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Rev Up for Relaxation Day: 6 Ways to Unwind with Leisurely Drives and De-Stress

BY: Endurance
Man leaning out window on a leisurely drive by the ocean

In today’s world of instant information and communication, it can be difficult to simply unplug, unwind and focus on your well-being. Being as busy as we all are can be an issue for mental health, so it is incredibly important to take time when we can and practice some self-care.

To help remind us all to slow down, August 15th has been dubbed National Relaxation Day. This holiday, which was created by a 9-year-old in Michigan in 1985, is a perfect chance to remember to breathe and take time to yourself for stress management.

Even if you can’t take all of National Relaxation Day off, you still have an opportunity to give yourself a reset for stress relief. Long, leisurely drives have a lot of mental health benefits and can act as a form of mindful meditation if done correctly.

Taking some free time to relax in your car is a great way to enjoy the holiday and take advantage of your vehicle’s calming qualities. Knowing how to unwind with leisurely drives will give you a much-needed break and help you fall in love with your car all over again.

The Connection Between Driving and Relaxation

While some people might think of driving as a stressful activity, it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it can be incredibly relaxing if it is done in the right context. Most of the time, driving is most stressful when trying to get somewhere on time or in incredibly high-traffic areas, or during busy parts of the day.

If you choose to take a drive that is meant to be as relaxing and leisurely as possible, you might find that it does wonders for your mental health. Understanding why this is can help you decide if it is the right stress reliever for you.

A 2020 study on stress levels and driver-assistance systems found that while outside factors like traffic and weather can make driving stressful, driving itself has several mental health and stress reduction benefits. This is potentially because drivers can feel that they are in complete control of their surroundings and have mastery over their situation.

Most of the time, this state is difficult to come by, but behind the wheel, it is common and even encouraged. Using this information, you can take some of the stressful factors out of your leisurely drive and use it to your advantage.

6 Ways to Unwind with Leisurely Drives

While every single drive may not be a relaxing affair, there are ways that you can create a perfect environment for relaxation in the car. Whether you are heading out for the sole purpose of unwinding or you simply want to use your commute time to de-stress after a long day, you can make the most of your time in the driver’s seat. Knowing some ways to relax with leisurely drives can help you improve your mental health and enjoy your vehicle simultaneously.

1. Listen to Calming Music

Listening to music in the car is one of the great joys of life, and it is an excellent opportunity to take some time out and relax. Whatever music you find calming and soothing is perfect for your leisurely drive. While this can be slow, quiet music, or instrumental ambient music, it can also be whatever you happen to find particularly relaxing.

Any music that makes you feel at peace should be on the stereo when you head out to take some time for yourself on the road. Listening to podcasts can also provide a comforting ambiance that facilitates relaxation and stress relief during long drives or in heavy traffic.

2. Look for Interesting Scenery

One of the great things about owning a car is the fact that it can take you places you wouldn’t otherwise go and give you a change of scenery. Depending on where you live, you may have access to roads with beautiful landscapes and vistas to calm your blood pressure.

Even if you live in an urban center, there are most likely routes that have outstanding views along the way. Whatever kind of environment you find the most beautiful should be where you point your vehicle on National Relaxation Day.

3. Use Low-Traffic Areas

Traffic and other cars on the road are some of the major stressors when driving your vehicle. If at all possible, do what you can to eliminate these outside factors and drive on roads that are calm and open.

If this means going a different route or heading out early in the morning or late at night, it is well worth it. Being out on the open road on your own without the hustle and noise of traffic is incredibly relaxing and can help you feel the peace you are looking for.

4. Use the Time to Clear Your Mind

One of the most important reasons to use driving as a relaxation tactic is the amount of space it takes up in your mind. No matter what other thoughts might be occupying your brain at a particular time, driving the car will always remain the task at hand. Use your drive to clear your mind as much as possible and take a break from any distressing thoughts you may be having. You will most likely find that once you have taken your drive and exercised your option to stop thinking negative thoughts, they will no longer be so prominent in your mind.

