With over 3 million commuters daily using public transport services across the UK, it’s not surprising that you may get a little stressed during those tiring mornings into work trying to nab a seat and even busier journeys home. A study into commuting has found that these journeys can affect anxiety, our happiness, and general wellbeing, but whether it’s a bus, the tube or the over-ground, most of us must do it. After reading a few articles on people’s commuting experiences, I have provided my 7 easy ways to stay cool, calm and collected (you may even start to enjoy it):
- Plan ahead
Timing is key when it comes to taking public transport. If you turn up late, whether it’s a bus, a train or the tube, you’ll have to go to the back of a long line of people who have secured their position. If you arrive early, you’re already one step ahead and can let all those people pile on and be at the front of the queue for the next! There are also a vast number of apps that allow you to minimise the risk of being late or encountering a cancelled journey. My personal favourite being CityMapper!
- Make the most of your time commuting
Maybe there’s something you’ve been meaning to do that you haven’t had time to complete during the day. Maybe you want to improve your writing skills or maybe you want to bring the more creative side out but can’t designate the time to do it. Well, why not do it on your commute? Grab a notebook and start to put those ideas to paper.
- Grab a travel buddy
Two minds are always greater than one, and this is especially true when commuting. Having a travel buddy can help with several things, they can help with getting to the front of a queue, they can help with getting the both of you a seat and they can even help with providing you with some entertainment or a nice little catch up for that long journey in or out!
- Learn something new
What better way to spend your commute than learning something new. This could be a different language, or improving your knowledge by taking part in a brain game or watching an interesting documentary. By doing this, not only will it improve your journey, but it will give you something to talk about with your colleagues at lunch time, making you look that extra bit cultured and fancy. The world really is your oyster (pun intended)!
- Improve your fitness
Walk as much as possible!
It’s a fact that individuals are encouraged to complete at least 10,000 steps a day (the thought of that many steps are scary, I know). To make sure I do this, personally, I try and get off one or two stops before and walk the rest of the journey, only if it isn’t raining though. Try it, you’ll feel the benefits in no time at all. You can even do the same on your way home if you’re feeling extra sporty!
- Wear comfortable shoes
This one is so under-rated. Yes, those shiny smart shoes may look good and compliment your powerful – and well planned – outfit, but you soon realise they have an evil side when you find yourself running to the bus that is just about to leave! Leave the smart ones at work in future and invest in a comfortable pair of trainers to get you through the commute, without any blisters!
- Presume the worst and being kinder will be easier
Now this is a big one… It’s almost a known fact that people who commute will rarely interact with one another, unless there is a problem. The amount of times I’ve seen funny looks being given, or a passenger making a comment when having to give up their seat to someone who needs it more, is outrageous!
2018 is the year for being kinder to others, and there’s no better way to start that trend, than when on your commute.
It will surprise you how much you can make someone’s day by either offering them your seat if they need it more, helping someone leave, or even helping with bags or anything they may have with them. Rather than disliking all other people for being on public transport, remember that without them, none of the tracks or the trains would be able to exist, without us all using it. We also have no idea what people did before they got on the train or where they are going when they get off, so, give everyone benefit of the doubt. Although the common misconception is that smiling or even looking at someone for too long on public transport is weird (and sometimes creepy), giving a smile to those who may look stressed could make that person enjoy their commute just a little bit more or even make their day!
So, there you have it, 7 easy ways that you can enjoy your commute more. We must remember that cities are full of strangers who all do things differently, all have bad days, but all sit next to each other, thigh by thigh on our way to work, so kick back, be kind and (at least try to) enjoy the journey.
Winnie Ellis-Hall – Admin Assistant at drp