When you go on a long trip with the family or you have to spend a significant amount of time behind the wheel, when there are children in the car, it can seem like one of the biggest challenges you will ever undergo. We have to make sure that our precious cargo is safe and when we don’t have much sleep because we’ve been up with one of the children or we are feeling particularly frazzled we’ve got to make sure that we prepare ourselves mentally. But, when we have a long drive ahead, are there any things we can do to prepare ourselves?
Know Your Route
While it’s not a good idea to be on autopilot behind the wheel if we don’t know the directions, we should, at the very least, have an understanding of how to get there if this adds extra stress to the journey. Minimizing stress is the most crucial thing to consider and this means that if you know how to get there, you are giving yourself a far better opportunity to focus on the road. With the fact that there were 3,651 motor-vehicle deaths in 2018 and that distracted driving is one of the biggest culprits these days, we’ve got to get into the car having a clear idea of where we have to get to. Knowing your route may seem incredibly simple but this is really the one thing that will keep you from stressing out when you’re trying to listen to the GPS while the children are screaming in the back.
Keeping Yourself Calm
You have to understand what your specific stress triggers are. If all the children are making noise in the back you have to placate them appropriately. Make sure you bring snacks and distractions like game consoles so they can focus on that so they won’t keep talking at you. It’s also important to make sure that you are calm by getting as much rest as possible but also making sure that you have the opportunity to decompress. If you are one of those people that needs time to yourself it’s important to communicate this to the children so you can have a minute to yourself. Plan your rest stops appropriately so you can have that important few moments to yourself. It’s also worth learning some calming techniques like deep breathing so you can make sure that you don’t feel the pressures.
Sit Up Straight
There’s a lot to be said for our frame of mind based on the posture we assume. When we have a long road trip ahead of us we gradually start to slump down, which means that we can lose our focus at the worst possible moment. Learning to keep yourself in an alert frame of mind is crucial. Sitting up straight isn’t just a good way to keep you focused on the road but it is the best method to get the blood flowing around the entire body. When we start to think about how our posture influences our behavior this sends a signal to our subconscious forcing us to be more alert. And it’s the little things that can prove really beneficial during stressful moments.
It’s never easy preparing yourself for a long road trip but if you can focus on minimizing stress, while also having a handy amount of distractions for the children, you will be able to keep yourself and your precious cargo as safe as possible.