Gina Vaynshteyn
September 10, 2014 7:10 am

I am not an early bird. I’m whatever animal it is that likes to sleep in and enjoy my morning in bed (a sloth I guess?). When I was a kid, I was told it would get better, but I am here to tell you it did not. I still hate mornings that require me to splash my face with some cold water and brew coffee in order to keep me functioning. What’s worse, is that many of us have to spend a great deal of time getting to work in the AM. So that means we’re agonizingly tired AND stuck in traffic or crammed in the subway. But it doesn’t have to be so terrible. Here are some tips that will help de-awful your commute every day.

1. Get yourself a bright, fun, colorful coffee travel mug to take with you

I know if I have a pretty travel mug, I am more likely to actually use it. In fact, I’m excited to use it.

2. Make your coffee, but make it seriously delicious

Coffee doesn’t have to be boring! Make your morning brew something to look forward to. Get some caramel or vanilla syrup, or those tasty Girl-Scout-cookie creamers. Right now, I’m all about the sugar-free Italian crème, but I know I’ll be purchasing the pumpkin spice and peppermint flavors soon.

3. OR treat yo’ self to some Starbucks

If you have the budget, make a little time for Starbucks (or whatever coffee shop you go to), and let someone else make you coffee. It always feels luxurious, doesn’t it?

4. Or even a fresh juice

If coffee isn’t your thing, make yourself some juice. I know this requires time (and a juicer), so wake up ten minutes earlier. You can always stop by a local smoothie or juice shop and see what they have to offer as well. This way, you’ve got something to sip on in your car or on the train.

5. Check online for any hold-ups before you leave the house

Check for traffic/subway/train updates using Google maps and local transportation apps. Don’t let yourself drive into a traffic parking lot or walk all the way to the train only to find it’s out of service. Morning commutes already suck as-is.

6. Make sure you prepped an outfit the night before, so you can leave earlier

I hate running around in the morning like a psychopath, and then being late to work because I have to change five times, or discover the shirt I was planning to wear actually has a huge oil stain. Set aside a well thought-out outfit on your dresser, and you will be amazed how much time you save, and the stress you omit from your life.

7. Same goes for lunch

Don’t waste your precious morning making a sandwich. Prep the night before and put it in the fridge so it stays fresh. It’s no Panera Bread, but at least you’re saving money AND time.

8. Make yourself a Wake Up And Take Over The World mix

There is no better way to wake up and get your day started than an amazing, upbeat mix. You can include Iggy Azalea, Avicii, Icona Pop, or my all-time favorite of summer  forever, “Hideaway” by Kiesza.

9. Or listen to an audiobook

If you’re falling behind on your TBR list, use all that time in your car to catch up.

10. If you take the bus/subway/train, bring a book

Taking public transportation allows you to do whatever you want to keep yourself occupied, and what is a better way than getting into a really good book? You won’t even realize how much time has passed.

11. Or watch a movie on your phone

It’s kind of like going out to the movies! Except you’re on your way to work and popcorn/Sour Patch Kids/nachos are probably not involved.

12. Or write a short story about the people you observe

I love writing in public places because of all the people-watching. You can get some fantastic ideas just by sitting and listening and looking.

13. Treat it as a form of meditation

I know. Driving is hardly a meditation. But you can treat it like one! Get in the zone, put on some relaxing music (Enya, anyone?), and just stare at the cars in front of you. It’s kind of like a brain reboot.

(Images viavia, via, via)

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