I don’t think it is a coincidence that April is Stress Awareness Month. Coronavirus aka COVID-19 has changed the way we do life. Quarantining can be isolating and overwhelming at the same time. Some days we just need to get out on the open road and take a deep breath. But we need to leave all our stressors behind and not bring them on the drive with us. Driving safely requires our complete concentration and we need to be present at all times when operating a vehicle.
During this uniquely challenging time, I wanted to give you some tips to overcome stress, especially when you are behind the wheel.
If you are feeling stressed or anxious while driving, here are some tips that can help you keep your cool while behind the wheel.
- Don’t get stuck in traffic or be late to your destination. That can add stress to your drive as well. Plan your route beforehand and leave 15-20 minutes earlier.
- If you are out just for a drive, make sure your map apps are up to date. If you are taking a scenic route where you have never been, you will surely get stressed if you find yourself on a closed street or on a road that is not on the older map app version.
- Make sure your car’s maintenance is up-to-date. Breaking down in your car can be a stressful situation for drivers. You can reduce the chances of this by making sure your car is serviced regularly.
- Don’t drive HANGRY! Have a snack if you are feeling hungry. Some people can become irritable or lack concentration when hungry. Eating fruit, cereal bar, or any healthy snack can keep your mind and stomach at ease.
- If you are angry, don’t get in the car. Stress and powerful emotions don’t mix well with driving. Driving while angry or upset dramatically decreases your alertness and judgment. Try listening to calming music or slow breathing techniques to calm down so you are the safest you can be on the road.
- Try not to fixate on the stressors in your life. Whether it is the isolation, unemployment, or health of loved ones, it is not healthy to focus only on all the negative things going on right now. Find something positive, celebrate that, and focus on any joy around you.
If you use these tips, hopefully, you will be stress-free while driving and this peace can transform your driving journey.