5 ways to improve your commute

Two women enjoying their commute to work. Commuting can be difficult, but we have some ways to improve your commute and your health.

Connecticut commuters spend a lot of time commuting — 26 minutes on average, according to the U.S. Census Bureau – and mostly in cars.1 Hours on the road steal time from family, exercise, and relaxation. Here are some ideas for healthier commuting.

Pick your ride

Driving to work has been shown to increase feelings of stress, social isolation, and hostility, along with blood pressure and other physical and mental health concerns.2 Commuting by walking, biking, or taking public transportation can help.2

CTrides.com can help you find a carpool, bus, train, or other option to improve your commute – and maybe save you money. They even have a commuter rewards program that lets you earn points for choosing transportation that’s better for the environment and redeem those points for restaurant coupons, retail discounts, and more.

Plan ahead

Take time on the weekends and in the evenings to make the weekdays less stressful.

  • Plan the week’s meals and shop for the ingredients.
  • Pick out your clothes. Check to make sure they’re clean and ready to wear.
  • Pack lunches in advance.
  • Remember snacks! Have a bag of nuts, snack-sized hummus, or fruit to eat while you ride. Snacks can help if you experience motion sickness and hold you over until your next meal.
  • Use the timer on your coffee maker to have your morning brew ready to go.

Embrace self-care

We’ve shared the benefits of self-care before, but have you considered making it part of your commute? If you’re driving, listen to an audiobook, comedy podcast, or inspirational music. Buses, trains, and carpools give you the freedom to meditate, flip through a magazine, or complete word puzzles.

Adding some pleasure to your commute can help you start the day with a clear head and detach from work on your way home.

Change your shoes

Little things can make a big difference. Even if you aren’t walking or biking to work, try changing into sneakers for your commute. Your brain will sense that you’re more comfortable and take it as a sign that you can relax.

Ask about telecommuting

Your job may allow you to work from home one or more days each week. Ask your boss or human resources department if this is an option. The change of scenery may help spark your creativity and save you money in gasoline, parking, and fares.

1. Kara, Jake. “Census: Increase in CT drivers spending more than an hour to get to work.” CTMirror.org (6 December 2018). Accessed June 7, 2019.

2. Wei, Marlynn, M.D., J.D. “Commuting: ‘The Stress That Doesn’t Pay.’” Psychology Today. (12 January 2015). Accessed on June 7, 2019.