In my last blog post, I highlighted some ways to study while commuting. However, during many conversations with students and colleagues, they have mentioned that studying is not the only activity they engage in on the road. I must admit that I am not always in the mood to study myself during transit. Therefore, this blog post is dedicated to those who enjoy taking some time for leisure on transit: including a good rest, audio books, and everything in between. Being productive does not always mean studying; I believe practicing self-care, engaging in social relationships, and getting a good break is equally as beneficial as your academics.
A Physical Break
Resting on the bus can sometimes be a luxury, especially on the busier buses where seats are hard to claim. My tiredness during transit is usually the result of 8 AM class or a long day at school. Through conversations and personal experiences, I collected a few tips that can facilitate a better break.
Before getting into the details, I would like to acknowledge that everyone has different comfort levels on resting in a public space. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and your perception of safety. Resting does not always mean a full deep sleep; relaxing your body can be equally enjoyable! In a way, you are trying to Nap like a dolphin, half of your brain wanders and rest while the other half is still somewhat alert and aware of your surroundings.
- Pay close attention to your rest pattern; often students feel more tired after a rest because they have entered deep rest and the body is forced awake. Observe your rest pattern to get a sense of what works best for yourself during transit.
- Set an alarm a few minutes before your stop to ensure you don’t miss it if you are dozing off or not paying attention to the time.
- Headphones, a hat, or hoodie for your head can block the noises of the bus that keep you from a peaceful rest.
- Even if you are still awake and just staring out the window or daydreaming, ensure all your belonging are sealed and put away. Thefts can happen, especially on a quieter bus.
- To protect my items, I put all my valuables inside my bag and hug it between my arms. For backpacks, ensure all the zippers are facing you. If you have a window seat, an option is to put your tote bag or purse between you and the wall.
A Mental Break
I want to validate and emphasize that there are other beneficial ways to occupy your transit time. It could be dedicated to your mental health or leisure enjoyments.
This is a good period to catch up on your entertainment needs without feeling guilty. After using this time for a deliberate break, you might also feel more rested and energized once you arrive at your destination!
- You can catch up on your TV shows or movies with downloadable streaming services.
- Enjoy an audio book: check out this post from Joe on more information and benefits on listening to audio books during transit. Also take a look at Bryan’s list of reading recommendations for some new books to enjoy.
- Feel free to comment below on your favourite audio-book to share with other students.
- Meditation is another good way to rejuvenate from an early morning or long school day. Put on some headphones and let your brain relax.
- Enjoying audio through an engaging podcast or amazing Spotify playlist can also be an approach to enjoy your travel time.
- Similar to studying, this frees your hands and help those who experience motion sickness.
The best thing of all the above activities except the first one is that they are travel friendly. You can engage in them whether you are driving, busing, or walking to school.
As the last tip, I will recommend this Ted Talk by Sara C. Mednick for a fun and informative video on how to take the Perfect Nap when you arrive home at the end of the day.
I found the process of writing this post on commuting to be an intriguing exploration of the activities we engage in during a normalized part of our routine. It can be a time to study, listen to your favorite tunes, rest, or, catch up on entertainment. Whatever your favourite activity is, I hope I was able to capture your experience!
How do you use your commute time to study for courses? Did we capture your experience? Please feel free to share any feedback, resources, or your commute approach down in the comments. We would love to hear from you!
Joe. (2021, October 1).Transform Chores and Commutes with Audiobooks!. Chapman Learning Commons. https://learningcommons.ubc.ca/38866-2/
Bryan. (2022, February 25). Must-Reads for Reading Break 2022. Chapman Learning Commons. https://learningcommons.ubc.ca/must-reads-for-reading-week-2022/
Ted-Ed. (2021, April 29). How long should your naps be? – Sara C. Mednick. [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN9yqF6Um98&t=193s