I’m learning how to cope with a killer commute as a newbie.
Travelling in and out of London for the first time, at the age of 52 wasn’t planned. How I felt when I began was totally unexpected. The anxiety that rose in my belly, as I sat surrounded by peers, meant that my fear had chance to connect with others anxieties.
How do I deal with this I wondered. Feeling the overwhelm of starting a new job, working in a new city and learning to commute both morning and night.
Within my role as a Therapist, I work with the somatic feelings and sensations that clients bring into the sessions, as well as what is affecting their mental wellbeing or thinking. Challenging behaviours which may be maladaptive or dysfunctional.
I’m now going to have to develop the art of creating a permeable membrane between me and others on my way home. Because as I leave the city, I want to leave behind the work and return to my husband, my love.
So I’ve began to watch and observe, change and adapt.
The first step I’ve taken, is to move to the front carriages of the train, away from the busiest part, closest to the station doors.
I get comfortable, take my coat off and relax. Although I am lucky to live near the start of the train’s journey.
Next, I’ve decided that the commute is a prime opportunity to read the book, bought for me by my husband for christmas. Up by Ben Fogle. ( Incidentally he was at Doga today, within touching distance of where I was and I didn’t know. )
I’ll be on the lookout for him from now on! I find him interesting and inspiring.
Reading on the train enables me to relax, spend the journey time doing something I enjoy and allows me to block out the world when I want.
I could shave off about 20 mins in my commute but this would mean going through the heavy mid section, underground traffic. I’m not quite ready for that, so am going round the long way at the moment, so I can adjust at my speed. To feel like I have some control in the process. I listen to the playlist my daughter put on my phone ( i’m a bit of a dinosaur where this is concerned) before I lived and worked in Thailand. When I play this I feel happy, certain songs and artists remind me of each of my children. ‘Your Welcome’ from Moana reminds me of my boy and Coldplay’s ‘Paradise’ my daughter. It makes me smile, happy. Connects me with our family love.
Last night, I decided a walk across the city was due, to see how long it could take me, if there was a substantial challenge with the Underground services to get home relatively quickly. A stroll past Harrods, a quick glance at Buckingham Palace and I walked off the days residue. Although it took substantially longer. The short cut, became the longest journey home.
Climbing aboard the train, I felt energised rather than exhausted. As I stepped off the train at my home station, I cast off my therapeutic head and there I was. Just Jan. Speed walking home. Using a visualisation of my work as a Therapist, being an overcoat, which I take off and drop to the ground. As I continue returning to myself.
Once indoors, a cool shower. To refresh and revitalise, before intentionally sitting at the table to eat my dinner. Rather than collapsing in front of the TV with it on my lap. Me time is important, so not going to bed quickly is something I can do, to remain connected to me. Yoga is helpful-it helps me stretch out the aches and pains from sitting for so long.
I’m figuring it out. Getting used to the early mornings and beginning to enjoy the way I use this time. Acknowledging my adaption in the process.
If you’re interested. As part of my making the most of this adapted me time. I’m even writing this post on the train, as I travel home.
What tips have you got, which help you manage a long commute?