I have been pretty freakin’ lucky when it comes to commutes. For the last 2 and a half years, my commute time was 15 minutes. Before that, a two minute walk (no kidding) and before that, my longest ever commute was about a half hour.
Now you may be saying, “Why the obsession with commute times Gidget? Do you really think that’s a good blog topic?” And my response to you is thus:
Commutes matter in Los Angeles.
This city is busting with people and loads of those people drive cars. And this city is sprawling – spread out and sectioned off. Public transportation is ok, but not as vast, reliable, and accustomed here as in other metropolises. So the end result is too many people in too many cars, all going too many places in a hurry. And there is never a time of day when the traffic isn’t crappy.
These days my commute is anywhere between an hour to two hours each way, and it has been taking its toll on my stress levels. But there is no way around it. The journey must be made!
And so, my solution is to bring a bit of distraction, comfort, and serenity into my daily drives with a few simple car hacks. Here are my top 4 tips for making your car a bit more zen.
Add a Car Aromatherapy Diffuser
I know this sounds a bit mental, but this thing is amazing
! It’s a little mini diffuser/humidifier that plugs directly into your car’s power outlet and releases bursts of mist infused with your essential oil of choice. I opt for soothing lavender, but you could literally add whatever essential oil scent floats your boat. It turns your car into a tranquil spa, as you make your way to work! Get your car diffuser here.
Audio Books are the Best Distraction
Music and radio are swell, but there is nothing like a gripping audiobook or podcast to take your mind off traffic and whisk you away into another time and place! Use the hours you’re crawling across the freeway as an opportunity to enjoy a good book and catch up on all the stories you’ve been meaning to read!
Cleanliness is Key
You know when you’ve got tons of crap in your car – trash, random coffee mugs from days earlier – and you just feel like a hot-mess? Keeping your car tidy and organized can actually go a long way towards making you feel less anxious and uncomfortable on your way to work. Go through and try to designate spaces for the items you need to have in your car, and get in the habit of keeping everything in its right place. Clean out all the trash and put a small trash bin in the back seat, so even your trash will have a designated space that’s easy to clean.
Pimp Your Ride Just a Little Bit
A little bit can go a long way! I found that as soon as I added some new seat covers to our car, it was much more enjoyable to drive. Take stock of what small cosmetic items you could add to your interior that would make it feel new or more inviting. Seat covers, steering-wheel covers, floor mats and dashboard flare are all good places to start!
And if all that fails, sometimes you just gotta play hooky and head to the beach!