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COLUMN: F.O.C.U.S. Time — Who’s doing the driving?

Diana Jaworski, Special to the Daily Sentinel
Posted 4/24/22

Red light. Green light. Stop. Go. Unexpected Detours. Roadblocks. Slow drivers. Reckless drivers. Dangerous weather conditions. Driving can become a stressful event all on its own. (And this does not …

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COLUMN: F.O.C.U.S. Time — Who’s doing the driving?


Red light. Green light. Stop. Go. Unexpected Detours. Roadblocks. Slow drivers. Reckless drivers. Dangerous weather conditions.

Driving can become a stressful event all on its own. (And this does not even include the stress that may already be obtained at home before hitting the road.). The driver’s manual may not give much guidance on handling life’s stressful moments. There are many days that it feels that I am not in control of the wheel. Stress is doing the driving with a dissonant radio station turned up loudly, going at an unhealthy speed limit with no seatbelt on while the bug on the windshield is holding on for dear life, as am I!

For many of us, each day can bring stressors that deserve attention. Whether stress happens at one given moment, or ongoing, it is imperative to take time and reflect on what is causing the stress and finding ways to manage it.

Ongoing stress may cause strain on the body and mind and produce signals alerting us of danger (visit my website to learn more about “The Effects of Stress on Your Body”). Pay attention to what message the body and mind are attempting to convey. What are some ways you can begin to manage stress? Through my professional and personal experiences, the following have been very helpful:

S - Start the day right. Focus on attaining a healthy mind and body by journaling, being thankful, exercising, eating nutritional meals, Yoga, meditating, taking deep breaths, and reading self-help books. These are a few examples of actions contributing to a positive mindset and healthy body. There is a correlation between mind and body. Take care of the mind and the body will benefit and vice versa. With a bit of planning and dedication, mornings will prove a wonderful time to set a positive tone for the day.

T - Take time to prepare and plan for the day beforehand. This can take the form of choosing your outfit or preparing the next day’s meals. Review your schedule for the next few days. What on your agenda may be prepared ahead of time? Learn to prioritize and organize and perhaps avoid needless stress and frustration.

R – Re-balance life. Learn to balance work with taking time for enjoyable activities. Pick up a hobby. Socialize. Volunteer. Fill your life with laughter. Learn a new skill. Find a healthy outlet that allows for discovery and distraction from life’s stressors.

E - Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. Improve your mood by the release of the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins through exercising. It will do your mind and body good as mentioned previously. Yoga, walking, dancing, gardening, biking, running, or any form of enjoyable activity that gets the body moving will help raise your confidence, improve sleep, help you relax, and develop a positive outlook, just to name a few. (Always check with your health care provider when beginning an exercise routine.)

S - Seek help. Seeking assistance from a medical doctor, a professional counselor, attending stress management workshops, talking to a life coach, etc., should be on your priority list if stress is doing the driving these days. Be your own advocate. Seek resources that will not only encourage and motivate you to manage your stress but provide useful information that can be applied daily.

S- Strive to do your best each day and not allow stress to do the driving. This is a choice. Take care of yourself and take control of that wheel. Learn and apply daily the coping skills necessary to develop a positive and strong mindset. Take steps each day, no matter how small, to move forward with courage and resilience.

Stress will be present in our lives. But, when stress attempts to take the wheel, gently remind it that there is only one driver. So, grab that steering wheel firmly, turn up those motivational podcasts, put on that seatbelt and face the open road with purpose and passion.

No matter what path is chosen, it is all about the journey and the journey is about personal growth. Do not hurry. Make the ride as enjoyable as possible. The bug on the windshield will be glad someone like you is in the driver’s seat and in control.

Diana Jaworski, F.O.C.U.S. Coaching Services, is a certified coach, teacher, trainer and speaker with Maxwell Leadership Certified Team. Learn more about personal growth by visiting her website at


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