Stress is huge factor in our daily lives and its something we all need to take steps to reduce where we can. Because cars are our game, we thought it would be useful to come up with ways to remain stress-free when driving so have a read and enjoy calmer commutes!
Causes of stress when driving
It’s important to understand what causes stress when driving so that we can combat it effectively so here are a few things that may get your blood pressure soaring
- Traffic jams – there is nothing worse than being stuck in traffic, unable to move!
- Driving at peak times – When the roads are the busiest, it can increase stress as you try to navigate to your destination safely.
- Motorways – Some people love ‘em, some people hate ‘em but there is no denying they can be stressful, especially if your car isn’t the fastest.
- Bad weather conditions – Snow, sleet, rain, wind, even low sun can all add to stress and make driving a lot more difficult, particularly in extreme cases.
- Driving in unfamiliar places – The fear of the unknown can be a powerful one!
- Unreliable car – There is nothing worse than getting into a car and wondering if you are going to get to your destination without it conking out. Every gear change, acceleration or brake is a gamble!
- Noisy “back seat drivers” – We all know the type…
Steps to take to alleviate stress when driving
Now that we know what can cause stress, let’s have a look at what we can do about it!
You are probably going to experience traffic at some point or another and the best thing to do is accept it, particularly if it’s a daily occurrence. Getting angry or irritated doesn’t serve any purpose other than having a negative effect on yourself.
Be prepared for getting caught in a traffic jam by having a playlist of your favourite songs or podcast on! You can get some more ideas of what to listen to in the car by reading ‘What should I listen to during my commute?’
Give yourself plenty of time! It can be difficult to get up and out early but having more time means to can relax a little in the knowledge you won’t run late, even if there is traffic.
Familiarise yourself with the unfamiliar. If you are heading somewhere you haven’t been before, make sure to map your route on your satnav. You can also use Google Maps for live updates on traffic and if you are anxious about parking, having a little neb on Google Street View so you know the area a bit better!
Learn to look after your car! If you are a worrier, it always helps to be in control and knowledge is definitely power. Being able to keep an eye on oil levels, tyre treads and know when your car needs a professional opinion is a great way to ease stress. Read our blog on ‘Car Maintenance You Can Do Yourself’
If you have an early morning commute, make sure you have breakfast. Hanger is real and can definitely make you a lot more irritable on the road. If you are doing a long drive, stop for breaks and refuel with healthy fruits and snacks (and chocolate obvs!).