There is absolutely nothing fun about the hours and hours per week that the average person spends on their journey to and from work. A long or complicated commute not only sucks away precious minutes and hours of your day that could be used for your leisure, but they can also be a very large source of stress for people. Whether your commute is in your car driving down the crowded freeways of California or in various trains and subways in New York City, here are 5 helpful tips (in no particular order) to make those commutes a little less daunting and stressful.
1. Stretch Away the Stress
One of the best ways to relieve some stress and take some time to yourself, whether on your commute or not, is to have a nice stretch. While in the car during gridlock or on the train waiting to get to the office or home, some commute-friendly stretching can help relieve some of the pent up stress and anxiety that your commute is causing you. For train or subway commuters, stretching your back and legs is very important if you are standing for hours every day or sitting on those uncomfy seats. For drivers, stretching your neck is very important as you are constantly shoulder checking and watching out for the traffic around you.
One of the best ways to pass the time and make a hectic and lengthy commute is to not do it alone. On the train or subway it’s easier as you are normally riding with dozens of other people, that’s why this tip will focus mostly on the drivers. If you are beginning to feel overwhelmed or overly stressed with your commute, it is wise to talk to a co-worker or friend who works nearby and see if they would be interested in carpooling with you. This choice would not only save you time and money, but also provide you some much needed company on those normally lonely drives.
3. Get Enough Sleep
This tip is more about proactively attacking the stress, not reacting to the stress after it has already materialized. Most people do not get enough sleep and simply do not feel that getting a full nights rest is as important as it really is for adults. Getting enough rest at night is imperative to helping you better handle and manage stress during the day. Not getting enough sleep can have negative effects on almost every part of the body, so getting your 7-8 hours per night is extremely important. Try resist that urge to watch that next episode on Netflix and hit the hay, future you will thank you for it.
4. Scheme and Dream
This is without a doubt one of the most productive things you can do during your commute. A lot of people just sit on their phones just wasting time during their commutes, but a better option is to put the phone away and just think or brainstorm. This time alone in personal silence can be very good and be so beneficial in a number of different ways. Wanting to start a business? Planning a break in your career? Writing a script? Create some side income? Your commute is an ideal location to brainstorm and even plan out the next steps on these goals, and can help give you the confidence to take the dive and really go for your dreams.
5. Listen to Podcasts/Audiobooks
In the modern day, there is perhaps no better way to pass the time during a commute or entertain yourself during the long ride, than listening to a podcast or audiobook. As both mediums are extremely popular in the present day western society, there exist podcasts and audiobooks that can satisfy the needs of even the pickiest of listeners. If you’re a comedy fan, there are hundreds of podcasts with hours and hours of entertainment that will have you laughing and forgetting how terrible your commute used to be. And if you are more into novels and getting lost in a story, there are thousands of audiobooks that can keep you entertained for months and months.