On The Road Again: Tips for Finding Your Zen While Driving

As music therapists, we work in all kinds of settings: Hospitals, preschools, memory care facilities, day programs, adult foster care, outpatient mental health facilities, day programs, just to name a few. In order to reach all of those places, Earthtones music therapists tend to spend a lot of time on the road. So how do we cope? Here are some tips from us for finding and keeping your zen when commuting between sessions:

  • Keep your car clean.  This is easier said than done, but having a decluttered environment can make a huge difference on how you feel when getting in to your car. (Check out our Pinterest for some great car organization hacks)
  • Listen to good music (or podcasts) Whatever makes you feel good, listen to it! I personally am all about podcasts. I love This American Life, RadioLab, The Moth, and for my spooky fix– Astonishing Legends.
  • Or, on the flip side: Choose silence. We spend so much time surrounded by stimuli. Try switching off your radio or podcast for a while to really ground yourself in the moment.
  • Know where you’re going and give yourself ample time to get there. Leave room for wrong turns, unexpected traffic jams, or even take the scenic route.
  • Keep a self-care emergency kit – Gum, yummy snacks, a scented candle, a pair of comfy shoes; What’s in it isn’t as important as having something to feed your soul.
  • Practice deep breathing. Check your posture, stretch out your hands, and breathe in through your nose. 1…2…3…4… Hold…2…3…4.. Now breathe out slowly through your mouth 1…2…3…4… Rinse, repeat.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Always keep a water bottle in your car.
  • Be present in the moment. Have a mantra or an affirmation to keep you in the moment
  • Look around and identify things for which you are grateful. When on the road, it’s easy to look at everything that’s wrong — Someone cut you off, or driving too slowly, or didn’t use a turn signal. Instead, try focusing on the positive.
  • Think about other drivers as members of your family which you love. Everybody makes mistakes. Viewing others with compassion and forgiveness reminds us to be kind to ourselves too!

“The life I love is making music with my friendsAnd I can't wait to get on the road again