For some of us, going to work five days a week is tough enough - add a stressful commute to the mix and your day could start with frustration and end in agitation.
It’s well documented that most heart attacks happen between 4am and 6am – that ‘no man’s land’ time when the mind can race with thoughts ahead of your working day and drive your stress levels through the roof. And that’s all before you’ve even stepped into the shower!
The upside is there are much more productive ways to put those commute hours to good use and help you sleep through the night worry-free.
Here are seven ideas on how you to own your commute and make it work for you.
- Get on the audio book bandwagon
Finding time to dive into the latest best seller or that autobiography you’ve had on your reading list for months isn’t always easy. But, if you can listen to it while you ride the train, stroll or drive to work, you can escape into another world, lift your mind and your spirits all at the same time. Try makeuseof.com for their Top 10 Free Audiobook Sites.
- Rehearse your ‘big sell’
Commuting is the perfect time to rehearse a speech or get your thoughts in order for an upcoming presentation, interview or important conversation you need to have with someone. Inspiration can strike anywhere and short notes added to your phone can help you remember the key points you want to get across.
- Learn something new
Half an hour on a bus or train a few days a week might be all you need to learn something completely new that could help you go for a promotion at work, learn more about a subject you’re interested in or simply up your chances of winning the local pub quiz with your dazzling general knowledge.
You can find Podcasts, Vlogs, even pre-recorded lectures from some of the world’s most prestigious universities on everything from cooking to criminology. What better way to use that free time than adding to your own knowledge bank.
- Become your own PA
Unopened email, unanswered texts, overdue skype calls, the online grocery shop you promised you’d do yesterday…our ‘To do’ lists are endless and can add to your stress levels when free time is limited. With the help of your phone, you can knock lots of these jobs off your list while you travel to and from work, leaving your evenings and weekends gloriously free.
It’s okay to close your eyes and enjoy a little downtime too. A power nap, meditation tracks and music or sounds that help you relax can take you a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of your commute, putting you in a better frame of mind to face the day ahead or allowing your mind to settle and unwind for the evening.
- Budget like a boss
It’s a well-known fact that people who keep their personal finances in check sleep better. And with hundreds of free apps available to download, it’s never been easier to manage your spending and savings. Best case, you save enough to retire early and commuting becomes a thing of the past. Worst case, you’ll have a better grasp of your finances and tick another stress box off the list.
- Create a cracking playlist
Music is often described as food for the soul, so you could try raising your endorphins (and the hairs on the back of your neck) with a string of power ballads you know all the words to or a beautiful classical overture that rouses the senses and gets the blood pumping. Whatever genre works for you…turn it on and turn it up!
Remember regret for wasted time is just more time wasted. Make the most of yours!