It’s rare to think of commuting as enjoyable. Even if you travel through a scenic countryside to get to campus, the extra time commitment of commuting can be a source of stress. A 2019 study of workers in the UK found that each additional 10 minutes of commute time was associated with increased strain, decreased mental health, and less satisfaction with the amount of free time they had.
The last thing we need in our lives is more stress, so how can we make commuting a little less “ugh”? Whether driving, biking, walking, or taking public transit, think about your commute as free time you can use to do something enjoyable or productive—like practicing stress reduction—so you can arrive to class a little less frazzled.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. Note that some of these activities will be limited to hands-free commuting methods (e.g., taking the bus or ride-sharing). Always keep both hands on the wheel when driving, and remain aware of your surroundings when driving, biking, or walking.
Ideas for a stress-free commute:
- Read a book or listen to an audiobook
- Review class notes
- Watch a funny show or video
- Create a relaxing playlist
- Meditate or practice breathing exercises
- Call a friend to chat
- Listen to your favorite podcast
- Make a to-do list for the day (or week)
- Take a break from screens to rest your eyes
[school_resource sh101resources=’no’ category=’healthservices,counselingservices,careerservices,residentlife,wellnesspromotion,studentlife,studentgroups,womensresources,commuters’]GET HELP OR FIND OUT MORE
Clark, B., Chatterjee, K., Martin, A., & Davis, A. (2019). How commuting affects subjective wellbeing. Transportation, 47, 2777–2805. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11116-019-09983-9