Commuting. It can be frustrating and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be. Regardless of how you get to work, there are lots of ways to make your commute productive, relaxing and even enjoyable. Here are some of the best ways to reclaim your commute:
If you are lucky enough to live within walking or biking distance from work, your commute will do wonders for your health and well-being. According to Chron, a 30-minute walk to and from work will burn 360 calories per day, while a bike commute of the same length can burn as much as 700-900 calories per day. But the benefits of walking and biking to work go beyond weight management. Those who walk and bike to work also enjoy better cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol and are more alert. In fact, Rachael Rettner, senior writer at Live Science writes that a 2014 study from Preventative Medicine found that people who walk or bike to work are happier than those who do not.
“People who walked or cycled to work had higher well-being scores than those who drove. In particular, people who drove to work had a 13 percent higher likelihood of feeling that they were constantly under strain and unable to concentrate, compared with those who walked or cycled,” reports Rettner.
Walkers and bikers can also feel good about the money they’ll save on gas or public transportation fares, and the fact that their commute is not causing harm to the environment. If you use your travel time well, it can even be pleasurable.
If walking or biking to work aren’t options for you, there are other ways to boost your commute. Commuting by train, subway or bus is efficient, relatively inexpensive and environmentally responsible.
If your commute is fairly long, get a head start on your day by using your laptop or tablet to read and respond to emails, check your calendar or create a to-do list. When you arrive at the office, you will feel less overwhelmed and better prepared to hit the ground running and tackle the challenges of the day. You’ll find work is less stressful when you take time to prepare.
Nope. That’s not a typo. Hygge is a Danish word that refers to the act of getting cozy. How can you get cozy while commuting? You can embrace Hygge no matter what your mode of transportation, by sharing your commute with friendly colleagues, diving into a good book or just taking the opportunity to daydream. Maybe there’s a reason why the Danes are renowned for being one of the happiest cultures on earth!
Driving to work can be stressful. Traffic, detours and bad drivers can make you feel like a nervous wreck before you even reach the office. Don’t let the drive get to you. Make it entertaining and productive by listening to podcasts, music and audiobooks. You can even learn a new language. The only drawback of this technique? You might not want to get out of the car once you reach your destination!
Any commute will be less stressful and more enjoyable if you leave yourself ample time. While getting an early start on the day isn’t second nature to all of us, getting up a bit earlier so that you don’t need to rush can go a long way toward improving your commute and your entire day. And it doesn’t have to be a chore: reward yourself for being an early bird by stopping at your favorite bakery or coffee bar for a treat. It’s bound to make your commute a whole lot sweeter.