Students who drive to UON all agree on one thing; the parking situation can be a tad stressful. Check out Leanne Elliot’s tips for parking (the zen way).
We’ve all been there.
What feels like countless minutes anxiously circling the car parks, to the point where it starts feeling like you are on some weird roundabout.
The times that you spot a person finally leaving and try to not look creepy or desperate as you blatantly follow them to their car.
On a bad day at Callaghan, you can expect to wait 30 minutes or more to find a park.
Arriving early is a bit of a no brainer, but unfortunately, it’s not always possible.
In the event that you’re running a little late, here are a few tips to help you manage your car park stress levels.
1. Pull Over
Instead of repeatedly circling the entire campus, try parking to the side; sometimes if you wait for a little while, you will spot people leaving and will be first in line for their park once they exit. This also saves on petrol and decreases pollution.
Deep breathing is easy to do anywhere, even when you are driving. Try breathing in through your nose slowly for three seconds, hold that breath for three seconds, and exhale through your mouth for five seconds. Repeat three times.
Happy Songs Playlist. Because music is a great way to help change your mood. Music with no lyrics is said to be more effective, but any song that makes you feel happy or relaxed will help.
Familiar happy smell. If you have a favourite smell that relaxes you or reminds you of a happy time, find it in an oil or perfume and keep it handy in your glove box. Peppermint and lavender are known to relieve stress.
Chewing gum is shown to help reduce stress and anxiety, plus, like deep breathing, you can do it pretty much anywhere.
Dancing to de-stress helps release those happy chemicals (for you and for the people watching as they walk by your car).
Keep a picture of your pet in your car, because who doesn’t feel happy when they are looking at a pic of their bestie.
Think about things you can be grateful for, like not having to rely on local public transport.
3. View the meltdown as an opportunity
Stress is not always a bad thing.
‘Eustress’ (good stress) has been linked to “creativity, productivity and hope”, while ‘Distress’ (bad stress) has been connected to a range of illnesses. Distress has also been shown to affect learning and memory, so obviously, a car park meltdown right before class is not conducive to learning.
Next time you are desperately trying to find a park at Uni and feel your stress levels rising, remember that stressing out will not help you find a park faster, but it can also affect your learning and can make you unwell.
So, why not park to the side for a few minutes, get out your peppermint oil, hit play and do a de-stress dance while you wait.
Feature Image: Driver’s Education USA, no changes made.