Driving a truck for a living is stressful, but there are many things truckers can do to keep themselves calm. Long days, late nights, and nonstop driving all come together to try and prevent you from relaxing. Fatigue can be dangerous for truckers, and according to Hardison & Cochran, truck driving is a leading source of workplace injuries.
When life gets stressful and strange, a trucker can feel like the heaviest cargo is in their mind, not their rig. Luckily, there are a ton of simple, quick daily activities that every trucker can incorporate into their routine in order to keep stress at manageable levels. Here are a few of those stress easing activities.
Exercise is one of best things anyone can do to manage stress. When you work out (even for just a short while) you focus energy on simple, repetitive tasks. Focusing on small tasks will give you a sense of control over your life, which is a powerful method to prevent those feelings of overwhelming panic. And not only does exercise help you rid your mind of current stress, it also helps you deal with future stress—according to the American Psychological Association (APA), the neurochemicals produced by exercise will train your brain to tolerate stress.
For a trucker, finding the time and space to get regular exercise can be difficult. You obviously can’t make it to the gym every day because you’re in a new town night after night. And truckers don’t usually have much spare time on their hands. Nonetheless, you can find time to practice these simple exercises, no matter how little time or room you’ve got:
- Jog. You don’t need fancy equipment to make a daily jogging routine. All you need is some comfortable clothes and a nice pair of jogging shoes. You can start or end each day with a short run around whatever place you’re parked. You’ll see local sights, and it won’t take you too long. Just ten minutes of good running will make you feel more alert, help you sleep at night, and get you healthier.
- Walk. For those who don’t like the high-intensity of running, walking can be the perfect alternative. As with jogging, you won’t need any equipment beyond some good shoes, and you’ll be able to get your exercise no matter where you are. Even the hotel hallways provide a decent space for a brisk walk.
- Push-ups and sit-ups. These are quick, easy, and don’t require much space.
Eat right. What’s good for your body is good for your mind. When you eat a balanced, nutritious diet, you’ll feel more energetic, happier, and healthier. Good health is a great way to fight fatigue and stress.
Eating right can be hard on the road, but some pointers will help get anyone started on the road to nutrition:
- Fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide your body with complex nutrients that will help give you the long-lasting, powerful energy your body and mind need in order to maintain good mental health during long hauls.
- Whole grains. Whole grain breads and cereals keep you full longer than their processed counterparts.
- Variety. Don’t get stuck eating the same thing every day. If you get a variety of foods, you’ll stock your body with sophisticated fuel.