Stress affects everyone from time to time, but now automotive industry charity, BEN, has published a handy set of tips for getting in the right frame of mind before you take to the road.
- Driving can be a stressful activity, in peak traffic times especially, so if you suffer from stress it can exacerbate the problem.Try not to start your journey until you feel calm and collected.
- In particular, if stress is giving you a headache or making you feel sick, don’t drive until you feel well enough.Drink plenty of water.
- Take a short walk around the block and get some fresh air.
- Try mindfulness and deep breathing before setting off.Anyone can meditate and it has proved to reduce anxiety.To get started on meditation, give a go, or check out the Free Mindfulness Project.
- Make a list of the things that are stressing you out and schedule some time to deal the Headspace app free trialwith them later.Doing this can help to clear your mind.
- If you’re having trouble sleeping because of stress, make sure you aren’t too tired to drive.And if you feel sleepy behind the wheel, find a safe place to pull over and stop – but not on the hard shoulder of a motorway.Research tells us that around one in five accidents on major roads are related to lack of sleep, so don’t drive if you’re feel fatigued.
- If stress is causing you to struggle with addiction to alcohol or drugs it’s important to seek help.Be aware that these could still be in your system before driving.
- Share your feelings with someone you trust.Opening up about our problems to loved ones can make a big difference and they can even help you find solutions.
If you need more advice on how to handle stress, read BEN’s top tips on managing stress.You can also check your mood with the anxiety / stress checker tool on BEN’s website to see how you’re feeling and if you need some extra support.