Tips to Reduce Stress for Truck Drivers
It's no secret, stress can kill. If left untreated or unmanaged for a prolonged period of time, stress can cause anxiety, insomnia, heart attacks, strokes, and more medical issues. As a truck driver on the road, factors such as lack of family time, loneliness, unhealthy eating habits, and long working hours can lead to a continued feeling of mental and physical tension. According to Mayo Clinic, some of the symptoms of stress include:
- Muscle tension and pain
- Chest pain
- Upset stomach
- Sleep problems
- Lack of motivation or focus
- Irritability or anger
- Sadness or depression
- Overeating or undereating
- Social withdrawal
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consider talking with your doctor. Fortunately, stress can be managed and reduced for truck drivers by following a few simple tips.
Get More Sleep
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults between the ages of 18-60 should be receiving 7 or more hours of sleep per night. Each person's body is different, however, and you should experiment with different lengths of sleep time starting with 7 hours to determine which time period helps you wake feeling refreshed and ready to go for the day. Creating a dark, comfortable sleeping environment will also help you prepare for a better night's rest. A lack of sleep can contribute to stress throughout the day as well as its own set of health problems.
Take a Walk
Take a moment to yourself outside of your truck when you can. Simply walking around at a truck stop can get your blood flowing and help your mind re-set after a long day of driving. Stretch your legs, take deep breaths, and relax your mind and body.
Periodically Listen to Slow Paced Music or Podcasts
Music has a strong effect on the body. Fast-paced and loud music can increase your heart rate and help you feel more energized while slow-paced and softer music can lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and help you feel calmer. If you find yourself feeling overly stressed or anxious while driving, play a slower or softer song on the radio to calm your nerves. Be cautious though, listening to slow and soft music for too long can cause you to feel tired or drowsy while driving.
While it may be more comforting to reach for a snack high in sugar and fat over a bag of vegetables, the foods you consume contribute to stress levels. Food high in sugar causes blood sugar to spike and results in a fleeting energy boost. Food high in saturated or trans fat increases blood pressure and can lead to heart disease. Foods like avocados, bananas, pumpkin seeds, and nuts are not only easily accessible on the road, but they also increase energy and provide beneficial nutrients. Pair healthy eating with consistent water intake to be on your way to feeling more energized and less stressed.
Sisbro understands that managing stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important: that's why our drivers' family health insurance premiums are 100% paid. 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.