Staying sane after a 1 hour commute

Staying sane after a 1 hour commute

Work, work, work, an unfortunate, yet necessary aspect of the human experience. However, a 1 hour commute to work is not. Unfortunately, many workers commute 1 hour each way several times a week.

Spouse?
Children?
Over-bearing parents?
Demanding friends?
How on earth can a person keep up with the demands of regular life, when it takes 1 hour to drive to work.

Commute times

The average commute time in the United States is 27 minutes each way, but states like California and Georgia have it far worst. In California, more than 1.5 million workers have a 1 hour commute  to work. Not to be left behind, 9% of Georgia workers have a commuter of more than an hour.

A 1 hour commute does more than create a foul mood. Commutes lasting over 45 minutes cause chronic back aches, a rise in blood pressure, increases your risk of developing diabetes, and lowers the quality of sleep. Sleep? Yes. The Regus Work-Life Balance Index for 2012 found that people who commute for longer than 45 minutes each way reported lower sleep quality and more exhaustion than people with shorter commutes. No wonder so many Americans are exhausted!! Low quality of sleep has several ramifications. Did you know that your hair suffers when you don’t sleep well? 

Solutions?

A 1 hour commute is simply unsustainable. Slowly, your health will decline and your chances of developing heart disease and diabetes will increase.  There are many solutions. Some more feasible than others:

  • Move closer to work
  • Ask for help
    • Friends and family are often happy to help with obligations outside of work. Perhaps it is time to let your children spend a weekend at their grandparents house.
  • Crockpot cooking
    • Create simple, yet delicious meals in your crockpot. This will save your time AND money.
  • Recharge after the 1 hour commute.
    • Take 5 minutes to stretch your muscles and clear your mind before you walk into your home.
  • Ask your employer for flexible hours
    • Many employers are willing to stagger working hours to accommodate hectic schedules.
    • Before asking your employer, create a plan of action that outlines how the flexible schedules will benefit your team.
  • Find a new job.
    • LinkedIn and Indeed.com are great resources to seek new opportunities.

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