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7 Things You Need to Know Before You Drive in the Snow

7 Things You Need to Know Before You Drive in the Snow

It can be nice waking up to a fresh blanket of snow. It’s peaceful, pretty, and can be fun if you’ve got the day off. If you’re not one of the lucky few who get to stay in and enjoy the view, however, it can be a real pain to drive in (not to mention dangerous). Knowing what to do, and what not to do, can really save you time and keep you much safer on the roads. Here are seven tips on how to maneuver the roads in wintery weather.

1. Get yourself ready to drive in the snow.

This means clearing a path for your car by shoveling the driveway and scraping away any snow or ice on the mirrors and lights on your car. Be sure to leave your house earlier than you normally would. This extra time means you won’t feel rushed when driving in the hazardous conditions, which keeps you, and everyone else on the road, safer. If you live in an area that frequently experiences heavy snow, get snow tires put on your vehicle to ensure your tires have better traction in the slippery conditions.

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2. Do a quick maintenance check on your car.

Make sure your defrosters are working, as well as your defogger and antifreeze. Also check your car battery. If snow is blown up under the hood of the car overnight, it can drain the battery without you realizing it. If anything doesn’t seem to be working properly, see if there is anything you can do to get it going again. If not, don’t risk it! Arrange alternative travel plans.

3. Drive slowly.

Winter weather can wreak havoc on roads, especially if your town hasn’t adequately prepared by putting salt down. Black ice is of particular concern, as it is very hard to see but very slippery. Drive more slowly than you normally would. Drive under the speed limit and watch out for people who are driving too fast, as they are more likely to run into problems on the road.

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4. Keep your distance from other drivers.

Stay far behind other drivers. Many people recommend keeping about three cars’ lengths behind the car in front of you. The last thing you want to happen is to start to slide forward into another vehicle because you were too close. By the same token, try to warn drivers behind you of your behaviors. Before making a full stop, tap your brakes several times to flash your brake lights. This will alert the person behind you that you are about to stop.

5. Be prepared to deal with skidding.

If your car starts to skid, don’t panic. This will only make matters worse. Remove your foot from the accelerator, but do not brake—this can just make the skid worse, and can potentially make you lose control of the car completely. Steer in the direction you want your car to go and slowly recover from the skid. Take it extra slow for a couple of minutes after a skid to give your tires a chance to regain proper traction.

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6. Take turns slowly and with caution.

Turning while on roads that have been affected by winter weather can be iffy. It’s easy to complete the turn too widely, as the car tends to move more on the snow than it would under normal driving conditions. A good rule of thumb is to complete the turn the same way with the steering wheel (don’t jerk it, but turn it smoothly and quickly) but go slowly and while pumping the brakes if necessary.

7. Keep your headlights on.

Yes, even during the day. You want other motorists to be as aware of your presence as possible, especially when snowfall is heavy.

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 15, 2020

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

Life changes are constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains the same for long.

Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it, causing them to remain stagnant through anxiety.

Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are riddled with anxious vibes? The quarter life crisis, the mid-life crisis, cold feet before getting married, retirement anxiety, and teenage angst are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.

We can’t control every aspect of our lives, and we can’t stop change from happening. However, how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

Here are 4 ways you can approach life changes in a positive way.

1. Don’t Fight It

I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

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Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

If you’re feeling anxious about impending life changes, it’s time to practice some techniques to address the anxiety directly. These can include meditation, exercise, talking with friends about how you’re feeling, or journaling.

If you’re worried about a big life change, such as starting a new job[1] or moving in with your partner, do your best to control your expectations. It may help you to talk with people you know about their experiences going through similar changes. This will help you form a realistic picture in your mind of what things will look like post-change.

2. Find Healthy Ways to Deal With Feelings

Whenever we’re in transitional periods, it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to arise.

One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase, I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

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The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape, which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

Exercise is important in cultivating positive emotions, but if you’re struggling with anxiety in particular, it’s important to cultivate a regular exercise routine as opposed to a one-off workout. One study found that “Aerobic exercise can promote increase in anxiety acutely and regular aerobic exercise promotes reduction in anxiety levels”[2].

If exercise isn’t your thing, there are other, less intense ways of cultivating positive emotions and reducing anxiety around life changes. You can try stretching, meditating, reading in nature, spending time with family and friends, or cooking a healthy meal.

Find what makes you feel good and helps you ground yourself in the present moment.

3. Reframe Your Perspective

Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details, or victimizing[3]. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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Meanwhile, if we utilize a more positive perspective, such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something, or that everything passes, we can come from a greater place of ease.

4. Find Time for Self-Reflection

Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods. It’s quite simple really: we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

Take a look at this reflective cycle adapted from Glibb’s Self-reflection guide (1988):[4]

Use self-reflection when facing life changes.

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling,[5] all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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    One study found that journal improves “self-efficacy, locus of control, and learning”[6]. A healthy sense of self-control can make the process of change easier to bear, so that in itself is a great reason to try self-reflection through journaling.

    To learn how to start journaling, you can check out this article.

    Final Thoughts

    Big life changes may rock us for a little while, but they don’t have to be as bad as we initially perceive them. If handled in a positive manner, transitional periods can pave the way for some serious self-growth, reflection, and awareness.

    Cultivate a sense of positivity and find ways to diminish the anxiety around life changes. Once you make it to the other side, you’ll be grateful that you made it through in the best way possible.

    More Tips on Facing Life Changes

    Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

    Reference

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