It’s that moment of dread. You’re on the road, with a full bladder. With each excruciating second of the drive, you pray you won’t cough, sneeze… or drive over a pot hole. What can you do to calm your nerves (and your bladder) so you reach your destination safely and as leak-free as possible? Here are a few helpful tips:
NOTICE THE SIGNS
Like a back-seat-driver, your thoughts can put unnecessary stress on you. Notice the following signs that your mind is interfering with your ability to cope:
Your pre-drive words come back to haunt you: “I’m running late”…”I don’t have to go that bad”…”It’s only a short drive away.” Remorseful thoughts creep in: “If only I didn’t drink that 16-ounce soda”…”If only I got in the exit lane when I had the chance.” When your mind replays past regrets, shift your thinking. Turn regrets into future solutions by asking yourself, “What will I do next time?” This helps put you in a creative problem-solving mindset – “Next time I’ll treat myself to a large coffee at the END of my drive instead of the beginning”... “Next time I won’t pass up an opportunity to use the gas-station or fast-food restaurant’s restroom.”
The Fear Factor
Panic sets in when fear takes over. Put a stop to thoughts like, “I’ll just die if I don’t make it to the restroom,” or “It will kill me to have someone find out!” Embarrassment isn’t fatal, but fear and physical discomfort can interfere with safe driving. To calm your nerves ask yourself a question like, “Is the thing I’m most afraid of happening right now?” Soothe yourself with comforting thoughts like, “No matter what, everything is going to be okay” … “You can handle this” … “Next week I probably won’t even remember this.” Take a few deep, slow breaths and you’ll find it easier to calm down.
Coincidence or Conspiracy?
Sometimes outside sources mess with your mind. Storm clouds burst into a streaming downpour. Pot holes bring on a bumpy ride. And the radio starts playing a popular song like, say, “Let It Go.”You could laugh or you could cry – but since both put pressure on your bladder, you may as well find a bit of humor in the situation.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
The following ideas may be obvious, but when you’re busy or stressed, they’re sometimes overlooked:
- Use the restroom before you drive. It’s a no-brainer, but it doesn’t hurt to remind yourself … every time.
- Wear a pad designed to absorb bladder leakage. It offers protection and reassurance just in case.
- Keep your mind on the road when you’re driving, and consider using an app that locates the nearest public bathrooms along your route.
If the urge to go becomes overwhelming and you leak, promise yourself that you’ll be kind and gentle. Be willing to cut yourself some slack. Treat yourself the way you’d treat a friend, and you’ll become more resilient – a role model of grace under pressure for your daughters, and an unstoppable woman who manages LBL and gets on with her life.