No one is ever over-enthused about their commute! Having to spend more than 30 minutes on the train, or behind the wheel to travel to work each morning is the bane of our adult lives. And it has even been shown by new research that those who endure these long commutes are more likely to be stressed and depressed.
So, whether you commute by train, car or bike it’s pretty hard to avoid that extra stress, but we’ve got a few tips that will change your commute for life:
Your commute isn’t all bad if you really think about it. Use the journey time to prepare your brain for work – and I’m not talking checking your emails continuously or mindlessly or in my case, writing an article as quickly as possible.
Instead, use a book or puzzle to help you warm up or cool down from a long day at work. Challenge yourself and your brain, this will make your commute go by faster and will also prepare you for the long day ahead. I always do crossword puzzles on my commute, which makes me feel like I’m also learning at the same time!
Unplug and rewind
Many of us spend the majority of our lives immersed in our mobile phones and rarely take the time to switch off from social media. Especially when you’re commuting and you’ll do anything to avoid eye contact, your phone certainly comes in handy! But what many people don’t know is that it could be raising our stress levels and negatively and could be affecting your health.
And, if you’re anything like me, and use your phone as some sort of security blanket, why not go tech-free during your commute and see how it may benefit your mental and physical health? Once this tech-free life becomes a habit, you may actually come to look forward to this zen-like time to read, meditate, reflect, or just be mindful.
Shut your eyes just for a second
Ok, so I’m not saying you have to be snoring and catching flies, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take a short nap – that’s if you manage to get a seat ( but don’t do this whilst driving). Nodding off for a few minutes won’t help you catch up from a severe sleep deficit, but a short snooze will help you feel more refreshed and be more productive for the day ahead.
A ten-minute nap can be just as good as an hour too! But before entering your zen-like state make sure you’ve secured your belongings and whatever you do – DON’T miss your stop!
Having time in the morning can work to some people’s advantage and they actually enjoy having 45 minutes to listen, read or watch something without feeling like they should be working or stressing. Podcasts are a great way to keep you motivated and inspired morning and night – there’s no wonder why they’re so popular!
The problem is, once you start listening to podcasts, trust us when we say, you’ll start wishing your commute was longer. One of my favorite podcast channels is TED Podcasts, so if you love TED Talks then this one is definitely for you too! But then to challenge myself I love to listen to Neil Patel’s Podcasts and brush up on my business skills!
Change your routine
Try making a small change to your usual routine to help break up the monotony. You could walk a different way to the station, or even just sit somewhere else on the bus or train. Savour the experience of doing something new, no matter how small. Don’t do the same thing every day, break it up!
Maybe listen to podcasts on Mondays and crosswords on Tuesdays. Really use this time to unwind after work, rather than get more stressed by it. Listening to meditation classes and soothing sounds also really helps me when I’m on the tube! Give it a go!
What do you do on your commute?
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