How a two-hour commute is improving my mental health and actually gives me my free time back

I used to hate the idea of commuting, but it certainly has its benefits

Nicholas Martin


Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

Before I started work at Plum Guide, there was admittedly an air of uncertainty as to whether I could stand the commute into work... after all, I had gone from a quick 5-minute drive to almost two hours on public transport, and as someone who loves to drive, public transport was certainly far from appealing as I hate crowded places.

My routine is certainly something most people would hate the idea of, considering it takes about 2 hours each way to get to work. That’s four hours of my life getting wasted every day.

Or is it?

I now get up at 5:30 am every day

I’ve never been a morning person and always seemed to struggle to get up before work. However, in the three weeks that I have been commuting, I’ve not snoozed my 5:30 am alarm once. I now get up as soon as my alarm goes off, which is in stark contrast to when I was working at the previous company as every morning was a real struggle to get up.

I honestly thought I was suffering from severe fatigue caused by an undiagnosed illness, but I’m not so sure of that anymore. I still get pretty tired, but it’s fair to say it should be expected due to the commute.

Waking up at 5:30 am is super early for sure, but there’s definitely method in the madness. I get one of the earliest trains into London as it’s always pretty empty. This allows me to spend an hour working on my personal projects or relaxing, without having to worry about whether I’d get a seat or feeling cramped. Once I’m at Waterloo, it’s still early enough not to be crowded on the underground, and it’s only a few stops on the underground followed by a short walk to the office.

This does mean however that I arrive at work around 7:30 am, and while I don’t actually start work until 9 am, I use this time to continue working on my personal projects. I have a few, which at some point I will share with you.