Driving away stress

Such an important subject as stress certainly warrants a follow-up to last week’s Caymanian Compass column. Radio broadcasts send cautions of being prepared. People watch the inevitable approach of hurricane season. And, people watch world events.

In Cayman, now that the seeming stresses of the receding tourist season are becoming a memory, new sources of stress arrive. Summer travel plans. Storm concerns. Add into this soup the everyday stresses of success in the workplace, survival in the workplace, family concerns, health issues and more. We need to be thankful that improvements are being made to help us all drive the islands roads.

Much of my thinking is done on the drive from North Side daily and weekly. Observing the behavior of other drivers has become a source of insight which allows me to continue to gauge the stress monitor. And I notice that the speed limits have not changed, nor have the twists and bends. What I see changing is in the attitude of drivers towards each other. Somebody always lets you out. Or in. Admit it. And, yes the jesters of life who feel compelled to race ahead, one car at a time, make us laugh or shake our hand in fury.

So, in keeping road stress in mind, here are a few suggestions that will help you minimize stressors. Most have to do with you – your reaction to the events around you and the steps you take to minimize your own inner stress. Many of these have worked for me:

Decide not to talk on your cell phone. Not one of us is so important we need to be available every minute of the day. One friend has made a vow not to talk and drive and she sticks to it. Hats off. If you are not as strong and able to withstand the temptation of answering it, put the cell in the trunk!

Put your watch there as well. I learned this heading in for specific appointments. Give yourself plenty of time and give careful thought to avoiding peak times if it is in your power to do so. You will get to your appointment as the appointed moment. Savagely hissing at your watch en route will do nothing except build frustration and stress

Making lifestyle changes are never easy for most of us. However, reducing stress is one that deserves careful attention. Do a service to yourself – think about it.

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