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Image / Editorial

How do you make your commute less stressful?


by Colette Sexton
05th Nov 2019

If you are one of the unlucky ones with a long commute, there are some things you can do to make this time every day more enjoyable.


The average worker in Ireland spends 28.2 minutes commuting, according to data from the 2016 Census. Of course, commuting times can vary widely from person to person depending on their own situation. Some people simply roll out of bed and into their home office while others find themselves stuck in traffic for hours.

If you are one of the unlucky ones with a long commute, there are some things you can do to make this time every day more enjoyable.

Listen to something great

For many people, especially parents, the commute is the only time in the day they have to themselves. Use it. Invest in a good pair of headphones to block out other people’s noise if you are commuting on public transport, or hook your phone’s bluetooth up to your car radio.

Invest in a good pair of headphones to block out other people’s noise if you are commuting on public transport, or hook your phone’s bluetooth up to your car radio.

Select an album that makes you happy, a podcast you find interesting or stick on your favourite radio station.

Avoid the temptation to do something else, like mindlessly scrolling on your phone and just allow yourself the luxury of listening.

Think about how you commute

In the 2016 census, the vast majority of people, over 1.2 million, said they travelled to work by car. This was followed by walking, with over 175,000 getting to work on foot, and then 174,000 said they used public transport.

While for many people, they have no alternative way than the current mode of transport they use to get to work, some do have choices, but often we fall into a habit and find it hard to break it. Think about how you get to work, and whether it stresses you out. 

Try mixing it up if you can, to avoid the repetitive nature of the same commute day in, day out.

Are you used to hopping into the car instead of walking or cycling? Do you find yourself raging at the traffic every morning and arriving into work in bad form when instead you could have walked to work or cycled, leaving yourself in control of your arrival time, instead of being at the mercy of traffic? Try mixing it up if you can, to avoid the repetitive nature of the same commute day in, day out. Even if you can’t change the mode of transport, try taking a different route if possible. 

Leave a little earlier

While it can be hard to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, there is nothing worse than being in a rush to get to work – running to get to the bus stop, missing the Dart, cursing the traffic lights. If you just got up a few minutes earlier, you could avoid all of that and have a much easier commute, instead of fretting about being late for work. 

Change your shoes

If you have to wear formal clothes at work, having a pair of comfortable trainers to wear on the way to and from the office can make life a lot easier. It is much better for your health to wear something supportive, and by introducing a routine of changing into comfortable shoes in the evening, it signals to your brain that the work day is done and you can relax. 

Smell something nice

Public transport can be full of unpleasant smells – that many people rammed into a train carriage is bound to cause some pungent odours.

Keep your nose happy by spraying your favourite perfume onto your coat or adding a drop of an essential oil to your scarf.


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