The infamous London commute; from crowded platforms to sweltering summer temperatures and standstill traffic, it’s the stuff of nightmares for those less acquainted. And with those in the capital spending more time getting to and from work than anybody else in the country, you’re likely to be in it for the long-haul.
All that travelling the London commute is bound to have some negative effect. A 2016 study from the Royal Society for Public Health found long commutes to lead to increased stress and higher blood pressure, as well as reducing time available for healthy activities such as cooking and exercising.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Here are three simple ways to make your London commute more manageable and – dare we say it – more enjoyable.
Choose the best transport for you
From underground to over ground trains, buses, cycling and walking, there are plenty of different transport options in London. Each will have pros and cons depending on your destination, budget and personal preferences, so it’s a good idea to do your research and try out different methods.
Your quickest and cheapest routes may not always be the most enjoyable. First-class carriages on trains from London Bridge to Deptford will afford you more space, for example, while a bike ride will feel more appealing in summer than winter.
It’s also a good idea to download the National Rail and Tube apps to check for live service updates and change your plans on the go.
Make the most of the spare time
Despite all the people, pollution and noise, there are plenty of ways to make your commute more enjoyable. Whether tuning out or catching up on work, choose an activity that will make you feel better about the rest of your day.
Listening to music has the power to affect your mood and energy levels. A podcast could teach you more about a hobby or the wider world, while replying to emails may help to take a load off your mind. You could even find time and space to meditate.
There’s nothing worse than sitting down on your commute and realising you’re missing something important – especially if you’ve fought through crowds to get that seat in the first place.
Packing a bag the night before is the best way to make sure nothing slips your mind on your way out the door. Just don’t upset your fellow travellers by placing it on the seat next to you!
A water bottle is an essential in the height of summer, while an umbrella will help you cope with our famously changeable climate. Add a portable phone charger if you can’t bear the thought of travelling without your mobile.
Are you a seasoned commuter, or about to start life in the big city? Try out these simple tips to see if you can make your daily journey a better one.