In fact, the long hours of traveling alone invite feelings of isolation, thus weakening family connections and the sense of belonging to a definite somewhere. Depression among truckers is a serious issue. An increased rate of truckers’ suicide in the US testifies that.
There’s no denying that truckers go through some psychological setbacks, including depression and suicidal thoughts, because of the type of work they do. Given the hours, it’s also not easy for truckers to opt for counseling sessions and group therapies.
While there’s no substitute for that kind of qualified help, we can offer some assistance so our truckers can have an enjoyable ride and not feel lonely on the long road.
Let’s look at some ways for a trucker to stay in a positive, healthy frame of mind while on the road.
- Stay connected with your loved ones at home – One of the most effective tips for truckers to be happy while on the road is to stay connected with families and friends throughout the long ride. While at rest, your smartphone will help you do video chats with your loved ones at home. However, please be careful not to respond to any call or text message while driving, as it won’t be safe. Take breaks and talk to your family members and best pals, while having your meals for instance!
- Take good care of your health – This holds true for every professional in every field, but for truckers, good health is a must. You should exercise regularly, take your meals on time and maintain a healthy diet. That burger looks tempting but opt for a salad when you can. Remember that the feelings of loneliness and depression prey upon a weak body and mind. Good Physical health drives good mental health, which is necessary to ensure the truckers’ happiness.
- Sleep well before setting off – Sleep deprivation and insomnia is a silent killer. You should always sleep well before you set off on your journey. If you have sleep issues, visit a doctor as soon as possible. Sleep deprivation can also lead to fatigue and unfortunate accidents, while on the road.
- Take a friend along with you – If you have a pet, especially a dog, take it along with you on your journey. It keeps you from feeling lonely or miserable on the road and will entertain you whenever you feel isolated from your family and friends at home. Dogs are great companions for lonely travelers. They also have a special ability to sense trouble, especially health issues of their owners.
- Listen to good music on the road – Install a high-quality music player and speaker in your truck to help you get by during the long rides. Great music can not only help you stay awake but will also keep you tuned in. Sing along, and you will feel a surge of life energy. Make yourself comfortable and fire up your favorite playlist.
- Avoid alcohol consumption as much as possible – Well, duh! Alcohol or drugs are bad for health. These reduce the alertness, fog up the mind, and increase the feelings of loneliness and depression. They may also mess with the emotions of the drivers, leading to road accidents, caused by anxiety. Hence, stay away from alcohol and drugs, while on the road.
- Get a medical check-up regularly – One of the key tips for truckers to enjoy long rides without feeling lonely is to get a medical check-up regularly. If you have a healthy body the physical effort of the drive will not cripple you. Your spirit will be buoyant and you will find ways to stay engaged and happy on a long ride. Also, if you are suffering from a pressing issue, regular medical check-ups will help you find and fix it sooner.
- Communicate with fellow truckers – Your fellow truckers may have similar problems, discussing which can alleviate feelings of stress or anxiety. This was one of the aims of the CB Radio of days gone by (and still in use today!). You can join Facebook groups or online Truckers’ forums. Discussing your problems with people, who understand and experience the same, can help show that you are not alone in this.
- Opt for a flexible work schedule – Any work can get monotonous if you do not take breaks in between. Ask your employer to arrange for a more flexible schedule is possible. Indulge in other activities and pursue your hobbies from time to time. This will keep you happy with your trucking career and also alleviate feelings of stress.
- Be comfortable in your position – As a trucker, your life is mainly on the road. Accept it and try to make the most of it. If you have grudges, share them with your employer. Don’t let the feelings of stress build up inside you. This could lead to frustration or depression. Think of your trucking career positively. You have a more adventurous life than most others, so why fret? Enjoy it as much as possible!
The life of truckers can be quite adventurous. You have lots of stories to share and experiences to talk about. If your question is, how to be happy on a long ride, these tips could help you.
Listen to music on the road, bring your pet along, eat healthy, take breaks and stay connected over the internet with your family and friends. You will definitely feel a lot better that way. Have a great journey!