Top 9 ways to make commuting more fun - Select Car Leasing
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Top 9 ways to make commuting more fun

Don’t let Blue Monday put the brakes on your positive motoring mood.


Because these commuting hacks could see you in the fast lane to highway happiness.

This year Blue Monday - the so-called ‘most depressing day of the year’ - falls on January 16th.

The third Monday in January, it’s a date associated with low motivation levels, a post-Christmas slump, despair at the awful weather, and festive credit card bills arriving.

All that gloom could result in some seriously-miserable drives to and from work.

But there are ways to combat the doldrums associated with being behind the wheel. 

And here are some thoughts from Select Car Leasing you might find helpful:


Learn something new


You don’t need us to tell you that listening to the radio, music, or a podcast can help pass the hours when you’re on the road, but you might also be able to use that time to broaden your horizons and to educate yourself.

There are plenty of apps you can download to your phone which can help you learn a new language, for example, and some of those apps specifically cater for car-cocooned commuters.

But you might also expand your mind in other ways.

Apps like Wondrium, for example, offer lectures in everything from science and history to crafts, psychology and personal development.

It’s a good alternative if you’re struggling to find a specific podcast that goes into the detail you crave on a given subject.


Get zen


Commuting can take a toll on your wellbeing, particularly if you’ve got to battle your way through rush hour traffic. It’s easy to lose your head and ‘road rage’ might be an ever-present threat.

(For tips on how to battle road rage, by the way, you can check-out our chat with a leading psychology expert)

But some in-car meditation might help.

It might sound slightly New-Agey, but it works for a whole heap of people and if it can create a bubble of serenity in your car’s cabin, it’s surely worth a punt in 2023.

Apps like Calm, Insight Timer and Headspace are some of the more popular choices. Calm, for example, has a specific commuting playlist for drivers and passengers.

There are both guided and unguided meditation sessions, ranging from 3 to 30 minutes long.


Arrange to chat with friends or family


If you’re anything like this particular writer, finding the time for meaningful chats with friends and family can be tricky, especially when you’re running from pillar to post at weekends.

But if you’re sitting in your car for hours every month, why can’t you use that dead time to take care of connections?

Chances are, your friends and family have boring commutes of their own, so why not sync diaries and chew the fat as you dash between traffic lights?

According to the TUC, the average Brits spends around 59 minutes commuting each day - that’s more than enough time to reach out to the people who make your life better.


Exercise


Until they invent a Peloton-based car, you’re slightly limited in how much exercise you can do when driving.

But there are plenty of stretching exercises you can try that might relieve the boredom while also bringing some joy to your tired body.

A quick Google search should reveal some simple stretches you can do while both driving and for when you’re taking short breaks, perhaps even when stuck at the lights.

Meanwhile there are also some handy hints to be read on how to adjust your driving seat position for maximum comfort.


Be car proud


If your car isn’t a place you want to spend time, then your commute is never going to boost your mood.

If it’s dirty, both inside and out, and there’s a nasty whiff of wet dog - or pungent sports kit - drifting around the cabin then it’s hardly likely to put a smile on your face.

But if you’re behind the wheel of a car that’s clean, tidy and smells nice, you’re much more likely to enjoy driving it - no matter what sort of vehicle you’re piloting.

Again, it’s a small detail, but these marginal gains are worth exploring.


Stay on top of the maintenance


As with the above suggestion, a car that’s effortless - and fun - to drive is going to make for a much more enjoyable commute. A car that bangs, rattles and drives poorly is not.

Ask a lot of motorists, and it’s amazing what a proper, full service can do in terms of how a car feels to drive. A full service really can be transformative when it comes to the experience behind the wheel.

Sharp brakes, steady handling, and positive acceleration can go a LONG way to putting a smile on the face of any motorist. So don't skimp on the maintenance. 

And remember that when you lease a car, you can add a comprehensive, affordable 'maintenance' package to your monthly fee, which also automatically covers you for worn tyres.  


Go the scenic route


This is a given for most motorcyclists, but often doesn’t come into the equation for car drivers.

But if there’s a more pleasant, scenic route to take either to or from work, have you actually explored it?

Nicer stuff to look at, fewer cars on the road, and less stop-start motoring is the route you should be aim for. 

It might add a few more miles onto your journey, but if you’re only doing it once or twice a week, and when it can make such a big difference in beating the monotony of your daily drive, it’s well worth experimenting with.


Be confident


Are you really as confident behind the wheel as you think you are?

Fear, even in small amounts, can make a huge dent in your overall mood.

We all know people who fret about driving on motorways, or even turning right out of busy junctions. If you fall into that category, and you think trepidation about the commute might be impacting on your wellbeing, is it perhaps worth investing in some extra driving lessons - even if you passed your test years ago?

Most of the big, national driving lesson franchises offer ‘Refresher Lessons’ which are designed to boost confidence, particularly for those who’ve ended up with the jitters following a road traffic accident.

You can also seek winter driving lessons, and skid control sessions, so that you can breeze through the grimmest months of the year.


Set off early


Another no-brainer - but actually allowing yourself plenty of time to complete your journey can make ALL the difference when it comes to keeping stress levels low

And it’s important to recognise that driving really can be stressful.

Research conducted by the road safety charity Brake and insurer Direct Line found that in 2021, nine in ten drivers admitted to feeling stressed or angry when behind the wheel, up 6% on figures from March 2020, when the UK entered its first lockdown.

A Brake spokesperson commented: 

“Plan your route carefully, and allow plenty of time for your journey to avoid feeling pressured to rush.”


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David Hughes

Friday, 17/05/2024