Thursday, August 04, 2005

Taking a road trip? Ways to De-Stress

Our family loves going to Colorado for vacation. It’s so beautiful up there and the air is fresh and clean and it is perfect for camping. It’s quiet a drive from Houston, 23 hours to be exact. Ahhh mom, dad, and three young children, it can stress a body out! I was reading an article in Women’s World magazine yesterday, by Christina DeLalla, that reminded me of those days. Here’s what it said: Don’t let the driving part be the worst part of the trip. Here are some helpful tips.

1) Turn on the air conditioner even if it’s not particularly hot out: Studies show we’re most calm and content when we’re feeling cool. In fact, a recent British study found that the hotter it gets in a car, the more aggressive and irritable toward each other people inside the car become. Lucy’s note: If you are driving and having a hard time staying awake the cool air will do the trick. Warm air will put you to sleep.

2) Pack the snack that calms everyone down: “Carb-rich foods like popcorn and crackers help boost serotonin levels in the brain,” says dietitian Elisabeth Weber, helping everyone stay happy! “Just make sure to get the low-salt variety-otherwise, it can make people too thirsty and uncomfortable.”

3) Have a sing-along: It’s fun for a reason-studies show it triggers the production of endorphins, the brain chemicals that generate pleasurable feelings. It also stimulates circulation, which helps prevent the muscle spasms and aching joints that can be triggered by sitting in a cramped space for a long time, says pediatrician Terry Shields, M.D. Lucy’s note: My kids enjoyed singing in the car and now I know why it was good for them.

4) Play the game that stops carsickness: If kids complain about feeling carsick, play the car game “ I Spy,” where someone in the car describes and object they see on the horizon and everyone else tries to guess what it is. “When you’re in a car, your inner ear tells your brain you’re moving – but if you’re focused inside the car, your brain thinks you’re standing still; it’s this mixed signal that makes people nauseous,” explains Dr. Shields. But keeping your eyes focused outside the car – by playing “I Spy”- helps keep carsickness at bay. Lucy’s Note: I have personal experience on this one. When I was young, I would get terribly car sick. As I have grown older it is not that bad, but I still can’t read a map for more than a few seconds before I start to feel nauseous. I immediately look for something outside the car to reverse the feeling. It really does work.

5) “Read” while you drive: Can’t agree on music? Put in a book on CD/tape from your library. Studies show that listening to books in the car actually makes the time pass faster, since it requires concentration – and that’s not all: Studies show it reduces stress. Lucy’s Note: Several years ago I went to visit my daughter in Denver. My husband had given me a couple of “books on tape” to listen to while I was driving. The time really does go faster and I enjoyed listening to them. It really is a good idea.

6) Hang the right air freshener: Before you hit the road, put a citrus or potpourri scented air freshener in your car. Research shows the scents make people happier and help them get along better – in one study, the scent of potpourri cut arguments between people in half!

7) Start out on a Thursday: Many of us like to get a headstart on our weekends, which makes Friday afternoon a busy time to drive. And it’s also a dangerous time to be in the car: According to a study by Progressive Insurance most car accidents occur between 3pm. and 6pm. on Fridays. The fewest crashes occur on Thursday mornings, so if you can get a jump on the weekend, you can avoid traffic and lower you risk of trouble.

18 Comments:

At 12:45 PM, Blogger T. F. Stern said...

Every time we would notice the specific odor given off by a skunk having been either scared or hit we would all chime in with an old tune, "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road...", which we taught the kids. It made them laugh and forget the unpleasant smell.

"...on your moonlit night you got your dead bull frog... Dead Skunk in the middle of the road, Dead Skunk in the middle of the road, Dead Skunk in the middle of the road, Stinkin' to high heaven!" That was a fun time.

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Bluto said...

Ugh. I was just remembering some of the family trips I took as a kid. On the few occasions that we went to Florida when my dad wasn't traveling for work, we'd all pack into their 2 door Honda Accord hatchback and drive the entire distance straight through. My parents, us three kids, and all of our luggage. In that little car. For 26 hours. Only stopping to eat and use the restroom. I've vowed that when I have kids, I'll never put them through that torture.

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Bonfire said...

Uhaul!

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger Fred said...

We always cheated. We just flew to our destinations so we could avoid the long drive. Maybe that makes us bad parents, but at least we got frequent flyer miles for our troubles.

