Truck driving & the road to self-care

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On World Mental Health Day, and everyday for that matter, we should always be making an effort to be aware of our mental health and practice self-care to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Making an effort to take care of oneself is essential especially for truck drivers, since it’s one of the most stressful jobs and can be grueling and challenging in many ways. Being a truck driver does not have to come at a cost to your health, however. Here we are going to go over some of the everyday lifestyle choices that can improve mental health and well-being.

Hydration

Highway hypnosis and drowsy driving are two real problems that can affect anyone on the road. Besides getting a good amount of sleep, there are different ways of staying alert and awake while on the road. 

 One of the most important of these for this instance and your overall health is drinking water. Not only is water just generally good for you, it helps you stay alert and awake, as water supports the flow of oxygen to the brain. 

 Making sure you are staying hydrated and even substituting other beverages for water can make a big impact. Caffeine sources such as coffee also increase energy levels, which segues us into the next self-care tip.

 

Eating healthy on-the-go

You are what you eat, and it’s important to realize that everything you eat and drink can affect your overall health and mindset. Coffee, on top of improving energy levels, has been shown to improve mood as well.

 While you’re on the road, it can be tempting to stop by the nearest rest stop and pick up whatever you’re craving at the moment. But it’s important to be mindful of what you are eating. One way to change eat healthier on-the-go? Make your own food at home and bring it on the road. Here are some ideas on what to pack up along the journey.

Sleep

We all need sleep, but sometimes things can get hectic and sleep schedules can get messed up. It is important to get a consistent sleep schedule, so when you can, try and work similar hours each day so that no matter when it is, you’re going to sleep at the same time. 

 It’s also recommended that the average adult get 7-9 hours of sleep within each days 24-hour period. As a truck driver, the best way you can get the opportunity to sleep that long is by hauling locally as opposed to going over the road. Nothing can improve your mood more than sleeping in your own bed every night!

Exercise

When we talk about exercise, we’re not talking about competing in a triathlon everyday. The smallest amount of exercise can greatly improve your mood and physical health.

Staying active can cause your body to release endorphins that serve to improve your mood and reduce stress. This is definitely one of the most effective and easiest ways to achieve and maintain into a better state of mind.

Trying to figure out what exercises to do while either at home or on the road? This guide presents some low-intensity exercises that can easily become a part of your daily routine.

 

Taking care of yourself can sometimes be an afterthought, but your mental and physical health are the most important parts of the job so it’s vital to utilize any way to improve them. It’s also not easy to make such a drastic lifestyle change, so set goals for yourself and slowly make your way towards successfully overhauling your well-being.

Brad Frith