Getting behind the wheel for the first time by yourself is quite daunting as a new driver. Even if you’ve passed your test with flying colours, it can feel quite surreal to have ownership of a vehicle and be free to go wherever you want. A lot of new drivers face anxiety for their first few months of going solo, but this can be overcome in a few simple ways. You have been dreaming of taking a road trip for years, and you deserve to enjoy every moment of your newfound freedom. Ultimately, you have the knowledge and skills to drive a car, you simply need to train your brain to feel calm and at ease on the road. There are a whole host of variables you have complete control over, so consider the following ideas to help ease your driving anxieties.
Learn From an Instructor You Trust
When you’re learning to drive, you need to do so in a safe and enjoyable environment with an instructor you trust. Even after you’ve passed your test it’s important to keep up your skills with a reputable teacher who can provide you with support, tips and a confidence boost. You may want to check out Ignition Driving School, where thousands of pupils have passed their driving tests with flying colours. Not only will you have plenty of instructors to choose from, but they also have flexible schedules so that you can learn to drive at a time that is convenient for you. Learning to drive is a huge milestone in your life, so if you’ve been fully supported during the process it should help to ease your anxiety when you finally get behind the wheel by yourself.
Practice Self Car Before You Drive
Before you’re due to drive it’s important to create a sense of calm, rather than building yourself up into an anxious state. You might want to create a pre-driving ritual which puts you in a confident and positive headspace. Whether you drink a soothing hot drink or listen to your favourite music, there are a number of things you can do to keep calm before your journey.
Plan Your Journeys In Advance
Spontaneous journeys in the car might be fun for some people, but if you’re an anxious driver it can trigger a lot of emotions. Wherever possible, try to plan your journeys in advance and look up the parking situation too. There are a number of things that are out of your control when it comes to driving such as traffic and unexpected accidents, but if you take control as much as possible you will feel more confident.
Create Calmness in the Car
When you’re an anxious driver, it’s important to create a calming atmosphere in your car wherever possible. You may want to create a calming playlist to help you combat any potential stresses that might hit you whilst you’re on the road. Try to avoid doing journeys with groups of people or loud individuals. If you feel intimidated by anybody you’re in the car with, this will only heighten your anxiety and make you feel worried about the journey ahead. You need to put your own mental health and wellbeing first when it comes to driving, so try to avoid any situations that feel stressful to you.
Focus on Your End Destination
Driving to your destination doesn’t need to be filled with worry and stress, you simply need to focus on the reason you’re going to that specific place. Putting a positive spin on your journey and getting excited for the final result might help you to ease your anxiety whilst driving. Perhaps you’re going to meet a friend for lunch or you’re going to enjoy a fun activity; think about your end destination and why it’s exciting to drive there.
It’s completely natural to feel worried or anxious about hitting the road as a solo driver for the first time, but you shouldn’t let it hold you back from going where you want to go. Having a car and being able to drive confidently is liberating and enjoyable as soon as you know how to manage your worries. Many of the things you feel anxious about are “what-ifs” that you don’t need to spend time contemplating. Sometimes a small situation can build up in your head to a point where it feels too overwhelming or unmanageable. With these ideas in mind, you should feel well-equipped to hit the road confidently and calmly when you finally get the chance to take the wheel all by yourself.