How to beat the commuter blues

By Emily Grenfell


Commuting to work is something you do day in, day out. It’s that one crippling repetition of time spent in limbo between your two worlds, work and home, and what with delays, early mornings, and zero personal space, it can feel interminable. People jostle, bags clash, toes are trodden on, and everyone tries to forget where they are while they bury themselves in their inboxes. 


So how do you beat it? Like most things in life variety is the solution. Your brain is programmed for change, it responds to it, feels nourished by it, and a change of pace is often all it takes to feel revived and refreshed. Like everything else, change takes effort, but what you get from it is a new way to look at your every day.


Refresh your music

Your iPod probably hasn’t seen a new playlist for about six months. You know there are catchy tunes out there, you hear them in the shop where you buy your lunch, but by the time you get home the last thing you want to do is log in to iTunes and spend time with your music library. Make time for it, because the right music in the morning could be all you need to start your day right. If you have apple music, spend ten minutes saving songs offline so you can still listen on the tube, or download the Spotify app. Music is so important and thanks to modern technology it’s very accessible.   


Write a reading list

Commuting time is your time. It’s time you get every day just you, yourself, and thousands of total strangers. Reading is forced escapism, it increases your intelligence, broadens your knowledge of the world and other people, and helps you relax. The benefits of reading are numerous, so when you’re next trapped on a train, try escaping through fiction.


Vary your route

There are multiple ways you can get to work. If you can cycle, but avoid it because you can’t face it every single day, one or two days a week is enough. Do you live near one or two colleagues? Organise a ride-share or split an Uber bill. Perhaps you just get off the tube a stop early and walk the rest of the way. Any alteration is good for your brain; it helps you feel invigorated, and opens your mind to the possibility of change, a mind-set that will rub off on your work and your life.


Eat a healthy breakfast

Breakfast helps with everything. It kick-starts your metabolism, fuels your morning, and if it’s fibre and fruit-rich starts your healthy regime from the word go. You’ve heard the phrase start as you mean to go on, well this goes for your eating habits as well. If you can’t make breakfast at home, locate a place where you can buy a healthy breakfast en-rout to work and alter your journey to incorporate it. Better yet, locate several and mix it up everyday.



Daydreaming is great, and there’s no better time for it than when you’re crushed onto a train at 07:45am. Daydreaming enhances your memory by learning to recall information on command. It also helps us to fulfil our potential, as people who achieve usually imagine their achievements first. It boosts your creativity, and lifts your moods. It really is the best medicine, so make sure you allow yourself the freedom and the time to daydream whenever you can.