Stress-Busting Tips For Van Drivers


2 June 2017

It’s all too easy to get stressed out on the road. Roadworks, traffic jams and fellow road users can all raise your heart rate; and if you drive for a living, these everyday irritations are unavoidable.

However, there are some simple techniques to help you deal with the daily frustrations of life on the road.

Change the record

Or rather, playlist. The music you listen to can really influence your mood. Swap your “driving music” compilation for something rather more mellow and help avoid driving stress. Research has shown that changing your music from upbeat to chilled tunes has a calming effect. If you feel yourself tensing or you're becoming increasingly irritated with other drivers (which can be a cause of aggressive driving), switch to a relaxing track.

And breathe...

It may sound a bit New Age, but learning a few basic meditation techniques can help you feel calmer in any situation. You can manage stress levels with some breathing exercises, which are really easy to master. Try downloading the Headspace app, which has a nicely straightforward approach to meditation. Spend 10 minutes a day doing its mindfulness exercises, and use your new knowledge to help you out during difficult driving moments.

In a jam

You’re stuck, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Put the handbrake on and use the time to wriggle your tired feet and stretch that tense neck. Try the radio: find something engaging or that makes you laugh to pass the time. Audio books are increasingly popular, and certainly make a journey more enjoyable. Just don’t get so engrossed you forget you’re still technically driving, even if you haven’t moved for twenty minutes.

Know when to stop

Stop-start traffic can take a physical and mental toll on any driver. If possible, take time to have a break, even if it’s just a five-minute leg-stretch on the grass in a service station. There’s often time-pressure on professional drivers; however, if you’ve already been stuck in slow-moving traffic for ages, an extra few minutes for a comfort break isn’t going to make a huge difference to most schedules.

For more information about coping with the aches, pains and strains of the day-to-day life of a van driver, take a look at our video series here.