Who would have thought that of all the things we missed this year, our commute would be one of them? It turns out that even though nobody enjoyed waiting in traffic or taking a crowded subway, the time spent alone before work or school was important for our mental health. It gave us time to mentally prepare for the day ahead or unwind after a shift so we could transition into ‘evening mode’. Without a commute, many of us go straight to work after getting up in the morning, and some might work longer days since there are fewer physical barriers between our professional and personal lives. But it might be in our best interest to psychologically separate ourselves, and if we can’t commute to get the time we need, maybe it’s time to fake it.
Our Favorite Alternatives
Let’s face it, when most of us started working or studying from home, that extra sleep in the morning was the perfect way to fill the time. But, as we’ve adjusted to the new norm, most of us went back to our regular schedules.
Instead of starting your day early, take an hour and try some of our favorite ways to fill the time on your “fake commute”.
- Take a walk. We know…we’ve all been doing a lot of walking this year, but there’s nothing like fresh air in the morning to invigorate you to tackle the tasks ahead.
- Get moving! Whether you take in some yoga or do some quick cardio at home, the movement and stretching will energize you for your day.
- Meditate. Taking even just 15 minutes to clear your mind can soothe your body and soul before that first zoom call.
- Do what you did before. Were you catching up on the latest best seller on the subway or singing along to your favorite radio station in traffic? Do that! Music, reading and even scrolling through your social feed can relax you before the day begins.
The best way to build walls between work and home is to have an office or designated work space separate from our living space, but if that’s not possible or not enough to detach, try a fake commute. Find something you love and make time for it before and after your shift. Not only will it help release stress, but it will keep you motivated during these challenging times, because office hours still apply when you’re working from home.