Improve your daily commute habits
Many of us who live in big cities can understand how difficult it is to get to work and more importantly how long it can take. Research found that people who live in London spend daily on average an hour commuting for their work or studies. Therefore, commuting can have a negative effect on our mental wellbeing as it reduces the time we can spend at home with our families, friends or by ourselves. Furthermore, when waiting for buses or trains which are delayed, canceled or overpacked our stress levels tend to increase and therefore our blood pressure raises. Experiencing these psychical and mental health changes daily can lead to long-term changes to our wellbeing and we will learn to associate commuting with negative feelings. Waking up and feeling negatively about the start of your day due to having to do the commute can have an effect on the full day and lead you to being less productive and bright.
However, we understand that we can not suggest that you stop your commute but we can give tips on how you can change your outlook on the commute and how you can use that time productively.
Listening to podcasts
Finding podcasts or talks which you enjoy listening could improve your commutes as they can give you a sense of productivity, development and happiness depending on what you choose to listen to. Each day you can choose between different topics such as art, music, comedy shows, health, hobbies and create a special playlist for yourself. Podcasts can be a good source of information, inspiration, ideas and entertainment. Try exploring on different applications such as the built in Podcast app on iPhones, Stitcher Radio and Castbox.
Plan your day ahead
Before reaching work, many successful people plan their work routine and organise what they have to complete by the end of the day. During your commute, you can make a plan for your day ahead by creating a to do list, checking that you are working on your prioritise and making changes to your day where needed. By planing your day, you will have a clear idea of what to do and it gives you control of over you day and will destress your mind.
Learning how to stop and breath for even as little as 5 minutes during your commute will help you clear your mind, be present and focus on your feelings. Taking time to take deep and slow breaths will improve your heart rate, calm muscle tension and help you regain focus over your thoughts and relax your body. Practicing mindfulness whilst being on a train, bus or even driving has become accessible and easier with many online applications such as Headspace, Smiling Mind and MindFi.
We know that this might sound odd and we are not advising doing squads on a full tube during rush hour but we do suggest getting off a few stations earlier to have a short walk. Taking a daily twenty-minute walk will get your blood circulating, heart pumping and release your endorphins which trigger a positive feeling. Getting into work after a brisk walk will mean that you're starting with a positive mindset, energetic, alert and ready to start the day.
Considering many of us live busy lives, it can be difficult to find time to take care of our own mental wellbeing. Using the time you commute, you can make yourself priority and focus on something that improves your wellbeing. You may want to focus on writing a gratitude list, breathing techniques, reading a book, listening to new music or simply reflecting on what is going good for you in life. This can help you both during your commute to work and from work to release negative energy, decrease your stress levels and bring joy to your life.
These are our tips on improving your daily commute and what you can achieve by making small changes everyday. Let us know in comments if you have tried any of our methods and how did it go for you!