How to de-stress your commute

Your daily commute is a part of everyday life, and commuting time accounts for a large portion of our working day - but, as we all know, the hour (or longer) we spend commuting each day can sometimes be a bit stressful.

Commuting on public transport especially, is subject to all kinds of outside factors that can make your journey a bit rubbish. Weather, traffic, acts of God - all of these things can interfere with our commute, making it doubly stressful.

Well, we're fed up of dreading it. It's time we reclaimed that hour, and used the precious minutes for something more productive and ultimately, more positive.

Olga Levancuka, known internationally as the Skinny Rich Coach and the author of How To Be Selfish thinks that our daily commute can be a great time to de-stress, and feel more productive.

'It is such a surprise that we regard our commuting space as a limbo land when actually it’s an opportunity to do something to lift our mood or do something productive,' she told us.

Read More: Sunday Fear? 6 Tips To Get You 100% Ready For Monday

And with so many people now looking at alternative ways to brighten up an otherwise dull commute (bus dating anyone, yes really...), taking the time to really make the most of those stale minutes can turn your journey from a drag into a real joy.

Olga offered us some tips on how to de-stress and make your daily commute a more positive experience...

1. Identify what's positive for you 
'Does being productive, or looking at photos of cute kittens make you happy? There’s no need to be pretentious, just think. It’s the time of the day when no one watches you, or cares about your decisions. We are programmed to disengage with the world when commuting, so be free and choose to do what makes you happy.'

2. Reconnect
'If your stress levels are going through the roof because of a backlog of unanswered emails, or friends you've been ignoring lately, dealing with these first thing in the morning will take the pressure off for the rest of the day.'

3. Read

'If your commute is particularly long and the book is really good, set an alarm to not miss your stop, and allow yourself to become truly engrossed in your book. Self-help books are the best. They are filled with inspirational stories and motivational aphorisms and will help you start your day on a positive note.'

4. Dream

'And dream big. Keep your eyes open, so you are still in control of your journey and let your mind go wild. Climb Everest, sing on a stage, win that competition, or be a queen for a commute. Trying to think in a practical and reasonable way all the time can put you in your own metaphorical prison. Daydreaming helps you to free yourself from this cage and become a more interesting, capable human who leads a more fulfilling life. In turn, you will start to feel brave enough to take the next step in your career, or perhaps even move on with your relationship.'

6. Power off
'Do NOT read the news. Save it for another time. Some androids have the function of providing you with the latest news and without realising it, we can become upset, as we are reminded of the latest decisions our politicians have made and the tragic events in the world. Commuting gives you some transition time between your private world (home) and your social world (work) and by staying entangled in the news you can’t slowly switch from one world to another. Reading tips on improving your life and wellbeing, or looking at photos of newly born panda bears is absolutely fine.'

Continued below...

6. Change it up
'Change your route when possible and observe the world around you. Notice the changes in the weather. Seek out the faces that smile. See the puddles splashed by passing cars or admire the sky. It feels nice being a part of this world which is much bigger than our inner 'universe'. So enjoy it!'