If we could escape the excruciating time spent on commuting, we would. But sometimes we are not in a situation where we can wiggle out of it. Most of the times, commuting is something we have to… survive.
But how are we supposed to stay sane, dealing with people nudging us and cramped in public transport for hours?
Do not be present.
1. Get away from reality
Being cramped in the train or bus sucks. Being stuck in traffic for hours sucks. Even though we are supposed to ‘live in the present’, such a situation is surely not the present we wish to live in.
So, escape it. Occupy yourself with commuting-friendly activities such as reading, watching or if you’re driving, listening to music, podcasts or radio. Make sure that the content is easy and engaging enough for you to halfway forget the reality, like funny podcasts or cheesy romance novels.
2. Plug in
Generations living today is so close to the technology that devices become our extra organs. In the case of commuting, it’s not always bad. We are often told that “we need to unplug and listen to our surroundings and be present.” But not all of us are blessed to commute to work with a bike, surrounded by long rivers, a sunset and floors of green grass.
Most of us are stuck in the middle of yelling, frustrated commuters; deafening car honks and concerning air pollution. So, it is suggested that in order to stay sane, we need to plug in our earphones and listen to funny people or blasting our favourite music. Just make sure you don’t skip getting off at your destination.
3. Avoid interactions
If you’re driving your own vehicle, it’s less likely for you to shove to other human beings (unless you hit them, which is downright your bad day). But if you’re using public transport and your route follows the rush hour route… then you might want to isolate yourself.
If you feel uncomfortable with the train or bus in a full house, then you should assume that everyone else is too. If you’re angry that the departure gets delayed, then everyone else is too. When angry and frustrated people are interacting… well, the results may not be so good. If you just feel like ranting for your own sake, do it in your head. Because it will only emphasize the uncomfortable situation and boil other people’s temperament.
Remember this mantra the next time you commute, “You. Are. A. Rock.” (unless somebody falls and need your help)
4. Follow the rules
Rules are meant to be broken… if we are at a safe place with so much personal space, like school or office. When you are stuck in the crowd, using public transport or even just the main road, follow the rules and get your manners intact. That is the least kindness you can do to fellow commuters, really.
Don’t stand in the middle while wondering which route you should take; just shove aside and then think. Don’t complain loudly about the situation, it’s already bad enough without you expressing it. Don’t trash the public space. Don’t eat on the bus and spill your drink all over everyone. The traffic is already unbearable, the crampy bus is already unbreathable, so being ‘the good citizen we know you are’ is the utmost kindness you can give to others around you.