As travel technology continues to advance, people are able to live farther and farther away from where they work. This is great if you like being as far away from your place of work as possible on your time off, but not so great when it comes to that long haul back and forth. If you really hate commuting, it may be time to give up on it and change your routine so that you don’t have to. You could work from home or closer to home, or just go off into the woods so you never have to go to work again. But if your circumstances just won’t allow for such a drastic life change, there are some hacks and tricks you can use to make your commute a little more bearable and maybe even fun.
7) Take up writing
Some people like to bring a book along for the commute, but if reading isn’t your thing, try writing! Whether you choose to write fiction, political articles, or funny tweets, crafting the perfect sentence or paragraph can be an immersive task and before you know it, half your trip is over. I should know, I just missed my stop writing this. It’s easier now than ever before to write on moving transit because almost everyone carries a tiny computer around wherever they go. There’s no worrying about shaky papers or leaky pens when you’re thumb typing.
6) Choose a commute-specific treat
Like podcasts? Pick a new favourite and only allow yourself to listen while commuting. Sure, you may already listen to podcasts on the train, but if you can only listen while commuting you might just look forward to the trip. If podcasts aren’t your thing, choose a specific (transit appropriate) snack like candy and only allow yourself to eat it while commuting.
5) Video games
Just because you’re a busy businessperson on your way to do business doesn’t mean you can’t still have a little playtime. But if you’re reading this, you probably already have a dozen different match-3 games installed on your phone and you’re sick of all of them. Perhaps you want to do some real gaming? Portable video games can be fun, but playing them on a bumpy bus can screw up your timing and make it more frustrating than relaxing. Solution: RPGs! Turn based, map style role playing video games are the perfect commute companions. These games are more about strategy and levelling up than having wicked joystick skills. Games from your childhood like Final Fantasy and Pokémon, do not require you to fight enemies in real time. And once you start levelling up, it can get addictive! There are lots of emulator apps available for smart phones that allow you to play all you favourite 2D classics as well as brand new titles.
You’re sitting quietly anyway, why not do an open eyes meditation? Meditation doesn’t always have to happen in complete solitude and silence. There are lots of meditative mindfulness practices you can do in public without looking like a weirdo. Check out this list for more.
You don’t need weights to work out. In fact, you don’t even need to lift your own body weight. Simply flexing your muscles is a great way to work out without working up a big sweat. Try clenching your fists to work out your forearms. For a great calf workout, sit with both feet flat on the floor and raise your heels so that only your toes remain grounded. If you’re on a crowded train or bus, give up your seat and grab the hand bar. Keeping your body stabilized while standing in a moving vehicle is a great way to work your core muscles.
2) Take the scenic route
If you commute by car, you can’t safely try a lot of the suggestions listed here, but you do have the freedom to choose your route. Taking the scenic route may actually add a few minutes to your drive, but time is relative. Spending an hour winding your way down a pleasant road through a park at 30km/h will feel like a lot less time than sitting for fifty minutes in stop and go gridlock. Lots of wellness experts say that spending time in nature is a great way to boost your mental health. If you don’t have time for a daily nature walk, a drive through a well-treed suburb may be your next best option.
1) Quit or change your job
Quitting a job isn’t always possible, but dreading your commute may be a sign of a deeper problem. There isn’t much you can do to make yourself enjoy the ride that takes you to a job you hate. On the other hand, a long commute doesn’t need improvement if you’re excited about where you’re going.
Whether you travel by bus, train, car, or cab, there are lots of things you can do to make your daily commute a little less hellish. We hope these tips help you make the most of your moving!