There are numerous benefits in taking transit to work, such as saving money, less time wasted in traffic, and more physical exercise, but did you know it can improve your mental health as well? While driving alone in your car has its comforts, things like congestion and bad drivers can make for a stressful trip to and from work. This can take a toll on your overall well-being and ultimately affect your mood and productivity at work. Riding the train, bus, or Metrorail however, can actually be an enjoyable commuting experience – not only will you avoid driving in traffic (the D.C. area is ranked in the national top ten cities for worst congestion, FYI), but you can spend your time productively, or even do nothing at all! Here are some ways you can occupy your time while on your way to work. (Drive-free commutes only!)
- Read – Bring a book with you on the bus or train and relax on your way to work. I’ve found myself looking forward to being able to take out my Nook and enjoying my ride on Metro and the bus.
- Check your email – Not the most exciting commute activity, but productive nonetheless. It can’t hurt to get a head start on the work day!
- Play games – Solitaire, Words with Friends, Angry Birds…the best ways to make time fly. Have at it smartphone users!
- Do puzzles – A great way to wake up your brain in the mornings! I’m a fan of the old-fashioned crossword, but things like Sudoku, word finds, etc. are fun too.
- Catch up on current events – Reading the Express and Examiner can keep you up to date on the news and things going on in the DC area.
- Listen to music – This can obviously be done with all the above, but sometimes it’s nice to just put in headphones and zone out for a while.
- Socialize – Might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially on a Monday morning, but having a friendly chat with the person next to you can be an enjoyable way to spend time on your commute.
- Sleep – Didn’t get a full 8 hours the night before? Taking a quick nap on your commute can give you a boost of energy before or after work. Just make sure to keep your personal belongings close by and don’t miss your stop!
Enjoy the ride commuters! And don’t forget, if you have any questions about transit benefits and other commuter programs, feel free to contact ATP!