January Calgary Wellness Article
By Karen Ogilvie
Your Morning Commute: Stress time or the best time!
What is one of the ways to start your day off on the wrong foot? A bad commute to work. And January sets us up perfectly for this with unpredictable weather, bad roads, and terrible drivers. This mean that your day can start with car scraping, standing in the cold, traffic or transit delays, near misses, and tense driving conditions and by the time you walk into the office, your frazzled, frustrated and exhausted. And now you still must tackle your day.
This is Calgary—bad driving happens. But if you are conscious about it, there are a few strategies and tricks you can utilize to make the best of it, and arrive at work without the stress.
Give yourself extra time. Feeling rushed, brings stress. Give yourself plenty of time to account for the scraping and delays. Being rushed could also lead to accidents. Give yourself the extra time, and the worst that could happen is you’re at work early, and have time to go for a coffee before you start your day.
Be mindful. Rather than thinking about bring late, how much traffic there is, or “where the heck is your bus?!”, focus on your breathing and surroundings. Take slow, deep breaths, and take advantage of the slow traffic or wait to notice what’s on your commute that you’d normally speed past. People watch! C-train platforms are a great place to stop and notice other people: their quarks, their fashion, their mannerisms.
Try and enjoy the time you have. You should still be a conscious commuter, especially if your driving, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the time. Enjoy your coffee on your slow commute. Listen to an audiobook or the radio. Sing in the car! Try some meditation. Or if it’s possible, change up your commute, and walk rather than drive to start your day actively.
Be productive. There are ways to maximize your time on a commute as well. In the car is a great place to practice talking if you have a presentation or big conversation coming up. Or brainstorming some ideas out loud. You could listen to podcasts about topics you want to learn more on, or get a Rosetta Stone program and learn a new language. You can even play “brain teaser” games on your smartphone if your commuting on the train. This time doesn’t have to be wasted time.
Just being aware of the change in commute in January and taking active steps towards making the most of it, can help to start your day on a more positive note. Travel safe, and arrive stress free!