The morning commute to work can be a very stressful time for some, but there are some easy ways to take the edge off and get your day started right.
The journey to work is the most misunderstood part of the day. Viewed by many as a seemingly endless slog from bed to office desk, the thought of waiting for packed busses or trains under a quintessentially grey Irish sky can be overwhelming and can often lead to a very bad start to your day. Some travel schedules are so gruelling that you’re tempted to throw in the towel before your day has even properly begun.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
With a few so-obvious-you-should-have-thought-of-it-yourself tips and tricks, as well as the right attitude, your morning commute can be just the launch pad you need to having a great day – every day.
Or at least MOST days.
This writer himself has only recently begun to understand the benefits of choreographing mornings. But what does that look like, really?
For some, it’s as simple as choosing and folding your clothes the night before, placing two spoonfuls of coffee into your cup and leaving it next to the kettle, preparing a healthy breakfast before going to bed, or gathering up all of the tools of your trade and placing them within arm’s reach for the following morning.
The key is to minimize your to-do list before you have to run out the door to catch that bus. Which leads us to…
Wake up slightly earlier
Whether it’s just 15 minutes or a whole hour, it helps to set that alarm earlier than necessary. There’s nothing quite as uncomfortable as going through the motions in the morning while still nodding off in a state of half-sleep, so why not give yourself time to wake up properly?
The extra time will give you the chance to collect your thoughts, possibly meditate (if that’s your thing), and even enjoy your morning coffee as opposed to guzzling it down in unnecessary haste.
Don’t skip the breakfast
Not everyone has the appetite for breakfast first thing in the morning, but it has to be stressed (as if you haven’t heard it millions of times) that this is the most important meal of the day. Even if it’s just a breakfast bar, make sure you eat before you leave. You’re not you when you’re hungry.
Turn your walk into a power-walk
If you have to walk to the bus or train station, why not incorporate some exercise into your routine? Putting a bit of power in your walk gives you the chance to let off some steam, get your heart pounding, and loosen up those joints before your journey on a potentially crowded public transport.
Hide the clock
This may be a controversial one, but avoiding the time once you get on your transport mode of choice might be the key to stop your mind racing as you try to “beat the clock” on the way to work.
Again, this may come with the risk of upsetting some of the more insular commuters, but striking up some small talk at the bus stop or train can help boost your mood if you are of the extroverted personality type. But remember, if someone looks like they don’t want to speak to you (or anyone, for that matter), it’s best you leave them to their own devices. Not everyone wants to talk about football or Love Island at 7.30 am.
Tune in, drop out
Whether it’s your favourite music or podcast, your earphones provide you with a very important psychological tool to help you make it through your commute. Your favourite podcast, for instance, can act as a kind of wall between you and your surroudings, allowing you to distract yourself on a particularly miserable morning.
Other powerful tools that many will attest to are mindfulness and breathing exercises. If you suffer with anxiety or are prone to panic attacks, then giving yourself this much-needed headspace is the perfect way to get from A to B as easily as possible.
No, seriously. The morning is a great time to catch up on everything that’s going on in your community and much further afield. Aren’t you lucky we’re here to help you with that!
The morning commute doesn’t have to be an inconvenience, it can also be an opportunity to psychologically transition from one environment to another in as relaxing a way as possible.
Good morning, folks, and make sure to have a great day.