traffic 40 minutes quickly becomes at least an hour. Now that I’m a pro at commuting, I’ve discovered five simple yet essential items that keep the trek enjoyable and maintain my sanity amidst a 30-minute traffic jam.
- A good playlist. Nothing helps me to unwind after a day at work quite like music. The popularity of applications such as Spotify is on the rise because listeners can tap into frequently updated playlists to get their fill of new music. I recently came across this Buzzfeed list that suggests 40 “must-have” summer songs, and just like that, I had 40 new entertaining tunes, most of which were new to me. The variation to my library adds a new spice to my ride and staves off boredom with my current music collection.
- A solid hairband. Car rides for the commuter can feel like a journey, and one thing that I find myself doing a lot during this journey is messing with my hair. I have to be able to pull my hair out of my face or it distracts me the entire car ride. And if you live anywhere with an intense summer (I’m looking at you North Carolina Piedmont), you’ll want a hairband to speed up the cooling process.
- A water bottle. Hydration is important, whether you are living in 97-degree heat or in the dead of winter. Indestructible, non-sweating or just a quirky design, find a water bottle that you will use and make sure that it is full before you begin your trek.
- A big bag. If you are toting all of these items, you are going to need a bag to fit it all. I recommend a bag that is durable and made from fabric that you can easily clean. The versatile, easy-to-clean Longchamp is one of my favorites. Your bag should be able to hold your laptop, water bottle, agenda and a possible change of clothes. (You never know!) It’s a hefty task for one bag, which is why finding the perfect one is key; the last thing that you need during a long commute is to be rifling through multiple bags while driving.
- And finally…The last and possibly most important item that you must have is patience. Yes, drives home might take you over an hour, but losing your cool only makes it miserable. It doesn’t actually speed up the process. (Take it from me). Focusing on your breathing during traffic delays can take your mind off of the constant breaking of the driver in front of you. Use this time as a reflection to think about your day, your accomplishments, your challenges and how you can improve for the days to come. A few of the items on this list are made specifically for driving, which is an added bonus. Patience is the key to having a pleasant commute.
What keeps you sane while driving?