Hopefully, your final destination in Colorado is a bit cooler than the rest of the country!

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger T. F. Stern said...

Dealer!

 
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down to the end of the letter. Then click on "edit" and select "copy". Now open up a notepad file on your computer and put the cursor at the top of the page in the notepad, click on 'edit' and then select 'paste' and it will copy the letter for you onto your computer. Remove the name next to the #1 on the list and move the rest of the names up one position (#2 becomes #1, #3 becomes #2, etc.....) Then place your name in the #6 position. Then save it, make sure it is saved as a txt. file. This is very a very important step! When you have completed the instructions, take this letter and then go to (Google,Yahoo,Craigslist...) and type in (Money Making Message-board, or POST NEW MESSAGE OR JUST TYPE POST MESSAGE(THIS IS MUCH EASIER AND FASTER),...) and start posting your copy to 200 message boards, or more this is only the minimum, you can post as much as you like...The more copies you send the better the results. Keep a copy of this letter so you can use it a second time. Post it out again in six months, but Post it with the addresses you receive with each dollar. It will work better the second time. NOTE: This service is 100% legal - (Refer to title 18 section 1302 of the U.S. Postal & lottery laws) How does it work? When you send out 200 Posts, it is estimated that at least 15 people will respond and send you a $1.00. ($15.00) Those 15 will Post 200 Posts each and 225 people send you $1.00 ($225.00) Those 225 people Post 200 Posts each and 3,375 people send you $1.00
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trust me, you've got nothing to lose.... Important tip - Cover money by paper fully by which it can not been seen in light, because postal employees do cheat some times....ok. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE. THE PLAN IS SO SIMPLE, IT'S ELEGANT. DO NOT DELAY. START RIGHT NOW! YOUR RISK IS ABOUT $6 AS I SEE IT. THIS IS A LEGIMATE BUSINESS VENTURE THAT RESULTS IN TAXABLE INCOME. BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER IF YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH BECOMING WEALTHY! GOOD LUCK.

 
At 9:39 PM, Blogger curious servant said...

I read through your blog for a while and enjoyed it. So, I thought I'd leave a note that I was here.

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger Sherpa said...

very cool ideas as always! Thanks!

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger Beth said...

I'm already doing most of these. Pretty cool!

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger T. F. Stern said...

To the jerk who posted SPAM here in the comment section,

Get a life and do it somewhere else.

To all the rest, sorry for the jerk who has to invade Lucys Frugal Living's comment section to push his scheme.

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger GNN Staff Writer said...

May I second your book-on-tape recommendation. I also remember introducing my pre-teens to Allan Sherman songs on CD. As adults, they still remember them.

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger Oh great One said...

Great tips! I was surprised by the air freshener idea. I'll give it a try!

 
At 12:10 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Spam in the comments section? Shhesh, is nothing safe from these idiots?

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger Jeff H said...

How 'bout "Send the kids to camp, stay home and vegetate"?

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger A Red Mind in a Blue State said...

Lucy-- Great ideas-- you might want to try getting some of the old radio shows on CD-- we have a stock of Jack Benny, Abbott & Costello, The Shadow, etc-- as they got older we mixed in comedy CD's--Cosby and Foxworthy etc-- since my 15 year old is a huge George Carlin fan (spirited in under my parental radar) it's silly that I won't allow R rated or worse acts in the car, but it is my embarrassment, it is my car, and I won't enable. But I found the shows and comedy make long trips fly by for me as well as the family.

 
At 12:09 PM, Blogger pantrygirl said...

Lucy, I can't agree with you more on the Thursday tip.

Here in NYC, Fridays are extremely snarly. Once, I walked 20 blocks and made it to my destination before any buses made there way up the street.

On my last trip, we left on Thursday morning. It cut our driving time in half and provided a smoother and safer drive.

 
At 11:07 PM, Blogger Nettie said...

I'm going to have to convince my colleagues that singing is actually good for them.

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger David said...

My kids won't let me sing, what is up with that????

Congrats on finding an attorney who send chain letters, those ALWAYS worked for me.
and yes, Dead Skunk, is an all time classic road trip song.

I think iI'll sing ir now since my son is sleeping and wont yell at me.

 

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