"Secret getaway?" you ask. Yes, there are many ways to escape the doldrums of your daily commute. Wouldn't it be great to end your commute with the realization that it wasn't so bad and didn't seem as long as usual? It's simply a matter of changing your mantra from, "Another long commute," to "Another opportunity," with these 11 commute-enriching ideas.
1. Give yourself plenty of time
First of all, and perhaps most important, always allow for the unexpected. If your typical commute to work is normally 30 minutes, add 10 minutes for unexpected delays. This will take the stress of being on time down many notches--preventing your temper and anxiety from boiling over.
2. Get active
Plan ahead so you have time to get off the train a few stops ahead of your destination so you can walk the rest of the way into work. Park your car a mile or two away and walk or bike into work. Join a gym close to work so you can commute to the gym, workout, and then walk to work.
3. Travel with friends
Find ways to combine your commute with socializing. Create a carpool or commute with a friend on the subway.
4. Catch up with friends
Whether you're driving in your car (using a Bluetooth device), or on a subway, bus or train, this is a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family via text, email, or voice. Amazing how fast your commute is when your mind is occupied with camaraderie.
5. Read (or listen to) a book
Commuting is a great time to catch up on your reading--audio books, kindle, and magazines. Get reading!
6. Learn something new
Make commuting time, learning time. Learn a new language, teach yourself how to knit, learn how to create your own website--the possibilities are endless. Podcasts and audio CDs are great for the car commuter.
7. Become a great observer
Open your eyes to the world around you and unplug from the tech world. Observe what others do with their commute time. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells and really see and experience your world as you commute through it.
8. Catch some Z's
If you ride public transportation, then you have the luxury of taking a nap and catching up on some much needed sleep. Not into sleeping on public transportation? Try meditating to reduce stress--this is yet another great mental and physical health-enhancing tool to learn about during your commute.
9. Get organized
Your commute is your opportunity to plan your day or even get it started. If you drive your own car, create an audio to-do list with some of the great audio apps out there like AudioNote. If you commute by subway, this is your chance to create your to-do list and answer emails before arriving.
10. Make it an adventure
Tired of the same old commute? Change it up by taking a different route. Observe all the differences as you go and get into the mind frame that this is a new adventure.
11. Move closer to work
None of these ideas resonating with you? Move closer to work--close enough to walk or bike to work would be heaven.