What is a "fake commute", and why do people do it? Read up on this popular new wellness practice.
One thing’s for sure, we are living in strange times at the moment. Many of us have been working from home for the better part of a year, and this means a major shift in our day-to-day routines. Not having a daily commute to work is a relief for many, but some find they actually miss the separation that a commute provides between “home life” and “work life”.
The solution? A fake commute!
As the name suggests, a “fake commute” is a way of pretending that you actually need to go somewhere to get to work. Many people have adopted this habit recently, and are finding it to be helpful for a variety of reasons.
Your fake commute can be as long or as short as you like. You can walk, run, get on your bike (weather permitting, of course!)... just as long as you get outside for at least a short while either before settling down in front of your computer, or after you’ve wrapped things up at the end of the day.
Many people strive to achieve work/life balance; but it can sometimes be tricky to manage. When working from home, it becomes even more challenging to create a separation between work and home. By stepping outside at the beginning or end of your workday, you are giving yourself a chance to clear your head and make a mental shift towards whatever you have to do next.
A chance to breathe
Life can feel overwhelming, and many of us need to take a moment to focus, breathe and relax. Stepping outside in the morning or evening gives you a moment to take in your surroundings, breathe in some fresh air and clear your head. Feelings of stress and anxiety are common, but taking a moment to fit in a few deep breaths can have a significant impact on your overall mental wellness.
Creating a routine
Some people love routines, others do not; but many people appreciate having some structure to their days, weeks, lives… When working from home, it can feel as if some of that structure is slipping away. It takes a certain amount of self-discipline to be productive while working from home, and some people find it helpful to adopt routine habits to stay on track. A fake commute is a great example because it requires you to actually physically make a shift from home to work (or vice versa). Getting your body moving is an excellent way to encourage your mind to make that shift as well.
Bookending your day
Whether you fake commute in the morning or evening (or both!) it can be a way of marking the start and/or end of the work day. One of the potential pitfalls of working from home is feeling that you need to be constantly working. Some people find it difficult to turn their “work brains” off, even at the end of the day. By integrating a fake commute, you are highlighting the start or end of the work day, which may help you feel better about enjoying your downtime during off hours.
Arguably, the best part about a fake commute is that it is entirely flexible and you can make the rules as you go. If you’re up early and have some extra time, you may decide to walk for a solid 30 minutes before starting your work day. If it’s been a particularly demanding day, you may choose a quick two-minute skip around the block. There may also be days when you decide not to do the commute at all; and guess what? That’s totally fine! The most important thing is that you pay attention to what works for you.