We live in a fast-paced, noisy culture.
As women, we also often have to-do lists that never end. It’s a dangerous combination. And sometimes that dangerous combination…in addition to everything else we have going on…catches up with us when we are behind the wheel.
Stop the madness!
I think we all know that isn’t safe.
And safe or not, it happens to the best of us. I know that I have been behind the wheel, only to realize that I am so anxious or stressed out that tears start streaming down my face. It doesn’t happen often, but when it happens it’s not fun.
The first time I experienced this, I was caught off guard. I didn’t know what to do. Do I pull over? Do I scream? Do I just keep crying until I don’t have any tears left?
With time and wisdom, I have developed a few techniques that help me manage my emotions safely and effectively, without putting myself or anyone else on the road in danger.
If you’ve ever felt like stress has caught up with you while you’re driving, here are a few tips for stress-free driving.
Practice Your Breathing
Breathing exercises are the best way to battle unexpected stress and anxiety when you’re on the road. And what makes this approach perfect is the fact that you can safely do it while you drive. Now I’m not talking about closed-eye mediation here. That’s just crazy. Just some simple deep breathing to help you calm down until you reach your destination.
Pull Over and Call a Friend
Sometimes the stress level is so high, you need to talk it out. Now, I am all for safety so if you have the capability to call a friend with voice commands (and you aren’t crying) go for it. But if not, just find a parking spot so you can make a call to a trusted friend that will understand how you are feeling and can possibly help you calm down. I have a few friends that help me pull it together and a 15-minute conversation with them works wonders.
Make a Stop for Something You like
I know it seems simple, but you can often melt the stress away just by making a stop to get your favorite hot beverage or a snack that you love. I have found that my stress is often triggered by the fact that I am on the go, and I am not taking care of myself. Treat yourself, nourish your body, and watch some of the anxiety disappear.
Talk it Out With Yourself
When I feel super stressed out, I turn on the voice recorder on my phone and I let it out. It’s kind of like journaling while I drive. I am able to express how I feel and just let my thoughts flow. Plus I am able to play it back later so I can remember how I was feeling and determine what I need to do next. And if recording your voice isn’t your thing, just start talking. Yell, curse, pray—do whatever you need to do to help you get to a better place.
Change Your Tunes
Music has a powerful impact on how we feel, so you may want to pay attention to how some song makes you feel and choose another tune. Some songs make me feel sad, so even if I love them, they aren’t the best songs to listen to some days. Get a pulse on the kind of mood you’re in and choose music that will help you feel relaxed and able to make it through the day without a meltdown. We all have our moments, but we should all do our best to avoid having them when we drive.