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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

10 Tips for a Long Commute

The long commute, the dreaded journey each day to get to work. Long commutes are no longer rare, with so many people living far from their jobs I know how tough it can be. I spend between 3-4 hours a day driving to my job. For me I have learnt to enjoy the commute, because if for one moment I become unhappy then I know something needs to change. Happiness is so important in life and if you are unhappy about certain elements in your life or have negative feelings then you need to focus on these and change them. That's why I thought today's post would be on my top 10 tips to staying sane on your commutes.



Here are my top tips:

1. Listen to music - For me this is my top tip. Music can instantly change your mood. It is surprising how many mornings I get in my car tired and as soon as I turn my music up my mood is lifted. Listen to your favourite tunes that make you happy. I love putting together playlists and look forward to whats next. Before you know it my journey is complete. I also love the idea of listening to motivational talks, podcasts and audio books because for me knowledge is power.



2. Share your journey with a friend - I would love to have someone join me on the long commute as I would love a good catch up and someone to pass the time with. A few times I have been lucky to have friends join me on my commute. Unfortunately for me my journey most of the time is on my own but if you can find a colleague or friend to car share or catch the same train then this is such a good way to enjoy your commute. As I don't have this option I usually have a phone call with a friend or my partner so it's a great time to catch up on all the gossip or fit them in when your normal work day is just so busy to contact them. Obviously if you are driving like me then just make sure you invest in a good hands free kit.

3. Plan your route - A simple tip I would say but it can really make a difference if you try and avoid the heavier traffic times, so perhaps leave 10 minutes earlier or later. Also try looking at different road options that skip busy routes such as the school runs or main roads. Get to know your route and at least there will be various options for when there is unexpected traffic which does not help with a long commute in the best of times.

4. Breakfast/Coffee - I most definitely get Hangry haha! I make sure I have a small healthy snack before I leave for work or if I don't get time then I will grab something for the car journey. My day starts with a coffee so treating myself to a lovely Cappuccino in the morning or in my flask for the car puts a smile on my face. The long commute needs energy so make sure you give yourself some with a good breakfast.

5. Read a Book - I love to read and pick up a book any chance I get so again get lost with your favourite characters and fall into the pages during your journey. Again if your commute consists of train/bus then this option is perfect to while away the time. Just don't miss your stop.



7. Think - I love taking the time to have some "me" time when driving. I use the drive to think and organise in my mind what I have to do and reflect on things from my day. Everyday life can be so busy rushing from here to there. With all the chores needed to be done, people to see and errands to run, finding 5 minutes to yourself can be hard. I love thinking positive thoughts and motivating myself with setting goals. Another tip I love is breathing exercises to keep you calm and your mind clear.

8. Sleep - It is so important, especially if driving to get enough rest. I love to make sure I have a good night's rest each night so I am energised and ready to face the next day. By having a relaxing evening before my commute to work and a good night sleep, I feel far more relaxed and happier when facing a long journey. I try to get into bed an hour before I sleep and read a good book in order to switch off from the world.

9. Watch your favourite TV shows - I do not have this option when driving but the odd time I have managed to catch the train for my long commute I love catching up with my favourite TV shows or watching a film that is on my current watch list. For me getting through an episode or two makes the journey fly and why not use the time wisely. For me Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Nashville are brilliant companions. Sit back, Netflix & Chill!

10. Quick workout - We all know exercise is a great stress reliever as when you work out your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These trigger a positive response in your brain so puts you in a good mood for the day. You may not get much time in the morning like me to go to the gym or for a run, but a few quick simple exercises at home, or some stretches before you sit in your car for a long drive is enough to blast any negativity away.

What are your best tips for the long commute? How do you get through it and still have a smile at the end of the day?

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