Going to work is one of life’s necessities for most people. Whether you have a job that you enjoy or not, unless you’re lucky enough to work from home, you will more than likely have a daily commute to get there. Whether you drive your own car to work, or you use public transport to reach your destination, the majority of working people say the daily commute to work is the main thing that makes them start their day in a stressed-out state.
If you are one of those people, consider these five ways to reduce stress on your daily commute to work.
#1 – Get organized the night before
The last thing you want to happen before you start your daily commute is to be rushing around the house searching frantically for missing keys, or wolfing down breakfast and giving yourself indigestion because you are running late. Try to prepare for the day ahead the evening before. Decide what clothes you will wear; make sure your keys are where they should be so you can find them; prepare your packed lunch and have it ready to grab from the fridge just before you leave.
#2 – Get a good night’s rest
Sleep deprivation is not conducive to starting your day stress-free. The body needs a certain amount of good quality sleep in order to rest, recover and repair itself from the challenges of the day. If you wake up tired, at the very least, you will be carrying around negative energy from the get-go. Worst-case scenario your frustrations with the commute may boil over, result in unfortunate consequences. You need to ensure you get at least seven hours sleep and set your alarm to allow enough time to get yourself ready for the day ahead.
#3 – Listen to calming music
Classical music can be very calming to listen to and can be played on your car stereo if you drive to work. Or if you take public transport, bring your headphones and listen to calming music while you are sitting on the bus or the train. The noise of traffic and the hustle and bustle and chatter of other people using public transport can be very grating to some people’s ears. Music will not only help subdue the sounds, but the music will help keep you calmer and less likely to become frustrated with the commute.
#4 – Change the hours you work
If your journey to work is particularly arduous and stressful, talk to your employer to see if you can start a little earlier or a little later then your normally would. Not having to drive during the normal 9 to 5 rush hour traffic, or get packed on the train like a sardine will have beneficial effects on your productivity as well as your health. Explain to your boss that it will be a win-win situation for both you and your employer when you can work more efficiently without the stress
#5 – Find a Travel Buddy
If there is somebody who works in the same area, or even in the same building as you do, consider carpooling or travelling together on the bus or train. Sharing your commuting frustrations will not only lighten the mood, but you will also be forming a stronger social bond with your travel buddy. Strong social connections are proven to help combat stress and its physical and mental effects. You can also take it in turn to drive which will help cut down your travel expenses, as well as reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle.
By reducing the amount of stress you are subject to during the daily commute, you will not only start each day in the right frame of mind; you will be taking decisive action to preserve your mental and physical health.