As a mom of two, with a minivan, I spend quite a bit of time on the road. I have developed some techniques for managing the boredom and irritation that can sometimes come with driving. Most of these tips will help you when you're sitting in traffic, waiting at a light, or parked for a brief time, for example, if you work part-time for your husband and part of your job is going to the bank a lot.
Don't be like those nutsies you read about in the newspaper, who lose their top while in the car! These tips will help you stay calm, fit and well groomed.
Things To Do During a Brief Stop (traffic light)
1. Read a book! I always take a book with me, and if I have to sit a bit, I read a paragraph or so. Then, when it's time to take my foot off the brake and begin moving again, I think about what I read. "Hmmmmm.... that's so interesting/funny/poignant!"
2. Pluck your eyebrows! The natural light of my minivan is SO much better than in my bathroom at home, and whenever I pull down the visor mirror, I see so many more little stragglies. So hey, be efficient on the road, and just whip out the tweezers! I have had to experiment with places to put the tweezers when they are not in use, however, so as to keep them away from the curious toddler. And if you attempt this one in your own vehicle, you have to pull up to just the right spot so the folks in the cars next to you don't see you. Unless you don't mind them seeing you, of course. In which case, you should just go for it!
3. Make a list! Groceries to buy, errands to run, phone calls to return, bills to pay, old friends to "Google."
4. Kegels! I don't care who you are, young or old, male or female, you can benefit from having a well-toned pelvic floor. If you're waiting at a light, do the slower, sustained variety.
5. Take some deep breaths. Check in with your body. Identify areas of tension and try to relax them. If you're at a light, keep your eyes open. If you're in line at the bank drive-through, you can close your eyes until the teller says "Have a nice day!" through the intercom.
Things To Do While Moving:
6. Listen to the radio! It's your choice--music, Terri Gross, right wing talk radio (my personal fave--don't ask, I can't explain it).
7. More Kegels! If you're zooming along on the road, try the quicker, pulsing ones. This is particularly effective if you're actually getting upset while driving. You'll distract yourself! I absolutely defy you to try to flip the rod at someone while you're doing Kegels.
8. Try to remember what it was like to be 16 years old and learning to drive. The thrills! The excitement! The absolute oblivion to the irritation of sitting in traffic. Try to re-capture what it was like to just marvel at how wonderful it was to drive at all!
9. Be patient! Practice being a nice guy on the road. Remember that being behind the wheel of a car doesn't change the fact that drivers are human--they get confused, lost, don't know where their turn is, they pull out too far in to the intersection, they underestimate how much space they need to turn around. Try taking the high road and being kind.
10. If you get really irked, make up a song about it. Sing it to the other drivers.