There are things in life that you simply can’t avoid. If you’re not working from home, which only a tiny population does, you’re most likely commuting daily.
Not that journeying to work is in and of itself bad for you. It just tends to take a toll on people after a while. In fact, research shows that these daily trips to work can trigger chronic stress if they last more than 20 minutes.
Whether you drive, walk, use rideshare or public transportation, you’re still susceptible to the stress that comes with anticipating your day, traffic issues, and the after-work boredom.
But what can you do to minimize the stress associated with your daily commute?
Stick around for our top tips.
Put on Your Headphones
Some of the things that can make the trip to and from work depressing are what you encounter on your way. It could be the constant noises like honking, engines whirring, construction, people noises, etc.
All of the chaos that is part of the day could leave you feeling overwhelmed long before you get to work.
You can make things better for yourself by tuning out all that noise and focusing on what’s pleasant. Music is usually pleasant to most people. Create a long playlist of whatever music you’re into, and put the earbuds or headphones on.
If you’re driving, you can play your music out loud and use it to boost calmness and satisfaction on the road.
Get a Mental Boost
Stress results in loss of focus and distractedness. It could put you in a risky position when driving to and from work. The risk is still there even if you walk to work. Pedestrian accidents are on the rise, and one of the leading causes is distractedness.
You can lose the stress on your trip to work by giving yourself a mental boost. Caffeine can wake you up and make you focused and ready for the day.
Get yourself coffee or tea to drink on the way. You can also use green tea, lemon juice, and ginger drinks to stay alert and reduce stress in the morning.
Take Alternative Routes
Everybody gets tired of “same old”, and you can’t wait to set yourself free when you do.
Except you can’t set yourself free from taking that daily trip to work unless a better offer presents itself.
But you can do something about the boring, stress-inducing old routine.
Considering that commuting is the problem, try spicing it up a bit. Hopefully, you may begin to look forward to your morning trips.
Change things up by discovering and taking different routes to work. You can create a system whereby you don’t take the same route more than twice a week.
Switch Transportation Modes
Just like going the same route every day, using the same transportation means can result in a bland sameness. If you’re taking the subway at the same time, in the same place every day, you may begin to take it negatively.
You can avoid the monotony by frequently changing your transport modes. If you take the subway today, catch a bus tomorrow or use rideshare.
If part of the stress comes from traffic issues, walk or rent a bicycle some days.
You don’t need to think about anything when commuting to work or even allow your mood to be soured.
Unless you’re driving, which means staying focused the whole time, you can keep yourself preoccupied with other things.
Get a book or a mag to read on your way to work. Play a game on your phone, or work away on your laptop. If possible, stick to fun activities that have nothing to do with work.
The world today moves way faster than it did a few decades before. That’s part of the problem.
Have you ever felt like you’re ever in a rush to do something or go somewhere?
Most people do. The more your life gets busy, and you struggle to find a comfortable balance, the more stressed you are.
Workplaces don’t make things any easier, and that routine trip to work is just another part of the hamster wheel.
You can use that time on the way to work and back to disconnect. Get a cab or public transport, take a window seat, and shut everything out. You may not be able to slow down the world, but for a few minutes, you can disconnect from it.
What makes commuting to work stressful is that it contributes to the stress of work and life. You can address the bigger issue with time, but for now, make your commute fun or turn it into an escape.