I used to work from home full-time, and I spoke about the pros and cons of that here. However the last few months since starting my new role I am office based. And whilst that has been fab in some ways, I have really not enjoyed going back to doing the commute!
When I worked from home I really missed the office vibe and felt isolated, I love that I’m back in an office environment. I just wish it wasn’t one I had to travel to by public transport ha!
The commute is not a particularly fun – it’s busy, hot and you can end up feeling exhausted before your day has truly begun! Especially when your commute is taking you through central London! That being said, if you commute ‘wisely’ you can get more out of that time.
Here are some simple tips to help you survive the commute and have you turning up for work with a smile on your face… Ok, I can’t guarantee that last part but these tips should help! They’ll also help for travelling in general, not just for the commute.
I LOVE my coffee in the mornings. In fact, my morning coffee, prepared by my husband Scott, is one of the only reasons I haul my butt out of bed. That and the fact that I can’t afford to get fired 😉
Usually, I drink a cup whilst getting ready and then fill my travel mug with what is left in the caffetiere. My travel mug is an insulated one that keeps the coffee warm whilst I travel.
I also always ensure that I have a fresh bottle of cold water in my bag for the commute. It get’s really hot on the buses and underground and I get easily flustered and thirsty.
I use a reusable bottle as I’m all about minimising plastic waste (read more about that here). This bottle can then be reused throughout the day. It’s really important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day, plus it’s good for your complexion! *win-win*
Keep Fresh on the Commute
There’s nothing worse than being squeezed in underneath someone’s stinky pit on the tube! I am short and always seem to end up with someone’s armpit across my head. Thankfully most travellers have showered and don’t smell so bad but there’s always one!
I’ll be the first to admit that when it’s hot and cramped on the underground I can start getting sweaty. That’s just a natural reaction of the body to heat after all. However, I do always shower in the morning and I make sure that I have a few essentials to help me feel fresh on the commute.
Body/ Face wipes – I recently purchased some Faith in Nature 3-in-1 biodegradable wipes. They are eco-friendly but not too pricey. I use them to freshen up my face or under my arms when I’ve finished the hot and sweaty commute!
Deodorant – My favourite is the Mitchum powder fresh antiperspirant and deodorant stick. However, I’m thinking of changing to a natural alternative.
Cooling Face Mist – I use the Liz Earle Instant Boost™ Skin Tonic Spritzer. I bought a bottle from John Lewis which I keep in my handbag. It’s really refreshing, hydrating and helps me cool down.
Antibacterial Gel – The thought of all the germs on public transport makes me feel a little queasy. Especially at this time of year when every other person seems to have a cold! I keep a mini bottle of anti-bac gel in my bag. Perfect for making you feel a little less grim after gripping the handrail trying to stay upright on a shuddery bus!
Listen to Music or a Podcast
I try and zone out a bit when travelling to work. If by some miracle, I get a seat, then I like to crochet or read. Most of the time, however, I am stood up squashed in between other commuters. When that happens I just plug in my headphones and amp up the volume to help drown out the constant noise around me. If you’ve ever been on a packed London bus you’ll know how annoying that button the driver presses is – the one that says ‘please move down inside the bus’. I swear the driver on Friday pressed it so often I wanted to pull the console out!
One good way to make proactive use of your time on the commute is to listen to a Podcast or a Ted Talk. I’m listening to a podcast called ‘My dad wrote a porno‘ at the moment (so bloody funny!). Last week I listened to a fascinating Ted Talk about capsule wardrobes.
Pack a Mini Fan
No matter what time of year it is – the commute in London rush hour is a hot and sticky business. I have a mini fan which I keep in my bag. Yes, I probably look like an idiot when I pull it out however within minutes I just know all the other people on the journey are jealous ha!
Use your time wisely
Just like listening to music or a podcast you can use your time wisely on the commute. I like to use mine to respond to emails about the blog and draft out blog posts. Sometimes I’ll use that time to message friends – a quick WhatsApp or text can really make someone else’s day better.
I also tend to post to Instagram during my morning commute and respond to any comments or messages on there. As well as my own Instagram account I run the Travel Bloggers Club account so I will spend a few minutes posting on there too.
If I’m in the right frame of mind I’ll use my Duolingo app to practice a new language. At the moment I am trying to learn Swedish. Or I’ll write up my priority ‘to-do’ list for the day.
So there you go – a few simple tips to help you survive the commute or any journey!
What are your favourite ways to get through the commute or travelling?