5. Practice Mindfulness

At the same time, driving is also an opportunity to practice mindfulness that you can use in your day-to-day life. While driving, think about everything you are doing at the present moment. Feel the resistance of the steering wheel in your hand and think about the way the vehicle reacts when you step on the gas or the brake.

Appreciating everything that is happening in the moment will help keep your thoughts out of the past and future and simply let you enjoy the present, which is one of the most important things you can do if you are trying to de-stress.

6. Appreciate Disconnected Time

Perhaps the best thing about driving for relaxation is the fact that it is one of the few times in modern life that you do not have to be connected. In fact, it is highly encouraged that you leave your phone off or in the back seat when driving so you won’t be distracted by social media or your to-do list.

When driving, it is important to fully appreciate that you don’t have to worry about things like answering emails or looking at the news. Luxuriate in your disconnection from the internet and your day-to-day life and use it to relax and live in the moment fully.

Tips to Make Your Drive More Relaxing

The most important thing to remember when driving if you want it to be a relaxing experience is that you have an opportunity to surrender to the moment. While driving, you have one simple task to do and no other responsibilities.

This can be incredibly freeing and can help you navigate some of the more difficult parts of your daily life. By being mindful and letting go of anything else that might be going on, you can improve your mental health and be in better spirits when you get to your destination, wherever that might be.

If you want to make your drive even more relaxing, you can take some time to make stops along the way. Seek out interesting vistas or unique areas that you perhaps have never seen before so you can get out and get some fresh air.

You can also use these stops to do other activities like taking pictures or journaling to remember how you felt and see if you can replicate that feeling throughout your day. Having a practice of enjoyment in your life has so many benefits, and a relaxing drive will help you feel your very best.

Safe Driving Tips for a Relaxing Journey

The key to a relaxing drive is making sure that you feel safe during the entire trip. This is why it is so important to eliminate distractions and avoid traffic and crowded streets whenever possible. Even though you are meant to be relaxing, practicing all the same precautions you normally would is still important. This way, you can take full advantage of your drive, knowing you are safe and that you are driving responsibly.

When going on your relaxing drive, be sure to keep in mind that you still need to be alert. There is a big difference between driving while relaxed and driving while tired. Be aware that some roads, especially when they are quiet without a lot of traffic, can have a hypnotizing effect on you.

Make sure that you are fully rested and feeling good before you head out for any long drive. You want to make your drive as leisurely as possible, but it is incredibly important to make it as safe as possible for you and any other drivers that might be out on the road.

You should also be certain that your vehicle is well-maintained and in good shape before heading out. This includes things like making sure there is plenty of gas in it, that your electrical system is in good working order, and that your tires are inflated to the proper PSI. Nothing will interrupt your peace more than car trouble, so proper maintenance and upkeep will give you the best chance at enjoying yourself and keeping your drive stress-free.

Make Your Vehicle Your Sanctuary With Endurance

Practicing self-care like deep breathing or driving and keeping your mind healthy are crucial parts of living a long and fulfilling life. It is important to stay on top of your mental health, and having a car that you can rely on can help. If you want to be sure that your vehicle is protected and will give you many years of leisurely driving, a vehicle service contract, or VSC, from Endurance is your best option.

Endurance has coverage for vehicles and budgets of all different kinds, from the most basic powertrain coverage all the way up to comprehensive plans and plans for high-end luxury vehicles. Endurance also has protection options for vehicles that other providers won’t cover, like Canadian Gray Market vehicles, cars with a rebuilt or salvage title, and vehicles used for rideshare or delivery.

Each Endurance plan also comes with standard benefits like 24/7 roadside assistance, towing and lockout services, trip-interruption coverage, and rental car reimbursements. For a small activation fee, you can also get access to a year’s worth of Endurance Elite Benefits, including extra perks and savings like key fob replacements, tire repairs or replacements, collision discounts, and total loss protection.

Experience our award-winning customer service firsthand by calling our dedicated team at (800) 253-8203 to request a FREE quote. Alternatively, explore our online store for an instant price preview and shop with confidence.

You can also find more automobile-related resources on the Endurance blog. Explore FAQs, warranty provider comparisons, mechanical breakdown insurance guides, DIY maintenance tips and tricks, and more.

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