Guide to Making the Most of Long Commute
Whether you regularly have a long commute or it's just a one-off every so often ...
15:56 29 January 2021
There are lots of things you can do to not only make the most of the journey, but also make it less stressful.
Leave your car at home
If you can, leave your car at home and take public transport or even better walk or cycle. If your destination is in walking distance getting the fresh air will help energise you and the rush of endorphins will last the whole day. Even if it's raining, pack a spare set of clothes in a waterproof rucksack and change when you get there.
If walking or cycling is out of the question, checking the nearby bus or train times and catching public transport will not only reduce your anxiety levels, but you'll also free up your hands and mind for more productive activities. You can plan your day, prep for a meeting, get ahead on work emails, or even finish of that chapter you've been desperate to read.
Set off 15 minutes earlier
Pre-lockdown the average commute took 59 minutes. If you spend nearly 60 minutes worried about being late, you'll feel anxious and stressed before you even start work. But leaving just an extra 15 minutes earlier will not only make you feel less stressed, but you'll be in a better mental state to start work – and will most likely be in a better mood for it too.
Equally, you may find that setting off that little bit earlier will mean you miss that rush at certain junctions, which may help shorten your commute. If you do notice that you're getting to work earlier as a result, you could see if you could work flexible hours and leave earlier.
If you work in an office, chances are you're spending at least six hours a day staring at a screen. If you commute by public transport, it can be tempting to spend that time staring at your phone or tablet, but that can contribute to mental fatigue. This is especially true if you're catching up on emails or scrolling through social media on your phone.
See it as downtime
Instead of seeing your commute as a chore, reframe it in your mind as a time just for you to sit with your thoughts and enjoy the solitude. If you're travelling by train or bus, the time really is yours to do as you wish. Whether you take a nap, read a book, play a game, or even talk to your fellow commuters.