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Keep Calm In The Car

Next time you’re at the traffic lights, sneak a peek at your fellow drivers.  To judge by their actions, most people seem to forget that when they’re sitting behind the wheel of a car, they’re in a bubble of glass and are visible to everyone around them, tinted glass notwithstanding.  They behave as though they’re in solitude, blissful or otherwise. This has to be the reason why heaps of people decide that the traffic lights are the best place to practice a little nasal hygiene (i.e. pick their noses).keepcalm

And when you stop to think about it, most of us respect the privacy of other people and don’t go gawping in at the drivers around us, any more than we go peering through the neighbours windows. So maybe it’s best that we make the most of that little bit of semi-solitude in our days and find a way to make our commutes calmer.

There are some obvious benefits to driving calmly. Obviously, you avoid road rage problems. However, if you are less aggressive as you drive, you tend to use less petrol and create less wear and tear on all the moving parts. Not to mention what being aggressive and impatient does to you.


So, in the interests of keeping your daily commute a bit calmer and less stressful, here are a few ideas that you might like to try:

  • Don’t feel like you have to have the navigation system on all the time. Save it for when you need it. You probably know the way to work by now, don’t you? The fewer voices, beeps and buzzes you have in your environment competing for your attention, the better for you (and you’ll probably drive more safely into the bargain).
  • Keep a few healthy nibbles and drinks in your car. Cupholders don’t just fit coffee cups – they fit most hand-held receptacles. Instead of picking up yet another adrenaline-stimulating coffee, why not throw a bottle of fruit juice into the drink holder? Also have a selection of healthy nibbles to snack on as you drive, especially if you have a long commute at the end of the day and are likely to have flagging blood sugar levels in the evening. Chilled glove compartments or consoles are designed for storing chocolate on hot days, aren’t they?
  • Make the inside of your car attractive. It’s a pity more car manufacturers haven’t taken a leaf out of the VW Beetle and provided a little bud vase for flowers.
  • Pick your sounds with care. Sometimes, the radio with endless doom and gloom in the news is the last thing you want. Choose a playlist to suit your mood (e.g. energetic, lively music in the morning when you want to energize yourself; calm chill-out sounds in the evening). And don’t forget audio books, which can turn a long wait at the lights a chance to hear a bit more of the story.
  • Use essential oils – lavender is calming and antiseptic. Make your own car fragrance from lavender oil, white vinegar and water, or blend lavender oil with some regular oil and use it to wipe down the dashboard and steering wheel. If you use a strong enough concentration of oil (e.g. 20 drops to ½ a cup of oil), you’ll also disinfect the bits you touch at the same time.