Tips for managing commuting
Adding a long commute to a busy day can ramp up stress, fatigue, and over time, negative health consequences. It can also impact on relationships.
What proactive steps can you take to reduce the impact on your wellbeing?
- Move more. Be as active as you can during your day and see if you can make some daily exercise a priority. Take stairs instead of lifts, stand to work as well as sit, arrange walking meetings and catch-ups with colleagues, instead of sitting in a meeting room. Try also regular stretches and other micro movements.
- Take a train. Where possible, take public transport so you can use the commute time to get things done (this could be work, or life admin, for example), or to do something enjoyable which will provide you with some recovery – you might read, or tackle a crossword, listen to music or a podcast, knit or write or plan holidays or hobby projects. If tiredness is a problem for you, try a power nap or some meditation exercises to help you recharge.
- Drive mindfully. If you need to drive, focus on your mindset as you drive, to ensure you stay calm. Try driving mindfully – see if you can keep your focus of attention on the driving and bring your thoughts back to the drive when they wander off. Or practise slow belly breathing, which will keep your body in a relaxed state and stop your mind from racing. You may also enjoy listening to music or a favourite radio station.
- Prioritise good quality sleep and nutrition. Where your days are long and you may be eating as you travel, try planning your meals ahead of time. Consider taking food from home or visiting the cafes where you know more nutritious options are available.
- Talk with your family, friends and colleagues about the commuting challenge. What can they do to support you? How can they encourage you to prioritise your health and wellbeing to minimise the impact of the commuting?
- Keep communicating with your employer. Are there options for working from home some of the time, which can help to break up the week? Could you adjust your start or finish times to avoid travelling at rush hour?
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