Where I live in the Washington D.C. area, many of my neighbors, friends, family as well as myself have, at one time or another, had a long commute to work. Those long commutes can certainly add up and take a chunk of your personal time and cause frustration and stress. But, I am here to throw out some ideas on how to make better use of that time whether you commute by car, train, bus or the sidewalk . . . or a combination of them all!
Your time is precious so why not use those commuting minutes that can turn into hours in a more healthy and productive way to work for your life outside of work, too . . and actually make it better! See if any of these ideas can work for you to change the mindset on your commute and maybe even see it as a really large advantage!
How To Make Your Commute Something You Actually Look Forward To
1. Clear your head, get your blood pumping and do your heart some good!
Fill your lungs with fresh air and get off the train 20 minutes ahead and walk the rest of the way. That's 40 minutes of walking each day. Even 10 minutes each way - that is 20 minutes towards your 10,000 steps each day. Think of the fresh glow you will have when you arrive to work and how much more alert you will be! Or, perhaps you can commute by bicycle every day or some days and get your workout for the day completed!
2. Catch up with those you care about and be a great friend.
Tap into your friends and family's social media accounts, comment and stay in touch. Send at least one email a week to a friend or family member and let them know you are thinking of them. Send them an article you think they would like, a photo or even reminisce about a memory you shared. They will love to hear from you! If you are alone, give them a quick call.
Don't miss this: Here are practical ideas of how to design a great social life that fits you best, enhances your life and is so good for your health.
3. Create some work buddies.
Friends at your office can really make your work life more fun and more successful. So, make some pals! Perhaps a carpool could work to share costs and to get to know your work mates better and make it a more enjoyable spot to be.
4. Become (more) brilliant.
Think of how much you can learn by easily downloading and reading all those great articles and books on your list!. E-Readers like these are so great for commutes as they are light, glare-free and perfect to slip in a tote bag to instantly elevate your commute to YOU time! A few of my family members love theirs and use them all the time.
You may want to create a basket like I have that I toss magazine articles or things I want to read at a later time that I can grab from when I am anticipating a wait somewhere. Choose a few each week to read during your commute.
Or, create a list of podcasts or audiobooks you can punch in your cell phone. It is amazing what you can learn through those and many are so inspiring. You will come home so much smarter and even in a better mood! Your family will appreciate that!
Don't miss this: Here are some TED talks I think are worthwhile!
5. Eat a healthy, energy-making breakfast.
Let that commute get your body ready for the day ahead with a nutrient-dense, superfood breakfast to fuel your energy all morning. A healthy smoothie, juice or a wrap are great options and easy to eat one-handed.
Don't miss this: Here are some delicious and energy-boosting ideas of what to toss in your smoothie.
6. Make healthy dinners all week.
Well, not exactly . . . but you can pick Fridays' commute time to meal plan for the following week. Tap into Pinterest for great healthy meal ideas. Make your grocery list, too, and when you are running out over the weekend, you can pick up what you need and start Monday off incredibly organized and stress-free as all those time-saving, healthy meals are all planned out for the entire week and make dinner time so much smoother and healthier!
Don't miss this: Try my strategy and make this quick, healthy sauce that creates different dinners almost by itself for the whole week.
Being productive is great, but perhaps the thing you need the most is some downtime. Just close your eyes and chill out. Daydream and get some R and R during your commute time (not if you are driving of course!).
Don't miss this: Here are some other really important ways to take care of those peeps!
8. Show gratitude.
There must be someone you need to thank that has helped you or your child or someone in your circle recently. Tell them. Shoot a text, make a quick call, write an email or stash some inexpensive but cheerful stationary like this and a few stamps in your briefcase so that you can write a quick note of thanks when you think of it. Drop it in the mail before you hit home.
So, you can see, those commutes can really work to your advantage! It can allow you to become more well-read, smarter, organized, better-fed, a good friend, in better shape and more!
For Even More On The Topic . . .
- We do spend a lot of time waiting. Try these ideas to pass the time and boost your health a notch!
- Meal planning just became easier with lots of ideas all in one place: healthy vegetable sides, healthy main courses and even a healthy treat or two!