The workday is over, you head out the office and jump in the car. You are completely drained, terribly tried and you just want to get home to relax. But, there’s a problem…that project you’ve been hard at work on is looming on your mind and you just can’t shake it off. The last thing you want to do is stew over work the entire ride home and it seems inevitable – you’re in a bad mood and nothing can change that.
How many times have you found yourself in this kind of situation? Probably more times than you can count.It is without a doubt that work can be stressful and it can be hard to find the right work-life balance but it is crucial to juggle both so you can maintain happiness and avoid burning out. With that said, balancing your life at work and life outside of the office starts with your commute home because you don’t want to bring your office stress home. With that in mind, here are five ways you can change your mood into a positive one while heading home!
5 Ways To Change Your Mood Into A Positive One While Driving Home
Schedule A Brief Stop
When driving home from work, you have a lot of alone time with your thoughts and you don’t want that work stress to spill into your home. Instead of traveling straight home, consider making a brief stop where you can distract your mind from the daily grind. Whether you pull into a coffee shop and sip on a latte or simply stop by the grocery store to peruse the aisles, you can recharge and rework your mindset with these small stops.
Hit The Gym
If coffee isn’t your thing or you already have dinner picked out at home, hit the gym right after work. Exercising after a long day at work can help alleviate some of that built up stress and frustration because your body increases the production of feel-good neurotransmitters (endorphins) with physical activity. Research from the American Psychological Association has found that exercise enhances the body’s ability to respond to stress. It forces the body’s physiological systems to communicate more closes than usual, all of which are involved in the stress response. The cardiovascular system communication with the renal system and from there it moves to the muscular system, of which, all are controlled by the sympathetic and central nervous system. This line of communication between all systems improves the way our body responds to stress.
Listen To Soothing Sounds
Sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic or listening to all the road closures on the radio can exacerbate a bad mood after work. Instead, listen to your favorite tunes. Research shows that you can boost your mood by simply listening to upbeat music! Plus, there is clinical evidence that music therapy can help individuals accomplish goals by making you feel more positive and optimistic.
Catch Up On Your Favorite Book
Did you know reading a book can be therapeutic and stress relieving? But, how can you catch up on your favorite novel if you are driving? Simple – listen to an audio book. While most of us no longer have cassette decks in our car stereos, you can listen to an audio book via CD or your smartphone. On your drive home, load up the audio book so you can ‘read’ the book and you will soon be immersed in the story – completely forgetting about the stress of work. Whether you want to listen to the latest novel by your favorite author or catch up on an inspirational story, you can certainly find exactly what you are looking for online. There are tons of audio books available on the internet and popular book streaming services like Audible by Amazon will allow you to listen to just about any book.
Take The Road Less Traveled
You probably drive the same route in and out of work every day and the repetitive scenery provides you with zero stimulation. The next time you leave the office, find a new way home where you will be more focused on traveling through unknown territory rather than hung up on work. A different route home can also spark your curiosity as you might discover some cool things along the way.
Hold A Conversation
The last thing you want to talk about is work but your ride home could be the perfect opportunity to catch up with loved ones and hear what’s going on with their life. If possible, make a call on your ride home via a hands-free device and ask your relative or friend how everything is going. Their conversation can transform your mindset and boost your mood back to a positive one! Another way to hold a conversation is to carpool, which will not only save you some gas money, but it gives you the chance to interact face-to-face with another person. Whether you carpool with a fellow co-worker or a friend, it can give you the opportunity to chat about funny stories, upcoming weekend plans and just about anything else that can take your mind off work.
With the above suggestions, you’ll be on your way to a better mood before you walk in the front door of your house after work!