Millions of us carry out a daily commute to get to and from work. Some people enjoy it as some of the only alone time they get and try to make the most of it each day. However, it’s not always easy to enjoy your commute. Many people have to spend two hours or more getting to work and then do the same thing at the end of the day. You can spend all that time sitting in traffic, with no other option for getting to work, and it’s nothing if not frustrating. If you’re miserable during your commute, there are some things you can do to fix it.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
If doing a daily commute is bad, doing while you’re still tired isn’t going to help. You might be able to get a bit of extra sleep if you commute by train or perhaps share a carpool. But if you’re driving, there’s no chance to get some shut-eye. In fact, as auto accident attorney Samer Habbas points out, many road traffic accidents are caused by driver fatigue. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can’t be tired enough to cause an accident in the morning. If you’re not fully awake, you might not be paying attention – and you’ll be in a bad mood. Consider getting some more sleep if you’re grumpy during your morning commute.
Make Sure You Eat
Another essential thing to remember is that you should make sure you eat breakfast in the mornings. If you’re driving to work, it’s important to eat before leaving home so that you’re not distracted by either your hunger or trying to eat while you drive. If you don’t drive, you can take something with you to eat during your commute. It’s best to take something that’s easy, but that might mean that you limit yourself on what you eat for breakfast. Try to have more than a yogurt or granola bar. Before going home, it can also be a good idea to have a snack to put yourself in a better mood.
Keep Yourself Entertained
Boredom is another problem that can plague you during your commute. Along with the feeling that you’re wasting some of the precious few hours that you have in the day, it can make you resent your commute a lot. If you find that you get bored, there are plenty of things you can do to entertain yourself. If you’re driving, you can listen to music or the radio, or try some podcasts or audiobooks. Just make sure you pay attention to the road. If you’re not driving, all of these things are available to you, but you might also want to read or perhaps watch something.
Choose the Least Stressful Commute
Is there a way that you can change your commute to make it less stressful, even if it takes longer? When your commute makes you miserable, swapping to a longer but calmer route could be the answer. Maybe you currently drive but spend an hour sitting in traffic. If you have the option of taking the train or a bus, but it takes 20 minutes longer or costs a bit more, it could be worth sacrificing some time or money for a slightly more pleasant commute. It’s something you do every day, so weighing up the pros and cons of your options makes sense.
Rethink Your Route
If you can’t switch to a different method of transport, you might want to see if you can find a better route to and from work. You might think you’re currently taking the best route, but there’s often room for improvement. You might also find that it’s better to take two different routes on the way to work and on the way home. Different days can be different too. Before you leave, use a map or route calculating tool to work out the fastest way to get where you need to be based on traffic and other factors that can change each day.
Prepare for Your Work Day
Another way to make the most of your commute time is to get ready for your workday. This can mean different things, depending on how you get to work. If you’re driving, it’s best not to spend your time daydreaming about what you need to get done in the office. You could make some hands-free phone calls, but be careful because they might not be much safer than holding your phone in your hand. If you commute using public transport, it’s much easier to get some useful tasks down. Whether you write a to-do list, get ready for a meeting or make some notes, you can get a headstart on the things that you need to do for the day.
Take the Active Path
It’s not possible for everyone, but some people can benefit from cycling or even walking to work. You don’t have to do your whole commute by bike or on foot, though. You can do part of it by car or public transport, then the rest walking or cycling. This is a great way to combat some of the health problems that can be caused by commuting. It’s also a good way to start your day in an invigorating manner and to be more active.
Consider Shortening or Dropping Your Commute
Is it possible to shorten your commute or even stop commuting altogether? Some of your options could include moving closer to your job, changing jobs or looking into flexible working so that you can work from home or commute at less busy times of the day. While these can be pretty big changes, they could work for you if you have a hard time with your daily commute. If it’s truly making you miserable, you need to do something about it. Making a huge change might take a while, but it could be worth it.
If your commute is getting you down, think about how you can make it a better experience. It’s something that you do most days, so you should take some time to think about how to make it more pleasant.