Top Tips to De-stress Your Commute

Posted on October 23, 2017

In 2016, a total of 685 million people commuted with the smrt, and 450 million commuters have been counted in 2017 so far. But the early morning rush to work can leave you feeling stressed, even before you arrive at your desk.
Jane Bozier, Mindfulness Expert at Bupa UK, has put together 9 tips on how to de-stress your daily commute and start your workday right.

1. Put your phone away
Resist the urge to get your phone out as soon as you are on the bus or train – being online might seem like a welcome distraction, but in reality, it keeps you on edge. Instead of watching for the next demand on your time or attention, keep your phone in your pocket and deal with appointments once you have arrived at work.

2. Admire your surroundings
If you are walking past a park or you have a nice view from the bus or train window, take a few moments to consciously take in the beauty of nature. Appreciating the natural world around you will get you into a positive mindset.

3. Change your routine
Try to make small changes in your usual routine to help break the monotony. Walk a different way to the station, take the bus instead of the train, or even just sit somewhere else on the bus or train. Try to savour the experience of doing something new (no matter how small!), and enjoy the change of scenery.

4. Buddy up
See if you could share your commute – or some part of it – with someone else, like your partner, a housemate, a neighbour or colleague. This includes not only carsharing, but also just arranging to take the same train. Traveling with a buddy distracts from the irritations of the commute, and in the long term improves your social relationships and thereby also your mental health.

5. Practice breathing exercises
If you nonetheless feel the tension rising on your way to work, try to relieve it with breathing exercises. The simplest form is to breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of four, and then out through your mouth through another count of for. But you can find many variations of breathing exercises online, so choose the one that makes you feel the most comfortable.

6. Listen to an audiobook or podcast
Listen to an audiobook or podcast to help keep you occupied and pass the time. Jane Bozier suggest downloading one of her mindfulness podcasts to help get you started on your next journey, but any kind of audiobook or podcast will do, as long as the topic interests you.

7. Be positive
It might not be the done thing on public transport, but try to smile! You’ll probably find that people smile back and brighten your journey. Studies have shown that smiling is mutually rewarding; both parties feel good for having shared a smile.

8. Walk where you can
Even though our initial thought might be that taking public transport instead of walking to work makes the commute easier, it has actually been found that walking is more relaxing for us, especially when the alternative is a crammed, hectic metro car. Walking also benefits your physical and mental health, but if your way to work is too long to walk it all, try to walk a part of your daily commute: For example you can walk to the metro station instead of taking the bus there, or take your usual public transportation, but then get off a stop early and walk the rest of the way.

9. Start work at work
Try and keep your commute separate from your working day. Doing your emails before you get to the office may make the journey even more stressful. Reclaim your commute by making it part of your own personal time – in the morning as well as on your way back home.

Category(s):Mindfulness, Relaxation techniques, Stress Management, Workplace Issues

Source material from Bupa

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