Unless you work from your couch (lucky you), commuting is a necessary slog we all need to endure. Sitting in traffic or canned in like a sardine on the train, it can start to feel like your daily trekking is robbing you of precious moments that could be spent doing other things. Sure, you can catch up on your work or mindlessly text with a pal, but you risk neglecting this rare opportunity for me time. Using the essential solo traversing time of your day can be your best chance to improve yourself. Here are six ideas you can do on your commute to activate your brain and turn your routine schlep into an enlightening experience.

 1. Listen to a Stimulating Podcast


Pop your earbuds in and use the time to get inspired. Listen to some interesting TED talks, cultivate knowledge on science and philosophy through the lens of the human experience with NPR’s RadioLab or even gain some tips to maximize your productivity and organization with the LifeHack podcast. You can download a podcast app and browse around by category to discover podcasts to inspire you.

Read This: Load your phone up with these seven podcasts that will inspire you to be creative.

2. Drink some green tea


A strong dose of caffeine can make you anxious on an already trying trip, but green tea contains l-theanine, an amino acid that causes an increase in alpha brain waves, which can cause a calm focus without making you feeling sleepy. Sipping a cup of the green can also aid in relaxation, so you can use your ride to slow down before the pace picks back up again.

Read This: Become a master of green tea with these 14 green tea recipes that go beyond the teacup.

3. Play a game


Actively engage your brain by playing a round of Words With Friends or even Super Mario. Studies show that the visual impact of your game of choice improves brain plasticity by processing and interacting with new information.

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4. Journal


Keep a notepad with you to get out ideas, record your thoughts and nurture your creativity. Free writing has been shown to train your curiosity and logical thinking.

Read This: In case you need extra motivation, check out these five reasons you should be journaling every day.

5. Learn a New Language


Increase your intelligence and brain health by picking up a new language. There are plenty of language-learning apps, like Duolingo, that can get you started analyzing grammatical structures and learning new words, a task that will ultimately improve your decision making and problem solving.

Read This: Get ready to bust out the “hola” or “bonjour” with these 10 apps that will teach you another language.

6. Meditate


You know looking within is vital to your focus and concentration, but you’ve never found the time to zone out. Use your commute to listen to guided meditations or do it on your own by concentrating on the rise and fall of your abdomen as you breathe.

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What’s your favorite thing to do during your commute? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!