Sanity in the Subway: 5 tips to enjoying the subway commute

17 Oct

3544734138_54f2f90376Living in a city is not always the easiest choice, with all of the noise, exhaust, crowds, traffic and people bumping into you left and right. However, the city can foster great opportunities, cultural diversity, conveniences and efficient public transportation, among other amenities.

Using mass transit not only saves our air from pollution, it provides an opportunity for the daily commuter to sit back and do nothing, or something, until they arrive at their destination.

Some people see the subway ride as a stressful time where they are sandwiched in between their seats, with bad smells and screaming children. While this can be true, you have the power to take charge of your subway commuting experience.

Here are 5 tips that will help you see the commute as a more enjoyable experience:

1. Know where you are going + give yourself enough time to get there: This is an easy one when you are commuting, as you usually know the route. If you are headed someplace new, you will save yourself time, energy and piece of mind by researching the best way to get there. Hopstop is a great resource as is google maps. If hopstop tells you that your route will take you 35 minutes, give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes, by leaving earlier.

2. Stay on the local to avoid running to the express: If your local train takes you where you need to go, stay on it, even when the express shows up at a joining station. As much of a thrill as it is to catch that express train because it passes 1 or 2 stations, you will have more time on your local train, in turn, spending less time shuffling around, worrying whether or not the doors will close on you.

3. Pack a water bottle + healthy snacks to stave off hunger: On longer commutes, pack yourself some goodies for the ride. Stay hydrated by bringing a water bottle, and a few healthy snacks like trail mix, granola bars, whole fruit, nutbutter or seedbutter + jelly sandwich. These snack will help you in case you missed breakfast, or are traveling to be in the public eye. Use those energy enhancing proteins, and fabulous fiber to help fuel your day.

4. Bring something to read: Some of you may enjoy staring off which feels indulgent after a long day, but for longer rides we suggest bringing something to stimulate your mind like a great book, a puzzle, catalogue or a pen and paper to write or draw.

2002937136_556449cf525. Sit up straight, focus on your breathe + practice tuning out: As tempting as it is to slouch on the train, try practicing better posture by sitting up straight, engaging your abdomen and relaxing the tension present in your face. Try to focus on your breathe by noticing your inhale and exhale. For loud trains, when they arrive at the station feel free to plug your ears, and while riding a loud train (with loud passengers), practice tuning them out by tuning into your book, your breathe, or your thoughts.

Photos courtesy of Rambling Traveler and mrhayata

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