Hello everyone, welcome back to The Anxiety Diaries guest post series. I’ve had a great response to the previous two guest posts, which you can read here if you haven’t already. This week I’m featuring the lovely Katy from Katykicker.com. Katy is a full time work from home mum. She writes about how to make and save money online, alongside snippets of her family life. Today she’s sharing some tips on coping with anxiety in the car.
I’m known for being organised, motivated and driven. I am somebody that never lets much stand in my way. However, I have a secret… I’m an anxious passenger. A really anxious one!
I learned to drive, 10+ years ago, however I have had two strokes since then. I’m not sure I’ll ever want to run the risk of driving a car, just in case something happened and I injured or even killed somebody! I always used to be comfortable in the car. I was happy being a passenger, even if it did take me a little while to get used to my husband finally driving a car and not a motorbike!
What changed me in to having anxiety when travelling in the car? Some idiot that’s what! In April 2014 we were driving home, on a 50mph road, driving at just a fraction under 50mph. A driver behind was beeping, giving hand signals and generally trying to intimidate us. He pulled up alongside us at a roundabout and while giving us a hand gesture he lost control of his car and drove us off the side of the road, across a bollard and into a ditch. I was injured and our car was a write off too.
Ever since that day I have had varying degrees of anxiety when travelling in the car. Some days I am absolutely fine. I can avoid noticing how close cars are driving, I don’t tell my husband (who is a great driver!) how to drive. Other days I am nervous. I’m going to share with you my tips on dealing with anxiety when travelling in the car.
Sitting in the back
Some days this really helps me to feel better. I can sit in the back, not paying as much attention to cars. Also, because my daughter sits in the back this keeps me calm as well. I don’t want my daughter to see my anxiety and also be nervous in the car.
Using rescue remedy
I really missed using this when I was pregnant. It was actually one of the first things I used again once my daughter was born. Rescue Remedy comes in a variety of forms including pastilles & a liquid dropper. It has a mixture of flower essences, and you can get alcohol-free.
Listening to music via headphones
When we are travelling to Centerparcs (every month or two – lucky me!) I like to sit in the back of the car and use headphones. This allows me to ignore the din of the traffic outside on the busy M11. Also, this allows my husband to have his music on and drive in peace. Sometimes I listen to an audiobook. I usually set a playlist, similar to the length of time that we will be on the road.
Having an understanding partner
My husband is absolutely lovely. He understands that I don’t want to have anxiety when travelling in the car. He is kind to me when I am suffering from anxiety and will slow down, change lanes or even stop safely for a break if we need one.
Travelling at less busy times
This can be great for me. For example when going on our holidays to Centerparcs we leave after rush hour. We can then drive at a steady pace without rushing or having too many cars sitting behind us in a rush.
My anxiety when travelling in the car has significantly improved since I had my daughter. A lot of time has passed since we were the victims of road rage. I remind myself each time that we travel that my husband is a safe driver, we are in a safe car and most people on the road just want to arrive at their destination safely.
If you are suffering from anxiety when travelling in the car then don’t suffer alone. If relaxation techniques, or the methods I mention above don’t work, then speak to your Doctor. You can be referred for counselling or even cognitive behaviour therapy which can help considerably.
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Thank you to Katy for her brilliant tips. I don’t drive, but like Katy I’m a very anxious passenger so I’ll be trying some of her tips. If you’d like to read more from Katy you do so at her: Blog / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter
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