How Your Everyday Commute Affects Your Mental Wellbeing

blurry photo of workers doing the daiily commute on a train station platform

The daily commute is something that millions of people all over the world endure Monday to Friday. For the majority of people, this will be an extremely stressful journey particularly if they live far away from their place of work or if they work in a major city.

Stressful Journeys

The daily commute can take its toll on your mental health in a number of ways. For most people, the journey will be a rush because they will be starting work at around 9 A.M which will mean getting up early. This stress means that you often arrive at the office feeling flustered, which is not the best way to start the working day. This is furthered when the commute takes a long time due to traffic, delays and queues which are out of your control.

Long & Expensive Trips

Another way that commuting can impact mental health is that it can take up so much of the day. Many people spend multiple hours of their day travelling to and from work which can understandably interfere with their happiness. A long and stressful commute minimizes the amount of time that you get to spend at home with family or by yourself which is key for happiness. When you factor in that a long commute can also cost a fair amount of money it is easy to see how it can cause stress, anxiety and depression along with a host of physical health issues.

Remote & Flexible Working

So, how can you reduce stress when it comes to commuting to work? There are a few effective strategies which could make a big difference to your overall wellbeing. One is to speak to your boss about the possibility for occasional remote working. Remote working is on the rise and has a host of benefits for employers and employees. Even working from home one day a week can do wonders in reducing commuter stress. You could also inquire about flexible working hours which would allow you to avoid the rush hour by working earlier/later.

Planning Ahead

Another way to reduce commuter stress is through pre-planning. Purchasing off peak tickets in advance can reduce stress, help you to avoid queues at the ticket machine and streamline your commute both ways. You could also look into alternative routes and/or methods of transportation which might be faster and/or quieter.

The commute to and from work is an enormous cause of stress for many of the working population. Long journeys, morning rushes, traffic, delays, congested public transport and the fact that it is a journey for work can cause stress and anxiety and even physical health problems like high blood pressure. If your commute is interfering with your health and happiness then it is important to assess your situation and to identify positive changes that you can make.

*collaborative post

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