A client’s freight is important, but there’s always something that ranks higher: our Drivers. There isn’t a shipment on earth so critical that it should come at the cost of mental health. Period.
Making sure Drivers are treated with respect and have the opportunity to pursue a happy and healthy career, starts from the top. However, there are also some extra routines Drivers can put in place to make sure they’re taking care of themselves.
Before we dive into the tips, let’s tackle the (frankly, stupid) stigma surrounding truckers and their mental health.
Breaking The Stigma
All jobs come with stress. You can’t run from it, you can’t hide from it. However, many truckers feel they need to “man up” and bear the brunt of their stress alone.
This is wrong.
The very first step in making sure your mental health is taken seriously, is speaking up. We’re all in this together, and you can even find tons of resources if you need support. It’s okay to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious. Real strength is not tackling your mental health alone, it’s talking about it, supporting others, and being happy and healthy.
Mental Health Tips For The Road
Here are a few ways to keep yourself tip-top.
Don’t worry, we’re all guilty of pounding back a few bags of chips on the road! However, what you put in your body can play a huge factor in how you feel. Protein-rich foods like chicken, eggs, beans, and more will help give you the energy you need throughout the day, and make sure you get some greens and fruit as well!
Make no mistake, we’re not telling you to be the shining pillar of proper meal planning. Treat yourself! Just try to get some of the good stuff in there too.
One final note: this section also includes your water intake. Always make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day, it makes a huge difference.
Talking or texting your loved ones, friends, or fellow Drivers is something we should all do whenever we get a break from driving.
We also recommend decking your truck out with some photos are other sentimental items to give yourself a sense of home. You could also send postcards home when you reach somewhere interesting!
You’re going to be spending a lot of time sitting in your corner office with a view. Many of us start feeling stiff after a few hours in the same position. Try going for a walk when you get a break or come up with a custom workout routine you can implement on the road!
It can’t be understated how important sleep is to be healthy, both in your mental and physical health. Make sure you’re getting enough of it!
If you’re having trouble sleeping, there are a few things that can help:
- Limit caffeine later in the day. We love a good cup of joe, but caffeine can stay in your system for up to 12 hours. So, if you have a strong cup of coffee at 3 PM, you might have trouble falling asleep at 10 PM.
- Try not to use electronics before bed. A good rule of thumb is that once your feet are on the bed, no phone or tablet! Just focus on getting some rest.
- Some people hate them, but a weighted blanket is excellent for anyone who tosses and turns at night.
Finally, you need to make sure you’re having a bit of fun! There are tons of ways Drivers keep their minds busy on long drives and in their downtime.
Check out our other blog all about tips for having fun on the road.