8 Expert tips to help you find your bliss behind the wheel

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8 Expert tips to help you find your bliss behind the wheel

October 24, 2017

It’s tough being a parent and learning to drive with children in the car is a whole new challenge!

Young moms are especially distracted. Coupled with the fatigue new mothers experience, it’s not surprising that 10% of new moms have had an accident while driving with their baby. This is almost three times the normal accident rate. While you cannot control what other drivers on the road are doing, you can stay calm, centered and mindful to make the drive easier with these great tips from Yoga & Mindfulness Expert Jennifer Neilson and Ford of Canada.

TAKE THE TIME TO STRETCH BEFORE YOU DRIVE

Place your hands on the wheel and do a cat/cow stretch. As you breathe in, push your chest toward the steering wheel and as you exhale, round your back and tuck you chin in. Twist it out, loosen up the neck and back for smoother shoulder checking. Inhale – sit up tall – exhale as you look over your left shoulder, count three breaths and repeat on the other side.

Have your kiddos do the exercises with you if they can! It’s fun and will teach them for the future. 

SIT WITH CARE

Make sure you’re seated properly before you drive. Take advantage of the available 10-Way Power Driver and Passenger seats in the 2016 Ford Edge to find the perfect seating position to provide low back support. Sit as far back into the seat as possible, with head, ribs and pelvis in one line. We’re often in our vehicles for long periods of time and sitting with the bones of the spine in a joint stacked position is the key to a happy back. Use the available heated seats to soothe lower back pain. ~ Perfect for a new Mom (or Dad!)

SET YOUR POSTURE

We have a tendency to slouch forward when we’re behind the wheel. To avoid straining your neck, upper back and shoulders, make it a habit to check your posture. Sit tall, roll your shoulders back and send your shoulder blades down as if you are putting them in your back pockets. Breathe deeply into your belly. Find relief from “tech neck” by bringing your chin back until your earlobes hover over your shoulders. Don’t worry, you can still be connected by using available voice-activated SYNC® 3 technology.

GET A GRIP

You may not notice yourself clenching the steering wheel, but the repetitive actions of driving can do a number on your wrists. Be mindful – if you realize you’re holding onto the wheel too tightly, take a few seconds when you’re safely stopped to rotate your wrists and give your hands a loose shake. Push hands into the seat, palms down, and then flip and apply pressure with the wrists facing up.

SLOW BREATH IN, DEEP BREATH OUT

When we’re stressed we tend to breathe fast and shallow. Sometimes we even hold our breath altogether. Become conscious of your breathing, to energize the body, clear the mind, and even lower blood pressure. When stopped at red lights, try diaphragm breathing. Inhale, feel your stomach expand with the air, as you exhale release the air and draw the belly button in. This breath stimulates a calming response in the body.

This is a great tip as well if you are losing patience with children and need to pull over and get out. Turn on the hazard lights, breath deeply and try to find some inner peace before climbing back behind the wheel. 

SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL

Bringing some movement to your body when the vehicle is safely stopped is a great habit to get into. Rotate your head slowly like you’re motioning “no,” while pausing movement when any tension is felt. Lean your right ear to your right shoulder and then point your nose down towards your right armpit. Repeat on the other side. Wiggle your spine like you’re working on your best belly dance moves.

This certainly can’t be bad for the for the postnatal abs too!

LIGHT YOGA UPON ARRIVAL

Depending on driving conditions, such as traffic or weather, we can become tense while driving. Give yourself a moment to come back to a calm state before heading off to your destination. Tip your head to one shoulder and hold for three breaths, repeating on the other side. Then inhale as you bring the shoulders up to your ears and exhale as you lower them down and open the chest. Repeat 2 – 4 times.

STAY MINDFUL

Whether it’s a lengthy commute to work, a trip to the corner store or a Sunday drive, make use of the innovative Ford driver assist technologies to help you remain calm, centered and mindful while you drive. Convenient available technologies such as the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) help make driving more worry-free using radar to alert you when a vehicle is hidden in your blind spot. For some, parking can raise stress levels, but with Enhanced Active Park Assist, maneuvering in and out of both parallel and perpendicular parking spots becomes a little more Zen.

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