If you are one of the thousands of Americans who endures a long commute to work every day, a recent UK study may have just confirmed what you already know: a long commute is bad for your health and your productivity. While commuting times have increased steadily over the last few years, the impact that these lost hours have on your mental health isn't good. Workers who commute at least 25 minutes each day report higher levels of anger, frustration, impatience, anxiety, and feelings of social isolation. Need to speak with a psychologist in Columbus, OH about road rage or something else? Call Legacy of Columbus today.
Another study found that increasing your commute time by as little as 20 minutes each day had a significant impact on a person's perception of their job satisfaction. The additional commute time tanked the happiness at work rating as severely as taking a 19% pay cut would. While younger workers are more likely to accept that a long commute is unavoidable, those who have families and other social responsibilities are greatly impacted by growing commute times.
Longer commuting workers are 33% more likely to struggle with depression, 12% more likely to have multiple levels of work-related stress, and 37% more likely to have financial worries. Also, longer commutes are associated with unhealthy behaviors that have negatively impacted workers' health. Employees who travel more than 30 minutes each day are 21% more likely to be obese and 46% more likely to get less than seven hours of sleep each night.
Employers who allowed their staff to have flexible working hours and telecommute are seeing a reduction in lost productivity as well as a decrease in instances of depression in their employees. Reducing employee stress and promoting healthier lifestyle choices has impacted the overall well-being of the worker significantly.
If you're struggling with your morning commute, here are a few tips to help make the journey to work a little less stressful:
Give Up Control: You can't control whether your bus is late or there is an accident on the freeway. Allowing yourself extra time in the morning can help combat the anxiety and stress you feel when things aren't running smoothly.
Make the Trip Productive: Use the time in the car or on the train to read books or listen to podcasts that can help you learn new skills or inject a little fun into your day with humorous history. Make your to-do list or finish writing an email from the day before.
Get Active During Your Commute: Getting off the bus or train one stop early and biking or walking the extra distance to work can boost your mood and set you up for a great day. Parking a little further from the office has the same effect. Find time during your day to take a call outside and get moving to help combat depression and anxiety.
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Are you still struggling with depression, anxiety, or stress from your commute? Talk with your boss about working from home a few days a week. If telecommuting isn't an option, find ways to avoid taking work home with you on the weekends so that you have real downtime.
If your anxiety and depression are controlling your life, let the care experts at Legacy Freedom help you learn to manage them and create a healthy balance. Don't wait, call or click to connect our reliable psychologist in Columbus, OH!