I am now officially a commuter. I sit within that bracket of commuters that borders on the insane, who tend to be the ones used as case studies for excessive house pricing in London pushing people outside the M25. Whose only competition are those who fly in from Barcelona every day. I am an extreme commuter! But you know what? I don’t mind it!
Yes of course I mind if it goes wrong! For the amount I’m paying on a season ticket it better run on time!! If my train halts at the next stop saying ‘this train terminates here due to a lack of train staff’ it is annoying! If it sits in the station for 15 minutes it is annoying. But I balance up the pros and cons and I am much better off spiritually and mentally being a commuter and having my base in the countryside.
I have a number of tricks that keep me sane and thought I would share then with you! By sticking to a routine and taking time to look after myself I have a better sense of well being but it also stops me impulse purchasing on coffee, snacks or lunches as I am well prepared (most of the time!).
My top commuter tricks
Have a routine
I have been working on perfecting my evening and morning routines to make them as efficient as possible for me. You have to do what is right for you but my top points that I try and do every day are:
- get to sleep at the same time every night. I wake up at 5.15am which is literally OMIGOD time but I make sure I’m in bed at 10.45/11.00 latest religiously, winding down from 9.00pm onwards.
- do a 15 minute tidy! I make sure we have clean work surfaces in our kitchen before I go to bed: it makes waking up at a god forsaken hour so much nicer if you don’t come down to a pile of dishes! Only a few minutes but you can’t beat it for sense of well-being!
- plan the next day. I make sure I plan my outfit and my lunch for the next day so that when I wake up i don’t have to think! I wake up, coffee, clothes, car, train…simples!!!
Know your zen
I have spent the last few months perfecting my zen and now I am back at work I have some tools and tricks that help me to relax and stay calm even in the most annoyance-inducing situations. The things that work for me include:
- meditation. I have a meditation app that I have on my phone – I listen to about 6 minutes of it per day on the train, it is my own personal moment and it helps to calm and centre me for the day ahead. I also try and spend a few minutes meditation before bed to round off the day. This is the free one I use: Calm meditation app
- colouring books. I have mentioned this before but I love my colouring books as they offer me an opportunity to calm down, focus on something and enjoy creativity without being stressed about ‘creating something’. I have a colouring book but I also have a colouring app on my phone should the mood take me while commuting!
- Classical music and e-books! At home I relax listening to classical music (which clashes with hubby’s love of a heavy bass line!) and travelling i zen with audio book – specifically short story anthologies!
Enjoy the journey
The train journey could be the only time of the day when you are alone with your thoughts so it is good to take the time to enjoy it, use it to reflect on your day and relax before the next phase.The commute could be the only time of the day when you're alone with your thoughts so enjoy it! Click To Tweet
In the morning I like to watch the world awakening, looking at all those cars and wondering what their journeys are, where they’re going!
On the way home I play silly games like pet rescue saga or draft my blog posts!
Enjoy the home-time
Most important for me is enjoying the time I have at home during the week. This is one of the reasons I wake so early: to make sure I can have some time with hubby and kitties before I leave.
We make sure we eat together and spend an hour watching tv or usually YouTube before bed to relax and chill!
Probably most importantly I’d say remember why you’re doing it. What is the goal you are working towards? And on those damp dreary days when the train is full and you’ve been standing in the aisle for 90 minutes tell yourself: this is why I am doing it! And if it makes you smile then it’s the right reason 🙂
(If its not then make the change! Read my post: why I quit my job)
I would love to hear your commuting tips!