According to a 2011 census, a whopping 11,260,336 of Brits commute to work every day. The exhausting and tedious journey from home to the office can really take its toll, and by the end of the year we’re all ready to pick up our walking boots and hitchhike our way.
Don’t despair just yet. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips that will get you through the winter commute warm and germ-free, instead of cold and sniffling. Whether you’re a freelancer going to meet a client, or a start up getting to your new office on the other side of town – there’s advice here to help everyone stay positive during their commute!
You’re not going to impress your boss by arriving at your 9 o’clock meeting dripping wet, no matter how smart your clothes look when you left the house. Dress smart and dress for the weather – you can always change when you get there.
Wearing thick socks will significantly improve your mood for the rest of the day (trust me). Getting wet feet will ruin your whole outlook, and will have you shivering at your desk too.
Take some snacks
Had to run to get your bus and missed breakfast? Keep some breakfast bars in your bag so you’re stomach isn’t rumbling before you get to work; it’ll give you the extra boost you need to brave the treacherous journey!
Healthy snacks work better than chocolate bars to give your mind the energy it needs for the rest of the day – but who are we to deny you chocolate?
Do you know your route like the back of your hand? If the answer is no, then shame on you. Getting to know your route is one of the most difficult things about commuting, on public transport or in the car! Avoid extra stress by familiarising yourself with what’s to come and remembering specific landmarks.
Bus and train times are never reliable, but knowing all your possible routes and times give you an edge. If something goes wrong, you’ll be on top of it and be able to think of your next best route.
Knowledge is power, after all.
Learn a new language
Sitting on a train for an hour can get boring – trust me. Take advantage of this opportunity and turn the negatives into positives by expanding your skillset. What employer wouldn’t be tempted by someone who has taken the time to learn another language?
There are so many advantages to learning a new language, and sticking to it (no matter how much those pluperfect tenses infuriate you) means you will become a bilingual Brainiac and be able to impress your friends at the New Years’ Eve party with your drunken Italian.
Listen to music
Taking time to relax to some of your favourite tunes will give you a fresh mind and optimistic attitude when you get to work. You can also tailor your music depending on what your plan is for the day.
Got a meeting first thing? No problem. Put on some Beyoncé to make you feel fierce and powerful – you’ve got this! If you’re doing secret Santa today, there’s nothing better than some Christmas songs to get you in the mood. Or, if you’re planning on moping around and not getting much done, Coldplay is always on hand.
Take this time to expand your mind! Read a book to whisk you away from the busy, jolting bus into new exciting worlds.
Or, if you don’t want to carry a book, take a copy of your favourite magazine along with you so you can mentally form your Christmas wish list! Either way, it’s a great tool to make your journey seem to fly by.
You will forever grateful for a warm drink on a winter’s morning commute. Tea, coffee or hot chocolate – whatever you’re fancy it’ll lift your spirits for the rest of the day.
Flasks also make great gifts for someone you know who is a commuter – no one wants to buy their own flask!
Stock up on tissues
With the chilly morning commute comes the germs, then the cold. Be ready for the inevitable Christmas cold with a travel pack of tissues and cold and flu tablets!
Don’t clock watch
We’re all guilty of stressing about how late the bus is even though there is nothing we can do about it. Constantly watching the time when you’re on your way to work will do nothing but get you there in a stressed state of mind, worrying about what your colleagues will think.
Instead, leave your watch at home and set off earlier – you’ll be more relaxed and ready to tackle the tasks you have for the rest of the day!
Most importantly! Never travel without water; your body and mind will thank you for staying hydrated. Water will keep your brain whirring away while you jabber away to yourself in Russian.
Drinking water will also help wake you up – the worst thing you can do is feel tired for the whole of your commute and arrive with droopy eyelids and a big yawn on your face.
Commuters! Have we checked all the boxes? Is there something vital we’ve missed off that you can’t survive without on your journey? Leave your comments in the section below!
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We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!