10 Things to Do on a Long Commute
If you’re like most Filipinos living in Manila, you commute going to school or work. And if you’re like all Filipinos going to school or the office, you get stuck in traffic. If you live far from main avenues or business districts, a one-way trip can go for up to three hours, three hours wasted in traffic which you could have used to become productive. Instead, you’re stuck in your seat (consider yourself lucky if you are seated), staring at the person across you pick his nose. But you can be productive during a commute. Just because you’re in a cramped FX for hours doesn’t mean you can’t entertain yourself in other ways.
Here are our suggestions of 10 things to do on a long commute:
If you’re bored with the world around you, you can escape that by jumping into a book and entering another world. And the best part is, you can choose your own. Do you want a magical one? Or a high school teeming with puppy love? There’s a book for every taste, whether you’re into humor, drama, YA, fantasy, or non-fiction. If you find the right book for you, you might not even notice that you missed your stop.
9. Talk to your neighbor
They’re just as bored as you are, so why not strike a conversation? You already have one thing in common: you’re heading in the same direction. Movies always show how people meet their significant other in chance encounters. Maybe there’s a reason why that person is sitting next to you. Maybe he’s your soulmate. Or maybe he’s just there to invade your personal space.
8. Watch a movie or TV show
By the time we get home, we’re usually too tired to catch up on the latest movie or TV show, and all our friends are posting spoilers on our social media feed. Why not catch up on the latest episode of the series you’re watching? If you’re in a really long commute, why not watch a Lav Diaz film?
So many people complain that they’ve always wanted to write but don’t have the time, the energy, or the idea. It’s when we’re idle when we come up with the craziest ideas, so why not create a story out of it? And most commutes are interesting (something crazy always happens in EDSA), so why not start a blog detailing your most interesting rides?
6. Read WheninManila.com
Forgive the self-promotion, but we recommend you read WhenInManila.com. We have the lineup of everything you can possibly do in Manila. We have parties, events, restaurants, movies, and more. If you find yourself stuck on a commute on a Friday night, visit the website and see what’s going down on that night. You might still be able to go down and change history by having fun. Make sure to do it responsibly, though!
5. Do yoga
You’re probably thinking: how in the world can I do yoga while sitting between two people? It’s possible! There are yoga poses you can do while sitting. One easy pose is the spinal twist, where all you need to do is inhale deeply and lengthen your spine, then twist to your left while gently looking over your left shoulder. Hold this pose for three breaths and come back to neutral. Repeat on your right side. If space is really tight, or you’re standing in the bus (most likely), a simple breathing exercise will calm you down. Relax your body and allow yourself to slow down your breathing. Try to relax enough to push your breath deeper into your core. Practice these poses daily for increased body awareness and a stronger upper body. You’ll need it during the morning commute before you start another work day, and on your way home as you deal with crazy rush hour.
4. Play a game
This is the most popular option, and why not? There are thousands of apps available for you to play. The most popular apps are Clash of Clans, Candy Crush, and Flappy Bird, but you don’t need a smartphone to play. Go back to your childhood and start a counting game. Think of a really random category, like girls in flower crowns or guys with faux hawks. Be amazed as you reach the hundreds. If you’re a techie, you can download mind exercise apps to sharpen your mind and keep you alert. Whatever game you’re playing, be alert because you don’t want your valuables to go missing.
3. Plan your day
One of the best ways to speed up a long commute is to plan your day. This is especially helpful in the morning, when you’re just about to go to school or work. Planning your day before it starts gives it a structure you can follow. Have you noticed how scheduled tasks get accomplished compared to stuff where you just say you’ll do it today? Planning ahead avoids procrastination and long hours. You can do the same thing on your homebound commute for the following day.
When you’re stuck in a space that’s smaller than Harry Potter’s cupboard, there’s nothing else to do but… think. It’s an activity that we take for granted. When was the last time you actually stopped to think? We live in a hyper-connected world where everything is done for us that we have become mindless robots. Why not take the time to reflect on your day, and think about your goals or problems? Actively thinking about your goals can help you identify ways to reach it. If you have problems, thinking about it can help you solve it. As the poem Invictus goes, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” Too bad there’s a different driver for your body. If we could only fly…
1. Look around
The best way to spend a commute is to look around. It’s up to you if you want to spend it looking at your smartphone, but we recommend putting it down and looking outside. There are so many things to see outside: beautiful buildings, trees, flowers, and if you’re lucky, art (and okay, beautiful people). Yes, social media can encapsulate life, but real life is happening right outside your window. You’ll learn a lot of things if you just observe. You might see a new restaurant that you never noticed because you were too busy playing QuizUp. You spend a third of your life (maybe) on the road. Might as well take a look at it.
What do you do on a long commute? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below!
10 Things to Do on a Long Commute