Arrive Relaxed and Safe
For many of us “home for the holidays” means long distance travel. But with only a few days to get there and back, how can you reduce your travel stress? Here are some tips to make your journey home and back go smoothly.
Sniffed Your Car Lately?
If you’re the type of person who uses your car as a moving trash can, you’re putting more than your upholstery at risk. Dirty cars can become a rolling Typhoid Mary, filled with insects, germs, mold, pollen, and other irritants and pathogens destined to have you sneezing, itching, watering, and just plain sick. A thorough cleaning will make your moving living room as healthy and comfortable as possible.
Take the Train
Let someone else do the driving for you and take the train. Arrival times are easier to plan, there’s less traffic, less possibility of traffic accidents and if you book far enough in advance you can even save money.
If you’re the social type, then find someone else to help you share the driving and the cost of gas. Friendly conversation can make the trip go quicker and you’ll feel good about reducing your carbon footprint.
Avoid the Rush
Try to leave before the holiday madness starts on the roads. Nothing ruins a holiday visit like sitting in a traffic jam for hours on end or sharing the road with maniacs.
Try Something New
Take a more scenic route and enjoy the view. Sometimes the less popular route has less stop-and-go traffic and you’ll end up arriving at the same time. Longer is better if traffic flows smoothly.
Take Your Time
Lose the “race” mentality. All that weaving, darting, and surging rarely gains you more than a few minutes but can add to your stress levels. Drive calmly, without abundant lane changes, speed surges, or rapid braking and your trip will become so much more pleasant.
Leave Road Rage Behind
Don’t be judgmental about thy fellow driver. Overreacting to other drivers is a sure road to stress, headaches and anger. The better approach: Be a defensive driver and never let what other drivers do bother you one bit.
Listen to Some Tunes
Create a selection of music that you love. Have fun listening. Conduct, if you want, or sing along, if you’re in your car. No need to be shy.
Get everything ready the evening before. Check the weather report and national, state, and local websites for information on highway construction. Listen to the local radio traffic report for warnings and updates. Knowing what the road conditions puts controls in your hands.
Work Out In Your Car
Do isometrics while driving by tensing and relaxing your leg muscles, tensing your arm muscles against the resistance of the steering wheel and/or tensing your abdominal and chest muscles. When done correctly for bouts of 10-15 seconds, these toning exercises can make an appreciable difference in your appearance, improve your fitness, and mellow you out.
Stop to Smell the Roses
On long drives be sure to stop to stretch your legs and take a bathroom break. Non-stop driving will just mean you arrive exhausted.