How commuting affects my mood

Like many, I commute to work. My average commute time is around 45 minutes each way. Previously it was nearly an hour before changing my work hours to avoid traffic (thanks iWeb!).

Sitting in a car by myself can be the best and worst thing. Often my commute will affect my mood for an entire day.

Like most creatives, web designers are a temperamental and erratic bunch. I’ll often go from elation to devastation in a matter of moments. It’s what makes us good at our jobs. We connect with our feelings – if not a little too much sometimes.

Ideas machine

A benefit of commuting is the ability to think and reflect on the day ahead. Many say sitting on the loo will encourage ideas – commuting is my idea factory. Plus uses less toilet roll. Solutions to both design and technical issues are resolved.

Learning

I consume a huge amount of audiobooks and podcasts. When you have 25+ hours a month of free time (or driving time), it allows you to enjoy content you may not otherwise listen to.

I like to think of them as my own personalised radio station. Topics range hugely depending on how I feel. I try to listen to random subjects that I may find interesting – rarely listening to work related podcasts.

Tiredness

This can develop either in the morning or while driving home. Travelling the same repetitive route hundreds of times a year takes a toll. I’ll often go 10 minutes without remembering a single part of the journey – did I run that red light or not?

I wake up at 6:15am and don’t get home until 5:30pm. It’s a long day! It’s inevitable this will have an affect on my mood. This most noticeably happens in the evenings just as I get home. The overwhelming feeling of exhaustion which is hard to shake off for a few days.

Depression

Unfortunately when you’re in a car there is no one to talk to, so your mind talks to itself. Sometimes this becomes the most creative part of the day. Other times it’s spirals into depression.

Depression is rarely spoken about in our industry. It can have a significant impact on the day ahead.

Unfortunately with the combination of tiredness this is more of a common occurrence than I’d like. It can be triggered by the prospect of the work ahead, the previous days work or something completely random.

I’d love to know how others feel while commuting and how they help pass the time. Make sure to tweet me.

Posted on 11th August 2015

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