How To Make The Most Of Your Commute
Commuting can really take its toll on our physical and mental well being.
The average person in the UK travelling 1 hour to get to work, we spend an average of 520 hours a year commuting. Yep, that’s 520 hours of our time every year just moving from one place to the next. It doesn’t help that living in London trains and buses tend to be extremely crowded during rush hour, which can really out you in a sour mood by the time you finally get to work.
When you think of how much time you invest in commuting, it makes sense to start thinking of ways that you can best maximise your time. So, we have come up with some ways to make the most of your commute so that when you think back to those 520 hours spent on the train, bus or walking it won’t seem so bad.
Commutes can be stressful enough as it is which is why meditating may be a good way to get you through your morning and evening journey. You can download meditation apps like ‘Calm’, which host a number of different meditation techniques. There is even an entire section on commuting which is perfect for those of us who are never quite sure which mediation to pick. The meditations vary from 2 to 90 minutes and so there is something for everyone regardless of your journey time. The Calm app also includes meditations for anxiety, gratitude and deep sleep so you can really tailor your mediation to suit your mood.
Deep Dive Into A Book
Reading is one of my favourite things to do. When I noticed I was spending way too much time watching Netflix and series on Amazon, I decided to make a change and begin reading again. I committed myself to a book every 6 weeks because tis way I could read at a leisurely pace and it would seem like a rush to finish. I’m currently reading ‘Stay With Me’ by Nigerian author Ayobami Adebayo, a book about a young wife coping with the struggles of jealousy, betrayal and despair as her husband takes on another wife. Some other books that I have loved are:
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Gone Girl and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Half Of A Yellow Sun and The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Work On Your Personal Passions
For the next 8-9 hours you’re going to be at work so it’s nice to take some time out for yourself. Whether it is to set out goals for the day or week or catch up on some news and stories about things that are going on that interest you. I’m a daily subscriber to The Economist, The Brief and Forbes Daily Dozen, which provide me with some useful nuggets of information on international development and and sustainable fashion.
Listen To An Audio Book
I know we suggested reading but sometimes when you don’t have a seat on the train, it can be pain bring out your book on a packed train and being pressed from all sides, that’s why audio books are a good option. I won’t lie to you, they do take a little while to get into. The beauty and the curse of our imaginations is that we always expect things to e certain way, whether its how a character will sound or how we imagine them to look, so it’s always a bit annoying when things don’t quote fall in place as expected. BUT! Once you get past the initial weirdness of it, audiobooks are very enjoyable! You can download apps like Audible by Amazon Ito have access to a range of books from any genre.
Podcasts Are Always A Good Way To Go
Ok, so none of the above interest you? What about a podcast? I use podcast to catch up with daily news because although I know I should watch the news more, I rarely watch TV and so miss out a lot. Podcasts are a great way to listen to public affairs, topical shows TED talks or dramas. I recently listened to Homecoming by Gimlet Media and absolutely loved it!
Change How You Commute
If you’re lucky enough that you can get to work and avoid public transport, I would recommend it. We really underestimate the mental strain that commuting on packed train or bus has on us, which is why if you have the opportunity to walk or cycle in you should make the most of it. It is a great way to clear your head and start the day in a positive way.