DRIVING, SAFETY AND SELF HARM 

Driving

Driving is a such an important task for live a life connected to the community. However it requires a lot of energy, concentration, planning and mutitasking. Things that people with mental health conditions struggle with.

Here are some strategies I have used to help me get back into driving, and also manage my impulsive behaviours.

First getting back into driving.

✅ Supervision first. My husband started supervising my driving on the weekends. On those trips when I was too tired we would swap so I could rest.

✅ Drive short trips initially to regain your confidence and build your concentration.

✅ Drive to places you are familiar with and have a reward in place. I started driving short trips to my local op shop.

✅ Avoid driving in changed weather conditions and at peak times.

SELF HARM

My drive to and from work is a long drive. During unwell times I struggle to remain safe whilst driving. E.g. I shut my eyes, drive with no hands and have gotten out of my car to run across a busy freeway.

TIPS

🐶 Get a driving buddy! Lily is my safety net. Patting her is grounding and she keeps me focused. Since I’ve had lily in the car I have made no attempts to hurt myself in the car. Once I tried, but I remember she was in the car and I stopped.

💦 Keep hydrated, it will help you focus.

😎 If you have certain sensitives keep a relief kit in the car. I keep sunnies in the car and essential oils.

🙏🏻 Pray before you drive. If you don’t prayer focus on a positive quote or affirmation. I pray for friends and family it helps me focus on love.

🎵 Listen to positive music and music that helps you stay present. Organise this before you start driving to avoid becoming frustrated with radio ads e.g I listen to gospel music and Mumford and Sons it gives me hope.

🍃 Stop for breaks if you can

🚦At the lights focus on your breathing and check your posture.

🍫Notice and respond to your comfort needs are you cold, hot, uncomfortable, music too loud, hungry. Muesli bars are great for the car.

🚘 Fill up your car the day before an important trip it will reduce stress.

🧣Keep a blanket in your car. I place it on my lap sometimes as a weight to keep me grounded.

📱 Text a loved one before and after you drive. It will help keep you accountable. Keep their photo on your dash.

Please share and post any tips!

Happy travels! 🚗

#OT #mentalhealth #selfharm #suicide #BPD #Mindfulness#believeinyourself #musictherapy #pettherapy #minddogAustralia

Published by otforbpd

Founder of OT for BPD. Mental health Advocate; Occupational Therapy Teacher and Researcher Australia “As an occupational therapist diagnosed with BPD I will use this page to share about the various interventions and strategies that are helpful to those with BPD. I will also share about the positive and sometimes challenging approaches that health professionals have used in my treatment in emergency, inpatient, outpatient and community settings. I hope that by sharing my lived experience I can help improve the experience of those struggling to understand Borderline Personality Disorders (BPD) and also support those living with BPD and other mental health challenges Most importantly we will share how occupation can powerfully help change lives!" Laura

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