Our daily commutes can be incredibly stressful, even without all the added pressures COVID-19 is putting on our travel routes. If you’re unable to work from home and are making the journey to and from work each day, check out our commuting tips to help keep the travel as stress-free as possible.
You don’t want to arrive at work or home stressed out from your travel. You want to make the transitions in your day as pain free as possible so you’re in the best mood as you arrive at work or get home at the end of the day.
We have lots of tips to help you make the most out of every day and even begin to enjoy your commute.
Lots of the stress of commuting comes because you feel like you haven’t got enough time. If you can plan ahead and get prepared before you have to travel, you take away some of that time pressure. Pack your lunch and bag the night before to save yourself time in the morning.
Check that you have all the things you need to travel in a safe place too. Whether that be car keys, bus pass or rail card, you need to know where they are for a smooth exit.
One of the best ways to stay calm and stress-free on your commute is to be familiar with your route. If something happens, like a road diversion or train cancellation, know which alternatives you can take. Having a back-up plan to your normal journey can be incredibly helpful.
Listen to local radio in the car or check online for travel disruptions and updates helps keep you in the know of anything that might interrupt your journey. It can give you the time you need to figure out a different route before you get snaffled up.
If you’re spending lots of time in your car, it needs to be somewhere you’re happy to be. Keep it clean and make sure it’s comfortable. Set up a playlist or download podcasts or audiobooks in advance to entertain you on the journey. Having fun things to occupy your mind when you’re in the car can be good for keeping you calm.
You also need to make sure everything is in perfect working order on your vehicle. Clanking noises and engine whines won’t make for an easy journey. Check out our tips for basic car maintenance that will go a long way in keeping your car healthy.
One of the biggest stressors on a commute is the feeling of being late. Employers aren’t big fans of lateness and if you’re having to clock watch on your route and diversions and disruptions interfere with your journey, you can get stressed.
Combat this by planning in some buffer time into your route. This gives you a bit of wiggle room if you get stuck in some surprise traffic or if there’s a disruption to a rail service.
If you can buddy up with someone along the way, their companionship can be a welcome distraction from the commute. Having someone to talk to and share ideas with is a great way to alleviate the stress of travel.
Even though it might be tempting to cut across lanes or drive a bit faster than the limit, in reality, it won’t actually save you any time. Instead, try to remain calm and drive courteously. It will make the road safer for everyone and keep you from getting stressed.
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the destination that we forget to enjoy the journey itself. Take the time in the car, bus or train to collect your thoughts and reflect on the day. Try not to dwell on the negatives and enjoy the present moment.
Travelling at peak times is going to be more of a hassle than when it’s quieter. If possible, try to avoid the rush hours by talking to your employers about changing your working times by an hour so you can miss the worst of the traffic.
If that’s not possible, find a gym or leisure spot you can visit before or after work so you can make your journey off peak times that way.
Even though they might be the shortest as the crow flies, routes with lots of traffic lights and crossings can make you feel more stressed. Constantly stopping and starting can increase your agitation.
Instead, find a route with smooth flowing traffic, even if it is a little more circuitous. You’ll feel better not having to stop as often along the way.
We hope you’ve found some of these stress-free commuting tips helpful. What are some of the techniques you use to make your journey to work fun?
If you need a hire car to take the hassle out of your next journey, get in touch. We have a great range of affordable cars, vans and minibuses for hire and you can book it all online.