How to Prepare Yourself Mentally for a Long Drive

Mental Preparation If you were to drive from say New York City to Dallas, Texas, it takes about 24 hours. That’s a long drive. Indeed, many drivers make long drives from Point A to Point B, all over the world. What are some ways to “prime yourself mentally” for a long drive?

First of all, do what you can to spend time with loved ones before you make the trip. That way they’re fresh in your mind right before you go away. Meanwhile, on your trip, check in with loved ones from time to time just to say hello and let them know you’re okay. It’s always helpful to have someone to “check in with” while you’re “on the road.”

Rather than get worn out with just the thought of tackling a really long trip, do what you can to break it into segments in your brain. So, instead of a long 24 hour drive, consider the first six hour segment with a break to look forward to, and so on and so forth. Furthermore, come up with little rewards for when you complete each segment of the trip, such as a Snickers bar at hour six or dinner at Cracker Barrel after hour 8. Give yourself stuff to look forward to along the way.

Long trips alone can get lonely. Bring stuff from home that makes you feel good. If you’re able to, bring a favorite movie with you (preferably a funny comedy) and watch it using a portable DVD player or on your smartphone during a break on your trip. Listen to music or talk shows on the radio to keep your mind active. Also, plan to make stops along the way to get out of the vehicle, talk with people at the truck stop, use the facilities as needed, and to give yourself a mental break from the road now and then.

Finally, make a map of your route and treat it like a checklist. As you drive, cross off the places you’ve been while anticipating crossing off the towns or cities you’ll soon pass through. There’s a great feeling of accomplishment when you can cross off where you’ve been as you head to your ultimate goal.