How to make the most of your work commute
Why sit and waste precious time on your daily commute to work when instead you can use it to get more out of your life.
With commute times in Australia averaging over three and a half hours per week it’s a lot of time that could be better spent on something other than another mindless Instagram scroll.
If you want to make commuting to work more useful to you, here are a few ways to ensure you’re using your time to improve everything from your mental health to your physical wellbeing.
It goes without saying that you should probably avoid this if you’re driving but if you’re on public transport definitely go for it.
Numerous studies have shown that meditation can improve everything from stress levels to feelings of anxiety and concentration so you’ll emerge a calmer, more focused person by the time you get to work.
- Related: Mindfulness apps for better health
Learn a new language
If you’ve ever wanted to master a different language, your travel time can be a great time to do it.
There are a number of apps available to guide you through the process, and not only is it a great skill to have, research has also found that learning a foreign language has been associated with better memory later in life.
Start a hobby
Don’t have time for a hobby?
Try using your commute to do everything from knitting to drawing.
Not only will it pass the time, research has found that engaging in hobbies for an hour or more each day can help protect against dementia in later life.
Australian researchers have found that computerised brain training is not as effective in improving brain performance, instead experts suggest using real-life activities instead.
Think of doing a crossword or Sudoku puzzle in the newspaper, or a memory game where you have to recall as many things from a list as possible.
- Related: How to boost your memory
Listen to a podcast
Join the 3.5 million Australians currently tuning into podcasts and immerse yourself in an almost endless array of topics ranging from true crime stories to career tutorials.
Not only will this ensure your commute time goes by that little bit faster, but you can also learn a new skill or lose yourself in a gripping story in the process.
Practise belly breathing
Learning to breathe effectively using your diaphragm brings with it benefits such as stress reduction, improved core stability and lower blood pressure.
To practise diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing get comfortable and relax your shoulders.
Put a hand on your chest and a hand on your stomach and then slowly and deeply breathe in, feeling your belly rise as you do so.
When you breathe out purse your lips and press your belly down and exhale.
Do this exercise a few times a week to really get the hang of it.
Written by Tania Gomez