How Can a Truck Driver Reduce Stress?
by Mario Tarradell | June 28, 2017
How Can a Truck Driver Reduce Stress? We Have the Tips!
Life in the 21st century is stressful for everybody. Jobs, families, commitments, errands all demand a huge chunk of our time leaving less room for relaxing and recharging. This is especially true if you are a truck driver. You deal with traffic, other drivers, road construction, being away from home, loading and unloading delays, truck maintenance, and many always-changing industry regulations.
Truck driver stress levels can be overwhelming, not to mention lead to huge truck driving health risks. What can you do to deal with all that stress? How can you improve your life behind the wheel and off the road? We have a few suggestions, all intended to make your load haul a safe and productive journey.
But before we go any further, let us say that sometimes stress can be a good thing. Good stress can lead to increased levels of motivation, higher levels of energy, and increased mental alertness. That’s the kind of stress we could all use more often, right? Instead, what we get is the long-term, extreme stress that plays awful tricks on our minds and bodies. That kind of stress can lead to personal and professional setbacks such as irritability, depression, and anxiety. Stress can manifest itself physically in the form of headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, chest pain, sleep problems, and an upset stomach.
But enough of the negative. Let’s focus on positive solutions. It’s so important to smartly manage your stress to maintain overall health. How can a truck driver reduce stress?
6 Stress Prevention Tips:
Healthy diet: Seems like a no-brainer, but bears repeating. Eat fruits and veggies, good grains, water, go for baked instead of fried, grab a salad instead of a hamburger, enjoy nuts and berries instead of potato chips. Put down the soda and gulp a glass of water or iced tea. You’ll feel the difference.
Quality sleep: Another obvious one, but it seems to get overlooked. Get at least seven hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep. This will keep you alert when you are driving. Your body will feel restored, rejuvenated. Hit the sack and get a good night’s rest!
- Exercise: Take a walk. Go for a jog. Do calisthenics. Lift weights if you’re that determined. But at least take a 30-minute walk each day. Try to make it brisk, and try to increase your time a little bit each day. Exercising releases endorphins that make the brain very happy. Happy brain = happy trucker.
- Stress balls: It’s a small, palm-sized ball filled with seeds, beads, foam or something similar that you can squeeze and strengthen your hands. Easy to do while talking or walking or just lounging. Keeps your hands in shape, keeps the blood circulating, and relieves the stress.
- Breathing: Yes, yes, we all breathe or else we would be six feet under. We’re talking about breathing exercises to strengthen your lungs, clear your mind, relax your body and keep all that nasty stress out of your system. Do these daily as much as you like.
- Humor: Laugh about it…frequently! Laughter is amazing medicine. Keep joke books and CDs in the truck. Remember happy, funny times. Smile and laugh; laugh and smile. It’s free and you will be so grateful for that joyful release.
Yet if that old enemy stress still pays you a visit, use these tips to drive it away.
8 Stress Management Tips:
- Relax your muscles by tensing a muscle group, like neck and shoulders, and then releasing it
- Visualize something you enjoy
- Do something you enjoy like listening to music or talk radio
- Meditate by focusing on your breath as you inhale and exhale
- Give yourself a pep talk (“I’ll be ok. Things aren’t as bad as they seem.”)
- Count to 10, slowly
- Focus on what is in your control such as your present-day attitude and actions
- Pay attention to what you are thinking and how you are feeling
How can you put all of this into practice so you can reduce your truck driver stress level? Let’s say you’re sitting in traffic, and you must be at your next delivery by a certain time. Don’t just sit and stress, take a few deep breaths and tell yourself, “I’m doing what I can to get there on time.” Call the person expecting you and let them know you’re stuck in traffic. Turn on your favorite music or talk radio and focus on enjoying what you’re listening to, rather than stressing about something you can’t fix.
Dealing with stress in a healthy way means you can manage your stress level, relax and maintain good mental health. Cruising into your favorite truck stop and filling up with great discounts does wonders for your mental health. Apply for a TransConnect Services Fuel Card today and enjoy discounts at TA, Petro, Ambest, Speedway, Sapp Bros., and many more. Call us today at 844-827-7705.