Faking one of these every morning could make you 10 times happier

Every morning, I roll out of bed two hours before I begin work.

Sometimes, I get up earlier; I’ll take in the morning with a long run or just relax before work, something that wasn’t possible before March when the pandemic changed the way we work.

While I yearn for the rush of the morning subway and brutal breeze down by Water St., there is a calm to my mornings nowadays, one in which I am fortunate for because it allows me to shake off the morning cobwebs and not feel rushed before heading out the door.

I’ve replaced overpriced lattes and burnt office coffee with Nespresso pods. The temptations of the bagel store near the subway is no more (I’m going with yogurt and toast). Each morning, I start off with a shot of espresso before I relax by reading or meditating. I shower, look over the news, and get going with my day. I can go for a run around the park or keep running.

I’m no longer rushed; this is my new normal, my commute during the coronavirus pandemic.

Or really, it’s a fake commute.

You have probably found a routine that works for you, too. It’s been nearly a year since our lives were uprooted and placed inside our homes. For as much as the COVID-19 pandemic has created such physical and emotional turmoil, it has also made us reevaluate what matters and what doesn’t, especially when it comes to work.

On Twitter, some users shared how they’ve replaced their old morning routine with their fake commute while working from home.

“As I’m working from home today replaced my commute with an early morning run – great start to the day! With the gym closed need to find the self-motivation to keep the exercise up. So far, so good!,” said Kevin Fear, headmaster of Nottingham High School in the UK.

Another user said they have been able to accomplish more than ever with the lack-of-commute.

“Benefits of home working – a workout before my start time (in my get ready/commute time), pure silence to concentrate (feel I have done a week’s work this morning), constant access to my coffee machine, and a hot cooked meal for lunch. Now prepping for afternoon of meetings,” said Amy, who uses the handle @AsstOpsWCSA.

There are countless other responses if you search Twitter or read articles published by other outlets. The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed a slew of people asking them about their “fake office commute”, where Americans all over the country have created a way to create separation between their work and nonword lives during the pandemic.

Here are some highlights from the article:

  • One person interviewed puts on “real clothes” after a cup of coffee. They will then go for a walk around the block for 15 minutes before getting back to their desk by 9 a.m.
  • Another person missed their car commute, where they were able to call their grandma while stuck in traffic. They re-created a commute two times a week in the morning, driving from the suburbs to the city for coffee. Once a week, they will do an “evening commute” to pick up takeout in the downtown area before coming back.
  • One said they miss their hour of reading time on the subway, so they’ve allocated an hour-long reading session in the morning. However, distractions do get in the way.

Regardless of what your morning routine is, everyone likely has some form of a fake commute. Half of workers in a recent polled by LinkedIn said going for a walk was their preferred fake commute, thought 37% said sleeping in was how they were using their time.

There is no right or wrong way to do a fake commute, but it is important to create some separation from work and home.

“Commuting was a great legitimate experience to set up a barrier between the outside world of work, family, [or] social life and demanding your attention,” clinical psychologist Dr. Jeannette Raymond told Business Insider. “‘Fake commute’ time is about setting up personal care boundaries — emotional oases and a guilt-free space [and] time to check in on themselves.”

If you’re looking for some tips on a fake commute, it can start with an easy cup of coffee or tea in the morning.