Surviving Snow Driving with Anxiety

I love the snow. It’s beautiful, romantic, and peaceful.  However, I do not like driving in it. It’s a relatively new experience for me, being somewhat recently transplanted to Idaho from California. It’s nerve wracking and used to stop me from going places that I really wanted to go. For me, having a baby in the car added a whole new layer of terrifying to snow driving with anxiety. It wasn’t something that I was super comfortable with before, and then being responsible for the life of a tiny, precious human just made it so much worse.

This is a list of tips help you cope with your anxiety while sliding down the road. This isn’t a list of specific driving tips for maneuvering through the snow, but a list of to help you survive snow driving with anxiety.

First…breathe

Most obvious advice ever, right? However, white knuckle driving while holding your breath is not going to help you feel better. Or drive better for that matter. So take a deep breath. Relax. You’ve got this! As someone who has gotten stuck in deep snow with a baby in the car (read about that here), know that even on the off chance that something does happen, you can survive this!

Practice

There are some things that simply take practice to get a handle on. Snow driving is one of them. Go to a parking lot, spin some donuts, and get used to sliding around. Understanding that there really isn’t anything mysterious and scary about sliding in a vehicle will go a long way to helping you panic less when it does happen.

If it will make you more comfortable, bring someone along who has more snow driving experience than you do! Also, know that the more you drive in the snow, the better you’ll get. Whether you were raised driving in the snow, or if this is a new experience for you (like for me!) you can totally do this.

Advice from others

Just like anything else, when people hear that you are looking for advice driving in the snow they will want to tell you their perspective on the “secret to snow driving”. They mean well, they really do. I mean, technically I’m giving you advice right now! But it can be super overwhelming to try to remember all of this advice when you are sliding down the road.

You don’t have to follow every tip you’re given. Just nod, smile, and try what you think is helpful and chuck the rest in the trash. Easy peasy.

Music

Does music make you more relaxed? Maybe a talk show in the morning? A podcast? Maybe just silence? What will make you the most comfortable, that you can leave playing with out messing with for the duration of your commute? Pick that!

Time

Give yourself PLENTY of time. That way you don’t feel rushed. This will make your experience snow driving with anxiety much less terrifying. There is no reason why you need to get to your destination quickly. If you’re running late, still drive slow. I guarantee that whomever is waiting on you to arrive can handle a little tardiness. Most people are pretty understanding, especially when the roads get terrible.

 

Aggressive Drivers

There will be some aggressive drivers. You might be lucky and avoid them, but if I were you I would plan on running into a few meanies because it’s a fact of life. If there is one tailgating you, just pull over or turn onto a side street, and let them ride someone else’s bumper. You don’t need that in your life! They can speed around you, and you no longer have to worry about them.

But where’s the road??

I can’t see the lanes?! I don’t know where I’m supposed to be driving! Eek! I am freaking out here!!! It can be a little nerve wracking for anyone, especially when you have multiple lanes. I’ll let you in on a little secret: No one else can see the lanes either, they are driving on the same road after all. Give your best guess, follow the traffic, and you’ll be ok.

How do you survive snow driving with anxiety?

Let me know in the comments below!

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