Driving for long distances, especially if you are a commuter, can be very tiring and even painful to the body and for your mental health. Even being in a car for a half an hour can be damaging to your well being — so how can you prevent this from happening?
First, examine your posture. You should not be slouching in the seat, and your spine should be completely vertical, contouring to the arch in the seat. Speaking of the seat, make sure it is not pushed up to close to the pedals and not far away enough that you are reaching for it with your feet and straining your posture. Your neck should be straight, head forward and not tipped back or forward. Arms should be at on the “10 and 2″ position on the steering wheel. At first, this might feel weird, but it could only be because of your past slouching and bad posture seating position.
Secondly, your environment can dictate your well being while in your car. Is there clutter or is your car a complete pigsty? If so, take the time to clean it up! Invest in an air freshener, or, you can go all out and get essential oils such as lavender or lemongrass to add an aromatherapy aspect to your car. Make it smell natural, earthy, or sweet — whatever your heart desires!
Third, take advantage of your radio. If you only have FM/AM radio, save all your favorite channels for easy access. If you have a CD or cassette player stock up on all your favorite artists and songs, but include at least one CD of the most relaxing music that you can find — you can purchase a yoga or meditation CD, for example. During the most stressful part of your commute, when the tension is high and you’re ready to jump out of your seat, pop it in and try to relax.
Lastly, always remember, if you are feeling really run down and you need a break — stop. Nothing would be worse than falling asleep at the wheel.