I’ve commuted for all of my working life and throughout university. And I can tell you that commuting can get me super wound up. Especially after a long day at work. I tend to just scroll through Instagram and Facebook the whole time, which can feel very numbing after an hour and a half each way, every day.
So in my search for ways to decompress after a long day at work, I came across an article that encourages its readers to decompress during their commute. I felt like the topic was an oxymoron because commuting is far from relaxing.
I researched that commuting can make you can feel isolated, depressed and anxious. Also sitting in a car or train can lead to higher cholesterol and blood pressure. So it’s time to switch it up. Try one of these things each day of your commute. You’ll have something to look forward to as you travel from work.
Here are the ideas!
- Sleep (train commuters). This is the common thing to do. Catch up on some sleep. Or get extra rest. Set your alarm to wake you up five minutes before your stop.
- Watch Netflix (train commuters), you may not be able to binge watch, but you can catch up on at least two episodes a day that you’ve fallen behind on. Provided that you’re data plan allows for this type of internet consumption.
- Complete a crossword puzzle (train commuters). This may not be a popular option but learning how to complete one will be a new challenge.
- Inspiring podcasts. Anything inspiring automatically puts us in a good mood. So listening to podcasts. Listen to live talk radio. Listening to a conversation is a great way to get your mind in a different place. My favourite podcast is Delilah. She puts life in a perspective that I really appreciate.
- Read an inspiring book (for the train commuters). These types of books are always a page turner and your commute will fly by. You’ll wish that you had more time to read. I often feel empowered and pumped to continue my day after reading an inspiring book on my commute.
- Take a different route home. You’ll be surprised how alert and revived it will make you. The commute won’t feel mundane or routine. Change is always good. You’ll get home feeling a lot less warn out. Because your mind is engaged and you’re seeing different scenery.
- Completely disconnect during this time home. Put your phone on silent. But it away. And maybe meditate and just be in the moment. Be present. Disconnect from technology. Make your commute your technology detox time. Use the time to close your eyes and meditate. Practice mindful breathing exercises, progressive relaxation. Be present. Enjoying the environment around you. Notice whats inside and outside.
- Learn something new. Like a new language using an app like Duolingo
- Simply change your shoes, it also helps signal to your brain that the stress of the day is over. perhaps were running shoes, flats or flip flops as comfortable walking shoes. Comfortable foot wear. I’ve been meaning to buy these Adidas shoes for so long now. I always see them on Pinterest. I really wanna wear them when I’m walking to and from the office. They look so comfy and chic. If you’ve got them, let me know how comfortable it is.
- If you’re driving, resist the urge to slouch, do some stretching techniques before you get into the car. Stretch hips and chest before getting behind the wheel to loosen and relax your muscles. As with a desk chair, adjust the seat so your posture is upright and there’s no strain on your back.
- Listen to relaxing music. Give your commute a spa-like experience by listening to calming music. Search the Google play app for soothing tunes to help you unwind during your commute. I listen to the playlist called Spa Radio.
- Try on the go- aromatherapy with essential oils. A drop of lavender or lemon oil can keep anxiety and funky smells at bay. Lemon, lavender, and other plants like basil, oranges, jasmine, and laurel contain linalool, a chemical compound that has a calming effect. Sprinkle a few drops onto a handkerchief or tissue and inhale as required. Or try this aromatherapy necklace, it’s scented! (such a cool idea!). Just wear it on your commute. If you commute by train, be mindful of people around you who may have allergies to fragrances.
- Try an audio book; it will help you get through a book fast. It will focus your attention, so you’re not thinking about your day. Or how long your commute is.
- Bookmark articles on apps like Evernote, Pocket, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. During your travel time read all the juicy articles waiting for you. This way you feel like you’re getting on top of things you’ve wanted to read for a while. You’ll definitely feel like you’ve crossed something off that to-do list. I’ve used Pocket to bookmark some of my personal articles so I can reference them quickly.
- Reflect, with a journal like The Five Minute Journal or a gratitude journal to focus on gratitude and change your perspective for the day. perfect time to think about what makes you happy, the good and positive things that happened in your day. This is bound to put you in a good mood during your commute.
- Check in with your friends and family. Text or call your friend who may be commuting too, so that you have some sort of social contact during a very isolating time. Like I mentioned earlier, commuting can feel lonely
- Start a new hobby. Or spend the time doing a hobby that you never have time to do. I’ve noticed some people knitting, crocheting, or doing embroidery during their commute. There are some cool accounts you can follow on Instagram to totally inspire you with these old school hobbies. If you’re not into any of those, some new hobbies you can get into, meditative adult colouring book, a board game (on an app), drawing, writing, blogging, play Sudoku, start a book club.
Just to round it up. Change up your commute by trying at least 2 of these ideas and let me know which ones you’ve tried. I trust that you’ll thank me later (wink wink). Also, tell me in the comments.
Do you have any inspiring podcasts you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.