1. Sign Up to Picked
You thought we’d do a list without mentioning ourselves? If you’re travelling to a job you love and look forward to, the commute is instantly made better. Sign up and you’ll be thanking us, even when you can’t move on the tube.
The typical Londoner spends an average of six hours and 10 minutes each week commuting. So, whether you’re a traditionalist and will never sway from the sturdy hardback, or slightly more progressive and couldn’t be without your kindle, reading is a great way to pass the time on the commute. Short story collections are ideal, Cat Person is one to be highly recommended, as is There Are Little Kingdoms. These stories not only provide a distraction from the trials of the tube, but will prompt you to be more open minded and creative.
I’m not suggesting you whip the child’s pose out in the middle of a rush hour central line tube, but instead adopt a state of mindfulness on your travels (not in the “gap yah” finding yourself sense). Meditation apps, such as Headspace, are a great place to start. You’re guided through the mindfulness practices, allowing what can be a stressful situation to become one which is significantly calmer.
4. Stay Hydrated
Public transport can be a hub of heat, sweat and closeness, and there is no worse feeling than thirst in the depths of the debacle, with no water to hand. Invest in an eco-friendly, BPA free water bottle and you can save yourself the torment, whilst helping save the world too.
5. Don’t Forget the Snacks
Akin to tip number 4, when hunger strikes on the commute, there is no worse way to start or end your day. Hanger is an emotion that you do not want to have to handle whilst crammed into a stranger’s arm pit. Be aware of your fellow travellers though, as tempting as the M&S Christmas special crackling crisps may sound – the crunch accompanied by the snack may not please those surrounding you. The same goes for fish. Fish and trains do not belong together, ever. Opt for non-encroaching snacks, that can be easily stored for emergencies, like dried fruit and nuts (healthy, too).
6. Layering is your Friend
Whilst your thick, turtle neck, wool jumper may appear to be your best friend in the depths of winter, when you’re resembling a sardine in a tin at 5:30pm, you’ll quickly come to regret that decision. Instead, opt for layers of easily removable clothing. You’ll thank us for pointing out the obvious when you don’t look like a sweaty tomato.
There are so many options out there, you could choose to brighten your morning with a bit of a giggle, or if crime is more your thing, get your serial killer obsession fed. Just don’t get any ideas for the bloke stood next to you, who has decided that rush hour is the time to read his broadsheet.
8. Hand sanitiser
People can be dirty. Public transport is dirtier. Think of the amalgamation of germs found on the pole of the tube? Grab yourself a bottle of hand sanitiser and never be without it. Trust us, it will save countless colds and other nasties.
9. Don’t be “that” person
Ignorance isn’t attractive, wait for those already on the train to alight before behaving like someone possessed to bag yourself a seat. Once they’re off, there are no rules, it’s every man for himself. Secondly, music; some would say it’s a necessity to get through the journey, and whilst your ear drums may be well adjusted to blasting old school Beyoncé, chances are the rest of the carriage won’t be as keen. Lastly, whilst you will now be well prepared with your hand sanitiser, that’s not to say you should spread your germs. If you cough, or sneeze, please cover your mouth (without sounding like your mother).
10. Be the anomaly
Smile. Just because most people have a face like a smacked arse and look at you as though you’re clinically insane if you make eye contact, that’s not to say you won’t brighten someone’s day if you’re friendly. For the 10 people that question whether or not you’re sane, you could make one person feel really good. Also, being nice is proven to make you happier, so it’s a win win.