Whether you're trying to navigate tricky city stop lights or safely weave through traffic on your way to work, anxiety has its ways of creeping in at the worst moments. The good news is, you can overcome it with a few tricks up your sleeve. For starters, scheduling hourly parking ahead of time gives you the confidence of knowing exactly where you can leave your car - no guesswork needed.

How to beat parking anxiety

Even for professional drivers, finding a parking spot is never a sure thing, especially in a big city. We've all taken circles around city blocks with our fingers crossed, hoping to find any available spot among crowded streets. This is a certain way to increase parking-related stress levels. The more circles you make, the greater the chances are of being late, and the spiral continues. This type of stress can take a heavy toll on your mental health, but there are ways to beat it. 

Forget feeling unsure and anxious. These tips are here to help you curb your parking-related anxiety for good. 

Know where you're going to park ahead of time

There are plenty of UK hosts waiting for you to take advantage of their spare parking spaces on Stashbee. Acting as the Airbnb for parking and storage, Stashbee is a company that connects those looking to rent short- or long-term (or even hourly) parking with those who have the space available. Sure, you can try for free parking, but if it's all taken and you're already running late, you might end up increasing your anxiety. 

Squash your parking anxiety by giving yourself a guaranteed spot for you to park your vehicle. 

Give yourself extra time

Finding somewhere to park in a busy suburb or city centre can be a real trigger for anxiety. However your car park anxiety manifests - you're not alone. It can look and feel different in each individual driver, but these are some of the most common symptoms of driving anxiety:

  • Shakiness
  • Tension
  • Sweaty palms
  • Breathlessness
  • Heart palpitations

None of these symptoms are particularly welcome, especially behind the wheel. By leaving for your destination earlier than you may need to, you'll give yourself a healthy cushion for anxiety triggers and symptoms - which hopefully means avoiding them altogether. 

When you leave earlier, you give yourself time to find a parking space, gather your belongings, and get to your destination without breaking a sweat. Maybe there's even extra time for a few deep breaths, inviting an overall sense of calm into an otherwise anxiety-ridden moment. 

Carry loose change

While most metres these days accept credit cards or allow you to pay by app, it can irritate existing anxiety to not be able to find the right amount of cash for a parking metre. Get in the habit of ensuring you've got a variety of change in your car so that you've always got the amount you need to secure a parking spot, wherever that may be. 

Practise tricky parking manoeuvres 

We all know someone who avoids parallel parking whenever possible - maybe that person is you. For some, the thought of parallel parking is the highest source of parking-related stress. Sure, you can drive straight, but if the idea of reverse and parallel parking strikes a sense of panic in you, take that signal as an indication that it's time to get some practise in. 

Spend some time driving around your neighbourhood when traffic is light to get the hang of it. With enough practise parallel and reverse parking, you'll feel totally capable whenever you need to employ these manoeuvres in the real world. 

Street parking between cars can be tricky, but it's totally possible. Remember: action breeds confidence! Never mind anxiety - with enough practise you'll know that no matter the parking situation you'll be able to park your car and be on your way in no time. 

Keep these four helpful tips in mind next time you get ready to go for a drive. Whether on your commute to work or running errands, you can flatten parking anxiety before it even gets the green light.