Daily Archives: September 23, 2011

Spice Up Your Commute With One Simple Thing

Spicecareer_sept2011_web For many, the commute to and from work isn’t always the most enjoyable experience. Sometimes it can be tedious, drawn-out, and create stress when trying to navigate through the heavy traffic when all you want to do is get home and relax after a hectic day at the office.

Commuting and Your Health

Gallup-Healthways released the 2010 Well-Being Index, an assessment of the health and well being of U.S. residents. Gallup-Healthways surveyed commuters on how they felt about their emotional and physical health, work environment, and life in general. The study showed that the longer the commute, the less happy and healthy commuters felt. 

If you have a fairly long drive to work, and want to decrease your stress and increase your happiness, you may be interested knowing that a little aromatherapy can help in big ways. One simple trick can help make you feel better by spicing up your commute, literally!

A History of Spices and Spice Stimulants

Humans have been utilizing spices for preservatives, flavoring, embalming, and medicinal purposes as far back as 2800 B.C. Specifically, peppermint and cinnamon have been used in folklore and medicine because they were seen as having magical properties to ward off evil spirits. At about 1 A.D., the value of cinnamon was worth 15 times its parallel weight in silver, according to Roman author Pliny the Elder. 

Scientists are still researching the effects of these spices today by studying how beneficial cinnamon may be to reducing blood sugar levels in diabetics. Researchers are also looking into the effects of how smelling spices can alter our attitudes and behaviors. Studies have shown that the presence of peppermint and cinnamon odors can enhance motivation, performance, and alertness, decrease fatigue, and serve as central nervous system stimulants in commuters.

So, if the stress and fatigue of your commute is becoming too much, grab a cinnamon or peppermint air freshener for your car and breathe it in. The aromas will help boost your mood and your attitude. Plus, as an additional bonus, it will keep your car smelling good when you have to give a coworker a ride, drive a carpool to work, or have sweaty children in the car after soccer practice.

Homemade Air Fresheners You Can Make on a Budget

Purchasing air fresheners for your car can get expensive, especially since some last longer than others. Budgets may be tight and you may not have the time to go out and grab some when you spend so much time commuting anyway. There are several recipes online that can help you make your own fresheners that may last longer than most found in common supermarkets.

To learn more about making your own cinnamon and peppermint scented car fresheners, you can follow some of these helpful links we’ve found to help you get started. These recipes are so easy, you don’t have to stick to just peppermint or cinnamon. You can use these for your house too. There’s nothing like coming home from a long and trying day at work to one of your favorite scents. If you are at your wits end and the drive to work is making your blood boil, go ahead and put a little spice in your life. You’d be amazed at how much better you feel.

Looking for more tips and tricks to add some pizzazz to your daily commute? Check out our Refresh Leadership blog to learn more. If you have a long commute, what other ideas have you come up with to help make it more bearable?


By Jared Cole