Did you know that there is a National Stress Awareness Month? Stress happens to the best of us, and everyone handles it in their own way. Some people de-stress by unplugging and taking a walk; those who have the time might use yoga or meditation to focus on breathing and self-awareness. Being aware of stress allows you to address it when it pops up. So what happens when you suddenly face some stressful driving?
If you regularly drive to get from place to place, you’ll understand what we mean by stressful driving. Maybe you’re stressed even before getting in the car, and the littlest things set you off. It could also be a more sudden event, whether it’s getting into an accident or getting cut off. Or it could be that every time you drive, you’re stuck in traffic or construction.
Since you can’t do yoga in the front seat of your car, what can you do when you find yourself stressed out? Here’s a few quick pointers to deal with that unwanted stress.
Do Not Disturb
We’re usually thinking about a million things when we’re driving: work, family, projects, plans, the list goes on. So when your phone starts going off and you’re getting texts and calls, that added distraction is only going to lead to more stress on the road. Instead, make it a habit to not check your phone while driving. If that sounds difficult, there are apps or settings that block texts and calls until after you get where you need to be. And if you need to answer the phone, look into hands-free options.
Even in this day-and-age of GPS and smartphones, sometimes we get turned around. Whether it’s a dead phone or a deadzone, there’s nothing more stressful than feeling lost and out of control. Always make sure your car has a map and a cell charger handy. If lost, pull over and take about ten seconds to take several deep breaths. Then bring out the charger or map and get yourself back on track.
Traffic and Accidents
We all have our daily routes. So what do you do when the road you normally take is bumper-to-bumper? Whether it’s because of a traffic accident or construction, sometimes something that should only take you 15 minutes leads to 30, and restless drivers make mistakes. Look into a different route that can circumvent the blockage. If your route will have construction for the foreseeable future, or traffic is just part of the drive, you can either find a different route, leave earlier to adjust, or find something like a podcast or an audiobook to take your mind off the stressful driving.
Being cut off, needing to merge, or tailgating can cause drivers to become frustrated. 99% of the time, we’re not going to be able to change what happened. Instead, focus on your response. Will getting upset change the fact that they cut you off? Probably not, so take that deep breath again and don’t give it a second thought.
We can’t always change stressful situations, but we can change how we react to them. By learning how to respond to this environment on the road, we can lower our chances of accidents. But if an accident does happen, know that Adams Collision Service is there to make your experience less stressful. Give us a call at 847.961.5409 or stop on in and we’ll take care of you.