OK, you might not be able to change your job - but how about changing your outlook when it comes to your commute? Read on for our top five tips to improve your mood on your way to the office - quick, healthy and free.
Put your sneakers on!
Studies have shown that the more likely you are to walk for all or part of your commute, the less likely you are to feel stressed and/or unhappy while on your way to work. With that in mind, try making time for a short walk either before or during your commute. If you use public transport, getting off the bus or subway a couple of stops before you normally would is a good start. Gradually try getting into the habit of walking morning and evening - you’ll likely see an improvement in your posture after eight hours sitting at your desk.
Take a different route
Sick and tired of seeing the same old buildings during your walk to the office? Challenge yourself to find at least one alternative route to work that doesn’t take too much longer than your usual one - ideally one that includes a little walking. Google Maps is your friend (don’t get lost), but who knows - you might just discover your new favorite café during your morning stroll!
Download an audiobook or podcast
There’s no excuse for being late to the podcast party - all you need is your smartphone and a decent pair of earbuds. If you struggle to find the time to curl up with a good book (us too), listening to the latest installment of a gripping novel or chat show can really improve how you view your commute - heck, you might even start to look forward to getting out of the house in the morning. If you’re stuck for inspiration, here’s a list of some of the best. Staying informed while on the go - now that’s the kind of multitasking we like.
Try biking to work
If you have trouble hitting the gym before a long day at work, but are still looking to stay active, why not try biking some or all of the way? Cycling has been shown to lower health risks associated with cardiovascular problems, as well as reducing the likelihood of everything from obesity to colon cancer - so saddle up. Even if you don’t have a bike, many major cities offer bicycles for hire free of charge, so it’s worth taking a look to see if there’s a station in your local area.
It might sound cliché, but sometimes, a different perspective is all you need. Whether you live in the city or in the countryside, you’d be surprised at just how much action you’re missing staring at the ground all day. What’s more, studies have found that ‘tech neck’ - i.e. the posture our body tends to assume when we’re looking at our smartphones - can lead to muscle strain and trapped nerves, so do your spine a favour and try your best to maintain good posture while on your commute. These guided meditation tips are great for taking the stress out of that cramped subway ride - so stand tall, breathe deep and take a look around!