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documenting my life, thoughts and tips, one ramble at a time...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Commuting 'can lower your sense of wellbeing'


Every working day, Monday to Friday I spend at least three hours of my day commuting into London for work (1hr 25 minutes there and back to be precise). And so every morning at 6.20am when my alarm goes off my travel anxiety kicks in. The other day was especially bad, having left my house at 8.28am I was already running late, having arrived at the train station my train was cancelled, and the next train was due in 25 minutes. As if to make matter worse it had started to rain, big heavy torrential rain and just like that a dark miserable cloud had formed around me. I know this is probably one of the most random things ever to discuss but honestly the wave of sadness was so quick it took me by surprise.

I dislike commuting the endless rushing, passive aggressive commuters who always feel the need to heavily tut and sigh when an unbeknown tourist fails to stand to the right. Or when despite not having eyes in the back of your head, you fail to move out of the way quickly enough for the running commuter playing his own internal game of Tetris. Combined with the frequent delays, overcrowding and poor ventilation commuting via GWR and TFL Underground is hell during peak hours.

I have noticed over the past couple of weeks that I am always on edge whilst commuting, my mind is constantly on the go “if I don’t make this connecting tube, I will miss my connecting train and that means I will only have x amount of hours to relax at home before going to bed and starting the routine all over again”. Yesterday, I found myself sprinting up the escalator in a bid to make my train home which would arrive at Farringdon in approximately 8 minutes. I missed my train.  By a few seconds as well and I was fuming, immediately passing the blame on to a commuter who had failed to take two steps at a time and so had delayed my ability to full on pelt down the stairs and onto the platform. I know how ridiculous!

The other day this all became a little too much for me, I started crying out of the blue! Can you imagine!? I Googled ‘travel commuting anxiety’ and it seems I am not alone. A study carried out by the Office for National Statistics looking at the relationship between commuting to work and personal well-being found that commuters are more likely to be anxious, dissatisfied and miserable. This study was even featured on the NHS website.

“It may not come as a surprise to anyone who’s experienced squeezing into a packed train on their way to work that people who take the train to work recorded higher anxiety levels on average than those who travelled in a private vehicle.” – The Guardian

My annual leave for tomorrow has been confirmed giving me time to enjoy just do nothing, As I look towards next week’s commute, my wave of sadness is slowly shifting.

“The next stop will be happiness”.

Do you suffer from commuting anxiety? What are your tips for maintaining a positive well-being? Let me know on Twitter as I’ll also be sharing some of my tips.

Rosh xo


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