The commute after a long day at work can be the perfect time to reflect on the day’s events or to completely detach from reality by sticking some music on or getting lost in a book. The morning commute can be a different and stressful experience, where apprehension for the day ahead mixes with the practicalities of traveling at rush hour, making for an unpleasant journey. That is why escapism is crucial and why mentally stimulating activities can help make the commute easier while getting the brain ready for the day ahead. Here are three ways to turn your commute from a mere trip from A to B into exercise for the brain. Obviously, if you drive yourself to work then these methods should definitely not be considered -although they are perhaps the ideal accompaniment to breakfast.
It is to switch off to music, especially if you are already extremely familiar with the songs. Podcasts still require no real expenditure of energy on the listener’s part, but the brain has to work that little bit harder to engage with the topic. It is difficult to point to individual podcasts to recommend, if only because there are so many podcasts available across so many subjects. Whatever your interests are, there will be a podcast where like-minded people expertly discuss the topic. With the inclusion of podcasts on Spotify, it is easier than ever before to access a huge library of podcasts conveniently. The app not only allows you to follow your favorite podcasts so you can stay up to date with the most recent episodes, but it remembers how far through the podcast you are so you can pick up easily from where you left off the day before. There are many podcasts out there perfect for your commute, whether you want to learn about a new topic, hear interesting viewpoints on something you love or stay apprised of what’s going on in the world, there will be a podcast for your needs.
In a life dominated by work and family, the commute may be the only time to lose yourself in a game. There are many types of games out there, from games based on strategy and role-playing to more simplistic affairs with levels of growing complexity. People are going to casinos with diminishing frequency, again due to time pressures but also a result of the rising availability of suitable gaming apps. Players can now have that casino experience while on the go. The morning commute needs to stimulate the mind but it also shouldn’t add unnecessary stress before the working day begins. For new players looking for the thrill of a casino-type game there are sign-up bonuses like those listed by Oddschecker, so you can play the commute away without the worry of depositing significant funds. The excitement of hunting down the jackpot will certainly wake players up in the morning but isn’t too taxing for an evening brain. The ability to access these games on your smartphone makes them available to play even when crammed into a packed train or bus.
While the other two activities listed here still rely on technology, it would be fair enough for someone who works at a screen all day to want something different for their commute. Puzzles have occupied people’s minds for generations, giving players a feeling of gratification upon success. Of course, there is a risk of becoming frustrated if you can’t solve that Sudoku or find that missing crossword clue, but at the very least it will spark the brain into action. Crosswords are particularly effective at getting the mind in the perfect state to handle the day. A variety of health benefits come from the activity: the satisfaction of accomplishment releases dopamine and grants you energy, while the verbal skills that they hone can give you the edge in the working environment. Also, crosswords can either be escapist or inclusive. If you get stuck on a clue, you can always turn to a fellow commuter for support.
Switching off from work doesn’t have to mean switching off entirely. As you would stretch your legs after a long run, ease your mind away from the day’s work with these top tips and ensure the commute ends in a positive mood.