As a parent, you’re probably used to stressful situations. From mealtimes and playdates to getting out of the house on time for the school run and taking conference calls at home whilst the kids fight in the background. It’s all part of being a parent!
One of the most common scenarios where parents’ find their stress levels at boiling point, is when they’re driving. When you’re in control of a vehicle, you have to be able to concentrate effectively to keep your family safe and avoid a car accident – speak with a car accident law firm as soon as possible if you’ve been in a car crash that wasn’t your fault.
But when your little ones are crying, arguing or they just won’t allow you to concentrate on the busy road ahead, it can be incredibly difficult to remain calm and collected behind the wheel. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. You can manage your driving stress better with these straightforward techniques.
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Give yourself more room
If you’re feeling stressed, you’re more likely to make a mistake, fail to see a hazard in time and be dangerously distracted. If you feel your stress level’s rising, slow down and give yourself more room to manoeuvre between cars. The bigger the gap between you and the cars around you, the more time you have to react and the safer you’ll feel until your stress levels reduce.
Focusing on your breathing whilst you’re driving can help lower your blood pressure and return your focus to the road. Breathing in deeply through the nose and then exhaling fully via the mouth is a traditional relaxation technique that really works. Try this around ten times and hopefully you’ll notice a difference in your stress levels.
Give yourself more time
If you know you get stressed whilst driving due to running late or heavy traffic, then try to give yourself more time. This could mean getting the kids up and ready to leave at least 30 minutes earlier than normal. It might sound like a mammoth task, but it won’t take long for everyone to get into their new routine and if it means reducing the possibility of a car accident, then it’s a no-brainer.
Listen to music
You don’t have to listen to whale music or the sound of rain falling in the jungle to feel relaxed. Sometimes a simple distraction can be enough to keep those heightened stress levels at bay. Line up some tunes in your favourite playlist that make you feel good or try listening to a podcast or even a stand-up comedy routine. You’ll be surprised how much of an impact that will have on your stress!
And when in doubt, pull over
If things get too much, sometimes the safest option is just to pull over. There’s no shame in it. If the kids are shouting and screaming, then it’ll give everyone the chance to calm down and reset. When you feel refreshed and calm, get back in the car and start your journey when you’re ready to do so.