Despite the rise of ride-share services, the typical American is clocking more time behind the wheel than they used to, according to the latest numbers from AAA. Most of us are now driving an average of about an hour a day and doing some serious bonding with our cars in the process. In one recent survey, 64% of drivers said they consider their car a friend, and 15% of them would instead break a bone than have their ride breakdown. If you feel a special connection to your car, these tips can help make it an even happier, healthier place to sit through traffic:
1. Swap out your artificial air freshener for a natural spray.
That dangling apple cinnamon tree on your rearview mirror may smell good, but chances are it contains ingredients you don’t want lingering in the air. Instead, opt for a phthalate-free natural freshener, or if you’re going to go the DIY route, go ahead and whip up your own spray using water, witch hazel, and whatever essential oils strike your fancy. You can also invest in a car diffuser and play around with different scent combinations on long rides. Start with a lemon grapefruit blend for a bright, uplifting feel.
2. Make sure your driver’s seat is well-positioned.
Maintaining good posture when you’re working, walking around, and—yes—driving can help protect you from chronic pain. If your car doesn’t have lumbar support, consider grabbing a hand towel from home for extra comfort to your low back. Just as in your office chair, you want your hips a little higher than your knees. You can also recline the seat slightly to open up the angle of your hips, and it should be more comfortable for your back.
3. Keep things clean.
Cars can go from clean to cringeworthy very quickly, especially if you have kids in the back seat. For the inevitable spill, always keeps a microfiber cloth in the glovebox. You can dampen it for stains on leather or upholstered seating, or use it dry to wipe down your car’s hard surfaces when you’re sitting at a traffic light or waiting to pick up kids.
4. Surround yourself with happy reminders.
Whether it’s a souvenir from your recent vacation or a particular photo, put something on your dashboard that makes you smile every time it catches your eye. Besides this mood-booster, keep the rest of your car clutter-free with regular clean-out sessions. Outer order leads to inner calm! Top things off with some peaceful tunes and cruise your way to happier travels.