The average person spends 48 minutes driving each day. 48 minutes of driving each day becomes 293 hours of driving each year. 293 hours of driving each year is 12 days of our 365 day year. Crazy, right? Wrong! You are forgetting that you are not the average person! You are a hospice nurse. Because your job requires you to travel from patient to patient, your average driving time is actually 150 minutes each day - more than 3x the average. This means you actually spend 913 hours a year driving which is the same as... wait for it ... 38 FULL DAYS a year! That is more than a month. You spend 10% of each year behind the wheel.
Let’s put this into perspective.
If you spent those 913 hours driving for Uber in NYC, you would make $22,825.
In 913 hours, you could drive from California to Maine 19 times.
With 913 hours, you could move to Spain and become fluent in Spanish.
Okay, so let’s face it. As a hospice nurse, you drive a lot. And until teleportation exists (or you purchase your first drone), we have to make the best of it. So we are left with the question: “What do you do during those 2.5 hours a day while behind the wheel?” It might seem like a silly question, but keep in mind that those 2.5 hours of driving are 10% of your life and we want to make sure you are making the best of it!
There are really only 4 things you could be doing while driving... well 5 if you text and drive (if you text and drive, you really should stop that). Let’s consider these 4 "SONO Approved" things you could be doing and decide how you want to spend this 10% of your life.
Talk to Yourself
We have all done it. You are sitting in silence in your car and out of nowhere you begin talking to yourself. Don’t worry, you’re not crazy. We do it too. This is called external self-talk. Surprisingly enough, talking to yourself has benefits that make it worth trying if you haven't yet.
Talking to yourself can be a source of motivation. Telling yourself that you are going to have a great day increases the likelihood that you will perceive the day to be a great one. Meaning, we usually look to actualize our expectations. If we expect our day to be a good one, we will look for reasons to believe it was a good day. And vice versa. Talking through a problem out loud allows you to view the problem more objectively. Talking to yourself can also have a calming effect. Next time you are worried, start up a conversation and see where it leads you. You might actually enjoy your own company!
Listen to Music
Listening to music while driving might be the single most popular way to pass the time on the road. It is no surprise. Listening to music just feels right. The release of dopamine you get from listening to music makes you feel happy and always yearning for more. Music casts a spell on the listener and allows an escape to a euphoric state of mind. Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to frown while jamming to your favorite song in the car? Probably not, because you’re too busy jamming to your favorite tune!
Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts come in all shapes and sizes. You can listen to a podcast over just about anything. If you don’t already listen to podcasts, you might want to give it a shot after you hear all the benefits.
First, people who listen to podcasts achieve higher levels of imagination. The conversation and story style of a podcast allows the listener to become emotionally involved with what they are listening to. Another benefit of podcast listening is that you can educate yourself on anything. And continued learning and development is a major driver of fulfillment in life! Do you want to learn more about space? How about history? Or psychology? The information is out there, and all you have to do is listen while you drive. The best part is, podcasts are 100% free!
The benefits to singing in the car make this option a front runner. Singing in the car actually boosts our immune system. There was a study done at the University of Frankfurt that compared the blood of a choir before and after an hour long rehearsal. They found that the number of proteins that function as antibodies were significantly higher after the rehearsal. If you Google “benefits of singing in the car”, the first thing that you will read is that people who sing in the car are happier, healthier, and live longer. I mean, it’s Google, people. Go ahead and bust out that Vanessa Carlton album!
What did we miss?
There is a good chance that our form of transportation will change in the next decade (fingers crossed for self-driving cars). For now, we will continue driving for an average of 2.5 hours/day, which as we mentioned previously, equals 10% OF OUR LIFE!
We would LOVE to hear what YOU do to pass the time spent commuting from one patient to another. Leave us a comment below and let us know what your favorite thing to do is!