Tips to Improve Truck Drivers’ Mental Health
As the days remain short and the weather stays colder, finding ways for truckers to stimulate their mind while on the road is essential for good mental health and well-being. The US National Library of Medicine addresses mental health issues for drivers and explains:
Professional truck drivers (TDs) are exposed to stressful working (and living) conditions and are vulnerable. They report physical and mental health problems and psychological distress more frequently than the general population and their problems can affect safety on the roads. (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
The winter season may seem particularly dreary for driving, but it is important for drivers to consider their mental health year-round. Follow the tips below to help ease stress and promote better mental health for drivers.
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
Sleep is one of the most prominent factors affecting drivers on the road; too much sleep can negatively affect a driver's schedule but too little sleep can impair cognitive functioning and focus. Set a nightly schedule to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to create a daily routine that both allows you to meet your driving time expectations and receive the appropriate amount of sleep. You can also create an optimal sleeping environment by blocking out light and setting the cab temperature to somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees.
Long hours in the same sitting position and easily-accessible fast food both contribute to the obesity epidemic plaguing truck drivers. Health problems such as sleep apnea, hypertension, and heart disease can develop from unhealthy habits so maintaining physical exercise is important. Simply taking a walk and moving your body while on breaks can increase blood flow and work to prevent health issues. Depression-combatting hormones are released when you exercise so stay physical to improve both mental and physical health.
Phone a Friend
When away from home for extended periods of time, drivers may find themselves experiencing depression or loneliness. Calling or video chatting family and friends will help you stay in touch with their daily lives as well as provide an outlet for healthy venting. Contact someone you confide in to distract yourself from the stress of the road, improve your mood, and express your emotions.
Bring a Little Bit of Home on the Road
Familiarity creates a sense of comfort when away from home. Grab a blanket, book, picture, radio, or other personal belonging from home to recreate a similar atmosphere. You may find yourself sleeping better and experiencing increased motivation to finish the job if you are reminded of what's waiting for you at home.
Download Helpful Apps
From helping you navigate traffic to notifying you about weigh stations to encouraging you to control your weight, there's an app for that. Some of the most popular apps to help truck drivers include:
- Waze GPS
- White Moise
- Drive Axle
A full list of helpful apps can be found on the CDL Training Spot website and accessed here.
Sisbro understands that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and good mental health is important. Our goal is to provide an environment where drivers know they matter. If you would like to talk to one of our recruiters, please call 888.228.2175.