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How the ‘fake commute’ could help your mental health

Start your workday right with a little casual ride

Photo by: unsplash/Ben Mater

Many Canadians are approaching almost a year of working from home and, for some, the days have begun to blur together. Living, working and simply existing in the same space 24 hours a day can be exhausting. Numerous people now find themselves in the strange position of missing their daily commute—a period of time during which they weren’t responsible for doing anything other than reflecting on the day to come or what they’ll make for dinner when they get home.

Enter the fake commute. The idea has been gaining traction with those who work from home and feel like they need stronger barriers between the work day and home life. For many, the fake commute looks like a walk around the block. Others simply wake up a bit earlier, listen to a podcast, call a friend or meditate.

A little ride around the block

For cyclists who typically commute by bike, the idea is easy—wake up and bit earlier than you need to and go for short ride around the neighbourhood. You don’t need to look at the ride as a workout—think of it more as a way to get some fresh air, wake yourself up and start the day off on the right foot.

Julia Raynham, a cyclist from Toronto, tries to get outside in the morning as frequently as possible. Some days she rides to a favourite local cafe, others she rents a bikeshare to meet up with a friend for a distanced walk.

Raynham says her fake commutes have been hugely beneficial. “Doing morning walks and rides has helped immensely with my mental health,” says Raynham. “It’s time that I have all to myself without the pressure of getting something done. It reminds me that there is a big world outside of my apartment and home office.”

Routines can create a sense of stability, and taking some time to yourself (without the pressure of a athletic performance) will likely be a pleasant addition to your day.