With July here to stay, bringing all of its heat, the craziest month of summer has officially begun. The sweltering heat, traffic, and long commutes, anyone can find it stressful. Mondays are less tolerable than ever in July.
On occasion, I suffer from the Sunday night blues, but tonight I’ve got a really bad case! I’m pretty sure you’re feeling the same way. The myriad of struggles with the incompetence and endless frustration of the NJ Transit Summer schedule. The system is under revisions this summer,making things more confusing for both tourists and us. The work at Penn station will affect roughly 600,000 commuters from New Jersey and Long Island.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo says this will be a “summer of hell” for commuters. Of all the things that cause us stress and anxiety — a heavy workload, financial woes and a cluttered home, to name a few — commuting to work is one of the most universally loathed. And it’s not just an unpleasant experience: long commutes have been linked to a number of negative health outcomes, including high stress levels, poor sleep, unhealthy weight, and even a shorter life.
Thus we are left with two choices: resent out commute or make it productive. You know I’ll be choosing the latter, and I’m going to make sure you can too. Let’s turn this “summer of hell” commute into a relaxing part of our day. Re-framing the way you view the trip and trying some healthy tips can turn your commute from a twice-daily source of stress into a peaceful time to yourself between the demands of work and home.
Here are 4 ways to de-stress (and maybe even enjoy) your commute.
1) Enrich your brain. Tune in to your favorite podcast to boost your brain or tug your heartstrings. Depending on the podcast you choose, you can learn a new language, think about niche subjects, or hear heartwarming anecdotes.
2) Be creative. Brainstorm and write down your ideas in a notebook.
3) De-stress. Listen to a guided meditation, or relaxing sounds of classical music.
4) Unplug and recharge. Instead of checking your email and texting friends, try powering down your phone and take a nap.
Most importantly, always take a few deep breaths at the beginning and end of your trip, in spite of the inconvenience, you made it to your destination safely, and sometimes that in itself deserves a little gratitude.