In this guide, we will discuss “How to not be nervous for the first driving lesson” and a few tips such as avoiding skipping any meals, taking your own personal playlist with you, trusting your skills, putting your phone on vibration or powering off and talking to someone if you feel too overwhelmed.
How to not be nervous for the first driving lesson?
If you wonder ‘How to not be nervous for the first driving lesson?’ then let us tell you it is completely normal and natural to feel nervous. Just as many things we do for the first time, it can be quite scary because we are not sure about what to expect or if we will be good at it. However, here are some quick tips to manage your first driving lesson nerves:
- Don’t skip any meals, eat something that will make you feel full but try not to have a lot of food before your lesson.
- If it makes you feel more relaxed, put together a playlist that you can use when having your lessons. However, ask your instructor about it.
- Trust your skills and be confident. Your instructor will be there by your side all the way, so there is nothing to worry about.
- Avoid having caffeinated beverages or alcohol.
- Put your phone on vibration or power it off so you won’t be distracted by it.
- If you feel too nervous talk about it with someone you trust, a therapist or a counselor.
When I decided I wanted to learn to drive and I was old enough then booked my first driving lesson. The day before I talked to some friends about it and asked them how difficult it was or what usually happens during the first lesson. They were very reassuring so I just waited for my first lesson. I remember sitting in the car, grabbing the wheel with both hands and looking at my driving instructor indicating him with my eyes and a huge nervous smile that I had no idea what to do next.
To be honest, it was the first time I sat on the driver’s seat so I didn’t even know back then how to start the engine. My instructor asked me if it was my first time ever and I nodded then he just smiled back at me and said, ‘Don’t worry, I will guide you step by step’. At that moment, I realized there was nothing to be afraid of, and even if there were, I was not alone so if I survived my first and following lessons, so can you.
Try not to skip any meals
If you have your driving lesson during the morning, make sure to avoid going in on an empty stomach since it can make you feel uncomfortable and even irritated because at some point, your stomach will start to ask you for food. However, try to eat something that makes you feel full or satisfied but without eating too much.
For instance, you could have some fruit during your breakfast or some cereal but if it is after lunch then consider that after eating at that time of the day and specially when eating too much or being too full then you may feel sleepy. Having the feeling of full and/or satisfied, would make it easier for you to concentrate and focus on your lessons.
If you feel it will make you feel more relaxed and comfortable then, put together your own ‘driving’ playlist. However, ask your instructor if you can play it while the lessons are taking place. Most of them won’t see any problem with it and will try to make you feel as comfortable as possible, but there might be a possibility they’ll say you can’t.
When we say ‘relaxing music’ people might often think about classical or instrumental but it can be any type of genre, rhythm or sound as long as you do feel relaxed and calm.
Remember how I didn’t even know how to start the engine? Well, it was my first driving experience since I was always sitting on the passenger’s seat. However, I kept an open mind and thought about how I was willing to learn even if I had to make mistakes in the process, always taking my time and keeping my distance to avoid any accidents.
Moreover, I started with 0 skills or knowledge but eventually kept building up my confidence asI attended every lesson. Also, I felt how my nerves were part of my day but didn’t interfere with my performance. Finally, get used to them and turn them into excitement.
Avoid caffeine and other substances
As you may know by now, caffeinated beverages may increase anxiety and nervousness. Many people consider that having a coffee before having their first lesson will help them remain alert and focused but the truth is that it may increase their existing symptoms.
Moreover, we know it is just a matter of common sense but avoid drinking alcohol before your lesson since it may make you feel sleepy and could potentially be dangerous. Yes, you may think it is a good idea because it can help you with your nerves but refrain from it. If you really need to, there are several other natural options you could consider.
Phone on vibration or off
It is important to keep your focus on the task at hand and to learn driving maneuvers. However, if you are receiving whatsapp messages or any other type of notification, it won’t be easy to keep your focus. Moreover, to be on the safe side you know driving and texting is not compatible and can be quite dangerous so avoid taking your eyes off the road even for a second.
Finally, to avoid any temptations just power your phone off or put it on vibration and ask your instructor to hold it while the lesson ends.
If feeling too nervous ask for help
As we have discussed, being nervous from time to time is completely normal, especially when doing something for the first time such as our first driving lesson or first job interview, first day at school/university, etc. However, sometimes being nervous and anxious becomes more often and starts to interfere with our day to day activities and as a result you have stopped doing things, seeing people because of it, started to isolate yourself, etc.
If this happens, there is no shame on recognizing we can’t deal with it on our own so we encourage your to reach out to a mental health professional, a therapist or counselor. However, if you don’t feel comfortable enough at first then reach out to a friend or someone you trust.
Why is this blog about How to not be nervous for the first driving lesson important?
As we have discussed ‘How to not be nervous for the first driving lesson’, we considered how normal and natural it is to feel nervous especially when it is our first time in front of the wheel. However there are some things you could do to manage your nerves before the first lesson such as being confident in your skills. Remember you will eventually learn in time and with practice so don’t be too hard on yourself. Also, avoid skipping any meals and eat just enough so you won’t be on an empty stomach.
Finally, you could create your own relaxing music playlist if it helps you feel more calm, avoid caffeine and other substances (i.e. nicotine) that might increase your symptoms, avoid being distracted by your phone while driving and seek help if you feel your nerves are too overwhelming that have started to affect your life significantly.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to not be nervous for first driving lesson
How can I calm my nerves before my first driving lesson?
If you want to calm your nerves before your first driving lesson consider the following recommendations:
– If you are feeling very nervous, approach a friend or someone you trust to talk about it.
– Take some deep breaths when you start to feel nervous, this will help your body calm down.
– Familiarize with driving by spending some time in the car. Try to be there for a few minutes during the day and visualize yourself driving.
– Set goals starting with the small ones.
– Invest some time thinking about what makes you the most nervous about your driving lesson and challenge those thoughts.
Should I be nervous for my first driving lesson?
It is normal to be nervous about your first driving lesson and you might feel like you need to avoid it at all cost. However, instead of fighting the feeling try to acknowledge, accept it as something normal, trust your skills and remember you are not alone, your instructor is there to help you.
How do I prepare for my first driving lesson?
If you want to prepare for your first driving lesson, here are a few tips:
– Make sure you have a provisional licence.
– If you wear glasses or contact lenses, take them with you.
– Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
– Book your driving lesson at a convenient time for you.
– There are no silly questions, ask anything you are unsure of.
How can I calm my nerves before driving?
To calm your nerves before driving, here are a few tips:
– Positive self-talk about being ready and confident about your skills.
– Try to drive when you are not hungry or eat something light before driving.
– Take some deep breaths before driving.
– Put on some relaxing music before you start driving.
– Stay hydrated or drink some tea that can help calm your nerves.
How can I relax when driving?
If you want to relax when driving, don’t rush yourself and if you need to, take a moment away from the road by stopping in a safe place. Also don’t forget to take some deep breaths. If possible, find an empty car park or an empty street to drive around and practice some simple driving manoeuvres.
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Midrive.com: “How to beat driving lesson nerves”