Truckers provide a very important service to all of us. If you’ve got it, a trucker brought it, as they say. This extremely important career often sets the stage for relationship problems, depression, stress, and physical health problems. Lack of vacations, being away from friends and family for weeks on end, getting little respect, isolation…the list goes on-these are a few of the reasons trucking has become a very difficult career for many. Some people don’t realize how stressful and tiring driving a truck can be. But there is a lot more to it then people think. Unfortunately, driving a truck can lead to exhaustion, as truckers have targets to hit. There are a load of other things that truckers need to be aware of though, so keep on reading.
Although there are many challenges in the life of the trucker, the career can be quite rewarding. That is why it is very important to focus on what is going right in one’s life. The more a trucker dwells on the negatives, the worse life becomes. One of the major hazards of the job is having too much time to think. How many people have a career where they spend hours alone? To top it all off, many truckers listen to talk radio (which is often quite negative), the frequent gloom and doom CB chatter and the limitless drama of social media.
Relationships are often the biggest source of stress for the trucker. It is important to realize that since many truckers are away from home for weeks at a time, they are automatically having long-distance relationships. Given that relationships are hard enough as it is, distance only adds to the complexity. As a result, there are more miscommunications, heartaches, and arguments. Make it a priority of call your loved ones on a regular basis. Remember, texting is often good, but an old-fashioned phone call is more personal and less likely to result in miscommunication.
Physical health is often another challenge for the trucker. The mind and body are truly connected. Believe it or not, when you feel better physically, your ability to handle stress and other emotions will greatly improve. Many argue that it is impossible to eat a healthy diet when on the road. However, there are many healthy choices that can be made when it comes to meals (eating chicken instead of hamburgers and skipping the fries). If you feel that you do not have time to get exercise, keep a few weights in your truck or do some pushups or sit-ups. You can even make a few laps around your truck when parked for the night.
Remember, being proactive is the key to keeping in good spirits. Working to increase communication with your loved ones, keeping your mind occupied, remembering that the better you eat, the better you will feel, and getting some exercise are all ways to help keep you on the right track while on the road. The more you focus on improving your mental and physical health, the better your home and work life will be.
Stress and Anger reducers:
- Keeping a log of what is going well in your life and want needs work Keeping in contact with friends and family
If you allow others to make you stressed, you are allowing them to control you. Do you really want others pulling your strings? Look at stress as a test. Do you want to fail that test by getting stressed out? The only person responsible for your stress is you. Stress is energy. Are you going to use this energy for something productive or destructive?
When faced with a stressful situation, ask:
- Will it matter tomorrow?
- Next week? Next Month?
About Buck Black
I am a licensed therapist (LCSW, LCAC) who focuses on anger, stress, and relationships with truckers and their families over the phone and on video conference at www.TruckerTherapy.com.