The workday is over, you head out of the office and jump in the car.
You are completely drained, terribly tired and just want to get home to relax.
But, 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 overwork 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 juggling both so you can maintain happiness and avoid burning out.
That said, balancing your life at work and outside 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!
Don’t forget to also read our collection of quotes about road safety.
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 communicates with the renal system, and from there, it moves to the muscular system, of which all are controlled by the sympathetic and central nervous systems.
This line of communication between all systems improves how 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 listening to upbeat music!
Plus, there is clinical evidence that music therapy can help individuals accomplish goals by making them feel more 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 while driving?
Simple – listen to an audiobook.
While most of us no longer have cassette decks in our car stereos, you can listen to an audiobook via CD or smartphone.
On your drive home, load up the audiobook 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 find exactly what you are looking for online.
There are tons of audiobooks 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 daily in and out of work, and the repetitive scenery provides 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.
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 co-worker or a friend, it can allow you to chat about funny stories, upcoming weekend plans, and 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!