June 6, 2021
Welcome to my Self-Care Sunday’s B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blog post. A couple weeks ago, I discussed the top five reasons self-care is important, followed by 10 tips you can do to maintain proper self-care. I decided to break down the 10 Tips You Can Do to Maintain Proper Self-care and focus on one tip each week to give extra pointers on how to manage self-care at least one day a week. This week, I discuss how taking a variety of drives can help improve your mental health. Below are five different driving strategies to help relieve stress and improve mood.
1. Driving Me Crazy
Whenever there is something bothering me, driving me nuts, making me crazy, or whatever we call getting irritated by something, I like to get away. I would love to walk or run away, but that would wear my body out, so I jump in the car, turn on the music and drive away with no location in mind. The music I play usually depends on my mood. If I am sad, I play sappy love songs. If I am mad, I blast heavy metal and rock. If I am confused, I get focused with classical music. If I am excited, I move my body to dance music. If I want to be verbal, I blurt out rap music. There is music for every mood.
2. Backseat Driving
Sometimes when I don’t feel like driving, but want to get out, I will call a friend or family member, order an Uber, hop on a bus or trolley, and go. At times like these I usually will bring something to work on or read while I am riding. I love these times because I can usually stay focused when I am trapped in a vehicle, but then I get to my next destination, and I feel like I got many things accomplished. Oftentimes, I will have my headphones and listen to classical music while I read or study.
3. Road Trippin’
Road trips take some planning so that you know where to sleep, eat, and have an idea where you will start and finish. There also may be road blocks, traffic, tolls, or ferries that impede your drive, so it is nice to have a few ideas planned or be really flexible. I also like to have road trip music playlists. For example, if I am going to the beach, I have a playlist with a lot of Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffet, Rhianna, Bruno Mars, and Sublime. If I am going to any state near the midwest (country), I will have a playlist of music stars like Dolly Parton, Elvis, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and Taylor Swift. I have a money playlist for Vegas. For the states California, New York, and New Orleans, I have playlists with artists who live there.
4. Race Car Driving
There’s always Go-kart racing that could be a fun way to drive out the negativity for people of any age. Perhaps you want to have an adult experience and see what it’s like to drive a fast exotic car there’s rental shops and extreme experiences. For those who have a need for speed, Nascar has race day deals that allow for the public to burn some rubber on the tracks. There are even the virtual racing experiences for those not as likely to jump in a real race car. For the timid or young drivers, video games or arcades have fun safe race car driving simulation activities.
5. Driving For a Cause
Many nonprofits can use volunteers who will drive and offer their car to transport items or people. Pick a local nonprofit, give them a call, and see if they could use a driver. This is a win/win for your mental health and others who receive your services. Here’s a list of 10 people or organizations who may need drivers to donate their time and maybe vehicle:
- Senior centers
- Clothing shelters
- Food banks
- Safe houses
- Elderly or sick neighbors
- Ride connection programs
- Community gardens or farms
- Department of Health and Human Services
What Drives You?
There are several different ways you can drive to clear your mind, relax, focus, get to a specific destination, or just get from one point to the next. Driving is a great source of therapy, just pick what fits best for you. Find the things that drive you, move you, and help you stay focused and healthy.
Thank you for reading and viewing,
Dr. Jaime Brainerd, Ed.D.