Improve your drive to work and de-stress

What do you listen to during your daily commute?  Is it your local radio station with your favorite music or the local news?  Would you like to read more and just cannot find the time?  I have a solution to maximizing the time you spend in your car going back and forth to work.

My solution is listening to books on CD.  Now, if you are a person that is easily distracted or has trouble listening and concentrating on driving, I don’t recommend this.  However, if listening to a book while you are driving is easy for you, you might consider it.  I find that it helps me de-stress and moves me into relaxation mode.

While books and CD can be expensive if you buy them, your local library has hundreds of books on CD of all varieties.  No matter what type of books you enjoy reading, the library probably has several that will meet your needs.  Also, with most libraries, you can reserve what books you want online and then pick them up at your convenience when they are ready.

My current favorite books are Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson.  Have you started listening to books in your car?  Have you found that it helps you de-stress?  If so, let me know!


Cell phone de-stress

Are you handcuffed to your cell phone all week and then all weekend long?  Do you take it with you to the bathroom to check your e-mail?  If you do, you may need to manage your cell phone instead of letting it manage you.  Remember the old days when phones were not mobile?  You could have some peace and quiet to drive your car or have a relaxing dinner.  Maybe you don’t remember those days because you were born in the age of technology where we are all connected, all the time.

The stress of always being connected to the world around you is well-known but do we do anything about it?  If you would like to try, I have some suggestions for you.

*Consider turning your work cell phone off when you are off of work.  I know that some people have to be on call but really examine if it is necessary for you to be connected and instantly responsive to every request, all day and all night.  Think about if your employer pays you to work all those hours.

*Try putting your personal cell phone in a basket with your keys by the front door or somewhere out of your direct view in the evening.  You can leave it on so if it rings you can get to it but it is out of sight so you don’t feel the urge to check it all the time.

*Try leaving your cell phone in your locker when you go to the gym.  Don’t you deserve to have an hour of uninterrupted time to take care of your health?  You can deal with whatever shows up on your phone when you are done.

*Think about getting a watch.  Watches have become a thing of the past because we all have our cell phones attached to us with the time.  Getting a watch allows you to know what time it is without looking at your phone because once you look at it, you will want to check your e-mail or something else on your phone.

*Think about turning your cell phone off completely on the weekends.  You may only be able to do it for a couple of hours at first but you may want to try to work up to an entire day without your phone.

Give just one of the tips a try and see if you feel less stressed.  If so, you can add on and try another one.  If you slowly change your habits, it will be easier than going cold turkey.  Think about what you could accomplish with the extra 20, 30 or more minutes a day where you use to be checking your phone.

What do you do to disconnect from your cell phone?  Let me know!


The joy of a clean car and not doing it yourself!

I recently treated myself to having my car professionally detailed.  I have spent many hot summer days vacuuming, washing and wiping down my car.  I always love how it feels the next time I get in and it is spotless.  This time, I decided to let someone else use their elbow grease to make my car sparkle and I was not disappointed.

The detail shop did the standard wash, vacuum and clean.  However, in addition, they cleaned the nooks and crannies that collect dirt and are tedious to clean.  They also waxed my car which I never do, even though I probably should.  Another plus was that I dropped it off and went to work and picked it up at the end of the day.  No waiting around for me so it saved a lot of time.

Sometimes it is good to treat yourself.  I highly recommend taking cleaning and washing the car off of your to-do list once a year and indulge in having it professionally detailed.  The detail people really know their stuff and have great tools.  Another side benefit is that after you pay to have someone detail your car, you are much more diligent in keeping your car clean on a daily basis.