Here are 8 ways for truck drivers to reduce stress. Driving a truck is stressful. Driving a tanker truck adds another layer of complexity that many fellow truck drivers do not understand. Large numbers of people on the road, drivers not obeying the rules of the road and extreme temperatures…it can be a nightmare. These tips will help you cope:
1 – Eat as Healthy as You Can
Make every effort possible to have balance in your diet. Nutritional levels can have an effect on your stress. Salads, lean sandwiches and fruits are the best choices. Highway Transport drivers have the luxury of reaching out to a wellness coach. Wellness coaches are provided to Highway Transport drivers via Rolling Strong, a company that specializes in the health issues faced by drivers. Whether it is using the Rolling Strong app or speaking directly with a coach. Rolling Strong helps Highway Transport drivers make good food choices.
TIP: When you order a burger, get extra lettuce, and skip the bun. Use the extra lettuce as the bun. Enjoy some fries, but try to cut your portion of fries in half. Sometimes fast food is the only choice for truck drivers. Making small modifications to your order can make a big difference.
2 – Move and Stretch as Much as You Can
Because so much time is spent in the driver’s seat, you need some kind of relief from sitting. By moving and stretching, you will feel better, not only physically but also mentally.
• Moving your body can get rid of pent-up emotions that might accumulate as you drive.
• Exercise can help control weight.
• When possible, get out of your truck and stretch for 3-5 minutes.
• Stretching can relax tense muscles and clear your mind.
• Take a small walk; even a two-minute walk can clear your mind.
3 – Be with your family/friends
Driving all day can be lonely. Some things you can do are:
• When you come home, spend time with your family and/or friends.
• Enjoy meals with your family/friends and share your experiences.
• IMPORTANT–Really try to actively listen to what they have to say about their lives.
• Help family/friends with chores and errands.
• While on the road, look for ways to help someone else.
By interacting and helping others throughout the day, it will put a perspective on what you do on the road.
While on the road, Highway Transport drivers actively commit to looking out for others. Highway Transport is a gold level sponsor of Truckers Against Trafficking. Highway drivers undergo special training to be on the lookout to spot the signs of human trafficking.
Load planning is so much more sophisticated nowadays. Highway Transport driver managers are well versed in the ways to maximize home time for drivers. Are you a professional CDL driver interested in driving for a company that has your family in mind?
4 – Turn on the music/podcasts!
Listen to an audio book or podcast. Listening to an audio book is a wonderful way to get your mind off of stressful driving situations. Choose a book that is interesting. It can relieve you of stress that builds up during the day while driving. Truck drivers who use the Rolling Strong app have access to many Rolling Strong podcasts that truck drivers be more mindful of wellness.
Highway Transport tanker truck drivers are especially vigilant about not using any type of mobile device while behind the wheel, but an audio book playing through the speakers or listening to the radio is acceptable. Professional CDL drivers are hyper-aware and specially trained on the dangers of distracted driving.
Music can help a great deal, especially if you are driving under demanding conditions. Calming music like ocean sounds or contemporary music can get you through stressful situations. If calming music makes you drowsy, turn it off once the stressful situation is over and then listen to your favorite songs.
5 – Get good sleep
One of the best things you can do that will keep you awake throughout the day is a good night’s sleep. Everyone needs sleep, especially you!
To get a good night’s sleep, here are a few tricks that will help:
• Keeping your bed cool, dark and free of distractions; Many sleeps specialists agree that optimal room temp for sleeping is 64 degrees.
• Turn off all electronics at least a few hours before going to bed.
• Have a light snack, if you need it, before going to bed.
above: a scene of the interior of one of Highway’s new Mack Anthem tractors. Highway Transport drivers enjoy newer model units featuring many comfortable features with drivers in mind. This unit is the Mack Anthem assigned to Highway driver Alen Smailovic. This unit has a fridge and microwave–definitely a plus for truck drivers who are committed to good rest and meal preparation.
6 – Equip yourself for stress reduction
- Stress balls – squeezing the small palm-sized balls are effective in lowering stress and can add to your hand’s dexterity.
- Cooling towel – a cooling towel is made of specially designed fabric. It removes moisture from the body and provides cooling relief. Once wet, the evaporative towel can reduce stress and help truck drivers fight fatigue. Take every step you can to avoid dehydration. Highway Transport drivers enjoy Rolling Strong wellness coaching. Rolling Strong places dehydration at the top of the list of driver concerns.
7– Plan your route
Planning your route is another way to lessen your stress when driving. Take along a professional trucker’s road atlas, a good GPS unit or a smartphone; this will help should you need directions and you won’t get worried wondering if you miss your deadlines or appointments. Highway Transport has excellent load planners and logistical insights, but the best practice is for drivers to take a couple minutes to visualize and mentally prepare “where am I going, what is my route.”
8 – Try breathing exercises
Breathing exercises are great ways of getting immediate stress relief. What makes them so effective is that they can be done anytime, anywhere.
Here’s the simplest breathing exercise you can do…breathe in slowly through your nose on the count of seven or eight. Hold the breath and then slowly, let the air out of your mouth on the count of nine or ten. Do this several times, and you will feel relaxed and calm.
Follow the above tips to help lower your stress, and enjoy the drive! Visit Drive4Highway.com or simply call 1-800-800-5856.