why commuting affects our mental wellbeing
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Why Commuting Affects Our Mental Wellbeing?

Are you commuting to work? How much time do you spend commuting? How does it make you feel physically and mentally?

In the past few weeks there has been a lot of news about mental health at work place. In my opinion, our daily commute to work can actually have a major effect on us before we even get to work.

The joy of commuting, hey?

Maybe not!

When I lived in London and studies I was fortunate enough to live only 20 minutes away by bus from my college campus in North London and for me it was manageable. But most of my assignments took me to other parts of London like Heathrow. One journey was nearly 90 min in rush hour using public transport. Thank goodness for that because being stuck in traffic is just a nightmare. You can never predict if there will be an accident, how late you are going to be. Always calculate that in so get up early.

Some people travel from different counties to get to London or bigger towns.

I live in Hampshire and through networking I met a lot of people who daily have been commuting to London spending a good hour on the train and another 30 -40 min on the underground or bus and walking to their offices. That’s about 90 min one way, 3 hours a day. Yes, you can kill the time reading a book or a magazine or simply surf the net (you may think this could be relaxing you but the lighting is not too good and it’s extra stress for you eyes).

But is this the only cost?

Nevertheless, for most of us commuting is draining. It’s also costly, as train/bus fares tend to go up each year. During the week there is simply zero time to see family or have even time to catch up with your own family or kids. More often then not, these of you who commute long hours pretty much become weekend parents as you tend to leave when kids are sleep and you get back home when they are already in bed. So they might be bit of guilt creeping in. Or you just conform as that is the way life is; to provide for the family and allow them to live in a nice place, where the pollution is not as bad, the schools have good reputation etc… and that is the cost one has to pay….

Above all, all of these elements contribute massively to our mental state. It’s mainly the stress and anxiety of commuting that effects us. The fact that we sit a on the way to work, at work and on the way home is so bad for our body. Nearly all of us suffer from sedentary epidemic these days.

What about out eating habits? We have to eat, right but when we are under stress we often reach out for the sugary snacks and in combination with sitting all day long will affect our waistlines.

There is a research done of commuters here in Britain and they revealed that only 20 min long commute is decreasing the job satisfaction by 19%. Each minute on top of that adds up to our dissatisfaction and strains our wellbeing.

Some Millennials are not prepared to go the extra mile especially when they calculate the cost of time, travel and little pay, spending extra hours after work (because this may be the culture of the company!) they are not prepared to sacrifice their lifestyle. After all it’s not just work we live for. It’s striving for a balance – do satisfying work – having fun and still live according to your wishes like having spare time for things that matter to you as an individual.

In the 5 years there has been an increase by third of people who commute 2 hours or more each day.

A research done by the UK-based Resolution Foundation found that the previous generation (people who are parents to the Millennials) was actually paid more when they were their age.

No wonder it’s frustrating for these aged 20 -35 who spend about a third of their wages (after tax) on rent. Working longer including commuting and in return less in the pocket – not a happy scenario which most people simple have to put up with…!

By the way, in the US the data is very similar: the number of people commuting 90 min or longer have increased too. Since 1980s by about 20% on average.

why commuting affects our mental wellbeing

why commuting affects our mental wellbeing

The problem with this whole picture is that the cost of living, food, transport have been going up and the dramatic decrease in disposable income forces people to spend more than on social media rather than socializing in person.


These individuals who spend 2 hours and more on social media lead them to feel lonely and isolated from the world and less able to interact with others when face to face. (a research done by University of Pittsburgh of adults aged 19-32).

Emotional wellbeing whilst commuting

Our emotional wellbeing – the feeling of loneliness really suffers according to a research done by the UK nationwide bank. Apparently nearly 89% between 18 – 34 of age have shared that feel isolated and disconnected. There is “only” 70% who feel so at the age 55 and over.

The job insecurity, casual work contracts, debts from college years and / or mortgage, and rising living costs leads to dissolution, frustration and unhappiness among the young. Sheer desperation forces these people to actually take a job even with a long commute.

The feeling of loneliness has to be taken seriously according to a research as it impacts physical and mental health.

What are the negative effects of commuting on our wellbeing?

  1. long journey –> time wasting, boring, soul destroying
  2. stuck in traffic –> breathing fumes –> bad for the respiratory health and stressful
  3. expensive travel fares –> bad for our pocket
  4. daily commute –> leave us feeling tired, exhausted, frustrated
  5. getting up early –> affecting our sleep pattern –> our physical health
  6. coming home late from work –> feeling we are missing out on life
  7. waiting for a bus, train etc. –> feeling lonely, depressing –>affecting our mental wellbeing

Looking at the list of negatives, aren’t you sick and tired of this kind of life? Do you believe there could be a better way to make a living?

You know, more flexible way which allows you to create a balance in your life.

Have you ever thought to set up a business you could run from home?

And this is not only for the Millennials but anyone who wants more from their life.

What I mean by that is having also support and training available to you at any time you need,

no worries about accounts, warehousing, legal stuff if you want to ship the products to different countries, you can choose who you want to work with…

If you are willing and able to change your life and are open to find out more, why not getting in touch with me?

We have a 20 min long conversation and see if what I offer is the right fit for you.

So looking forward to helping you to live the life you truly deserve!

Did you find this post useful? If yes, I’d be grateful if you share it on Facebook and comment below. 

Lucie Patel Varekova

Lucie Patel Varekova – work-life balance







Lucie Patel Varekova – Blog

Skype: Lucie Patel Varekova

Email: [email protected]

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