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7 ways to manage your commute when the daily grind’s got you down

Summer’s over, and if you’re like most of us, so are a lot of those vacation days too. It’s back to school, back to work and back to the grind. With everyone moving into fall routines, it’s likely you’ve noticed an uptick in commuter traffic. We’ve got some ideas on how to manage the grind and handle the change of routine.

  1. Get up with the roosters.
    Easier said than done if you’re a night owl, but early to bed early to rise might go down a little better as long as the days are getting shorter. Push up your commute and leave a little earlier to avoid the rush.
  2. Hang with the night owls.
    Okay, so you’re just not a morning person. We get it. Keep your night routine and wake up later—just push your commute back enough to avoid the rush. Get some extra work done at the office and head home after everyone else.
  3. Take in a movie…or two.
    Can’t get in early and don’t really want to hang around the office after 5? No sweat. How about catching a movie instead? If there’s a theater in the vicinity, no one says you can’t “ride out” the commute with some soda, popcorn and the latest flick. Most movies between 5pm and 6pm are still discounted at the matinee price too. Save a few bucks and impress your friends with all that movie knowledge you’ll be stockpiling along the way.
  4. Own your to-do list.
    That’s right. We all have them. Stop saving everything for the weekend and just whittle your list down on the way to and from work, school, or wherever else you’re heading. Kill two birds with one stone: break up the drudge of the commute and get things tackled ahead of time. We bet you’ll love having the whole weekend to yourself.
  5. Go on a spree.
    Shop ‘til you drop, or at least enjoy the windows. Hit the malls when everyone else is hitting traffic. Pick out your new fall wardrobe or get an early start on holiday shopping. If shopping’s not your thing, how about a tasting spree instead? Pick out some new restaurants you’d like to try and make a game out of it. Try a new dish and give your tastes buds a work out.
  6. Make it a date night.
    Who says you can’t get a little creative? Mix and match any of the above and convert your commute time home into a big, long date with your significant other. Alternatively, grab a friend or invite your family instead.
  7. Don’t fight it. Embrace it.
    Sometimes you just don’t have the luxury of choosing how you avoid traffic. Family obligations, school schedules and work meetings have a way of hijacking our time every now and again. Breathe deeply and embrace the journey. Pop in an audiobook or some soothing music. Consider this your own uninterrupted “me time” for as long as you’re driving.

While you don’t have much control over stop-and-go school buses, construction zones or gridlocked highways, you always have control over how you react to them or whether you choose to even engage with them at all. Manage the daily grind and enjoy your drive!