Stuck in traffic on your way to work? Sitting on the train while commuting home after a long day? Take a look at some activities you can use to make the most of your long commute.
The Dreaded Commute to Work
How long is a 'long commute'? Some might say 30 minutes is a long commute while others would argue a 'long commute' is anything more than an hour on the road. It seems like these days, the time it takes to commute to and from work is increasing. If you are one of the lucky ones who either work from home or travel 20 minutes to work, we envy you. If you do have a long commute or know someone who does, these six tips can hopefully keep you or them sane during the commute by doing things other than reading or having a karaoke session in the car.
#1: Learn a New Language
French, Spanish, or Chinese? No, we're not asking what your favorite cuisine is. If you've had any interest in learning a new language, or brushing up on the language course you took back in 10th grade, long commutes might just be what you need. This is a great way to prepare for an upcoming international vacation, to better communicate with a loved one or coworker, or simply to impress your friends with a new skill. There are some great apps you can access on your phone or tablet for free like Duolingo.
#2: Find a Buddy
With all the cars on the road, chances are you are not alone when it comes to having a long commute. Find a friend or family member who has a similar commuting time as you and coordinate your schedules for phone calls to make your long commutes more enjoyable. Before you know it, you've reached your destination! Disclaimer: Just be careful about who you pick. You don't want to hop on the phone with someone who won't let you end the call when you get to work.
Didn't think you would see this activity here, did you? We're not suggesting running laps, though if you're on the subway or train you might be able to run back and forth between the cars, but rather seated exercises. Why not try some side twists that focus on your core and will help tone your abs? Or how about increasing your hand strength with hand grip exercises? Whether you're driving or taking public transportation, you can sneak in a quick exercise or two during your commute.
#4: Develop Your Work Skills
If you're on the bus or train, take advantage of public transportation by developing or learning new work skills. Many working professionals are taking advantage of this through microlearning. Maybe you've been asked to mentor a colleague, or you want to learn more about interpersonal skills - use this commute time to develop these skills.
#5: Plan Ahead
This activity will work best when you're not behind the wheel! Long commutes might mean it'll take you a while before you get home for dinner. Why not look up recipes while you're on the go? That way, you can make a quick detour to the grocery store on your way home. You can also use this time to catch up on email, social media, and any other miscellaneous apps you didn't have the time to look at during work hours. You can also finally accept that friend request from last week.
#6: Recharge Yourself
Maybe you enjoy the long commute because it's the only time in the day when you have your alone time. This is the perfect opportunity for you to just sit in silence, meditate, or pray. This is a refreshing way for you to mentally prepare yourself for the day or to reset and unwind after a long day.
However you choose to do spend your time during your commute, whether it's talking with a friend or learning a new language, remember that you're not alone! If you find yourself stuck in traffic, turn to the vehicle next to you and give a little wave--you might just brighten up someone's day.