Are truck drivers more at risk of mental illness? It’s an uncomfortable question to ask – and just as uncomfortable to hear – but ignoring it isn’t the answer.
So what are the facts? Being out on the road can get lonely, time away from friends and family can be stressful, and near misses can leave us feeling shaken.
Burnout is a common problem for truckers – and the nature of the job doesn’t help. Those long hours and time away from home can mean any concerns about wellbeing are easily cast aside.
There is a stigma attached to mental health problems which means it’s not something you want to bring up with the boss. However, it is possible to be good at your job as a trucker and take good care of yourself. Here’s how:
1 Enlist a travel buddy: Having a friend, family member (or trusty pet) as a co-pilot will keep your spirits high on long journeys.
2 Stay in touch: Staying connected with loved ones will give you the emotional support you need and help you stay grounded.
3 Follow a routine: We’re all creatures of habit and a positive daily routine helps you get things done and stay focused.
4 Work out and eat well: Try to exercise and eat healthy food when you can. It will help boost your energy levels, mood, and general state of mind.
5 Take a little piece of home with you: Fill your cab with reminders of home. Photos, pictures and decorations can keep you feeling positive.
6 Keep an active mind: Listening to music, podcasts and audiobooks will keep your mind alert. You might even learn a thing or two.
The most important thing to remember as a trucker is to enjoy life at every opportunity. Make the most of your time away from the wheel by meeting new people, discovering new places and creating new experiences everywhere you go.
How do you keep yourself motivated while on the road?