Stress-busting tips

Author Avatar
What Car? Staff
9 Jun 2008 11:00 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Follow these tips to ensure you arrive at your destination stress-free.

It's important you aren't exhausted before you've even left home.

So, first of all, get a decent night's sleep before you head off, and try to leave half an hour earlier than you really need to, just in case there are any last-minute hitches.

If you can, pack the night before, because you don't want to be rushing around in the morning.

Make sure you spread the load evenly, and secure any loose items - if you hear items clunking around in the boot once you're on the road and you can't reach them, it'll annoy you.

Make yourself comfortable
Jump in car. Turn key. Drive off.

That's what we tend to do day after day without even considering whether we're in the correct driving position.

However, a sore back is very difficult to shake off, and it's too late to start adjusting your seat after a couple of hours when the pain has just started to kick in.

Here are a few quick tips:

• Don't sit too close to the steering wheel. If you're too far away, you'll get aching in your shoulders.

• Move the backrest so you have support all the way up your spine, and adjust the lumbar support until it just rests against the base of your spine, not pushing against it.

• If your spine is curved, then the seat is in the wrong position.

See our video on how to adjust your seat properly by clicking: here.

Don't become part of the seat
Above all, make sure you include enough time for rest stops, and try to have a break every two hours.

If you don't like stopping at service stations, plan a route that includes somewhere you can find a decent place to pull off and stretch your legs.

If you can, share the driving with someone else.

When you're driving, make sure you move around from time to time in your seat.

Sadly, traffic jams are a fact of modern motoring life.

Your sat-nav system may be able to reroute you round some of them, but if there has been a huge accident on the motorway, even the minor local roads will get clogged up.

You have to accept the fact that there is simply no point in getting angry, even if you're running to a tight deadline.

The CSMA (Civil Service Motoring Association) survey suggested that drivers found the best way to deal with the stress was to play some relaxing music or stop the car at a service station for a break.

If your kids are getting impatient, try something simple to engage them.

You never know, a game of 'I spy' could well do the trick.

Behind the wheel
You need to be disciplined and mature when things are getting fraught.

Drivers cut you up, people toot their horns and everyone's pushing in. Ignore them.

Be a bigger person and you'll feel better for it.

• Don't make hand gestures or blast your horn when another driver makes a mistake - they're only human like you;

• Don't push in to queues;

• If traffic merges, follow a simple rule - let one car in and then you can go;

• If someone lets you in, wave a hand in thanks.