Swap trains and traffic for a set of healthy habits…
The average daily commute takes 59 minutes, here we imagine five things we could be doing away from rush hour (if you aren’t already) ….
Break a sweat
Exercise is always a great use of our time, boosting our mental and physical well-being. The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week meaning most of us could dedicate our commuting hours to breaking a sweat, with time to spare. Raising your heart rate will sharpen your focus, increase productivity and could even improve your memory – your work is sure to benefit. Perhaps up until you have been using the extra hour to sleep in but with bright mornings there is no better way to kick-start your morning, releasing endorphins which will see you through the day.
Take time to reflect
Meditating is one of the best ways to make time for yourself and for many forward-thinking companies it plays an important role in staff well-being. Google famously teaches employees to ‘Search inside yourself’ in its cleverly-named programme for mindfulness. The scheme has taught the benefits of reflection over reaction, and you too might like what you find after focusing on your mental health.
Keep a journal
Writing can be an incredibly cathartic tool, especially in an age of keyboards and touch screen smartphones. Taking time to record your thoughts in a journal is particularly useful for stress management, and could also help with your professional problems. Getting into the habit of putting everything on paper will put things in perspective and is more useful than simply pondering a problem. Try starting with a to-do list to get started.
Read a book
Stress takes its toll on everyone’s working life at some point and sometimes combating our worries can be easily achieved by escaping our everyday humdrum into the wonderful world of literature. Often we are too tired to read at the end of the day, managing a couple of pages before nodding off, only to have to reread them the next night because we were too sleepy to take in what we were reading.
Perhaps your commute used to be the only time you were able to read, so grab a coffee, find a comfy spot and lose yourself in the written word.
Cook a good meal
Almost a quarter of Brits always skip breakfast, the same number of people miss the most important meal of the day around once or twice a week. Those who eat in the morning often take their breakfast on the go and miss out on the simple pleasure of a healthy start to the day. Swapping commuting with cooking will give you a greater chance of maintaining a varied diet while aiding brain function and your ability to concentrate on work.
If you aren’t a breakfast person then spend the time preparing a nutritious lunch, giving you more time to enjoy your lunch hour, perhaps in the garden in the glorious weather we’ve been treated to recently.