8 Tips to Manage Stress as a Truck Driver
Has becoming a Frontline Hero made your life more stressful?
Are you worried about being able to follow all the new safety rules? Is your customer one of the ones that had to temporarily shut down and you’re feeling stressed because you don’t know when your route will start back up? Are all the changes to your normal routine making you sad, anxious or depressed?
You’re not alone. Stress is how the brain and body respond to any demand and it affects each and every one of us. Any type of demand (driving, exercise, work, school, major life changes, traumatic events, etc.) can be stressful. While stress is a normal part of life and not all stress is bad, continued long-term stress can be harmful to our physical and mental well-being. There are as many reasons that can cause a person stress as there are people and just as we each have different things that stress us out, our symptoms can be different too.
Some signs of stress are difficulty sleeping, increased alcohol and other substance use, eating too much or too little, being easily angered, digestive problems, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, feeling fearful, fatigued or depressed. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage stress. Here are some simple ways to start:
- Try to maintain a healthy diet.
- Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Exercise regularly. Did you know just 30 minutes of walking can boost your mood and reduce stress?
- Stay hydrated and minimize your use of caffeine and alcohol.
- Stay socially connected so you can get and give support. Use one of the many free video calling technology apps like FaceTime or Zoom to stay in touch with friends and family.
- Try a relaxing activity like yoga, tai chi or use meditation techniques like deep breathing.
- Don’t obsess over the news.
- Practice positivity and gratitude. Did you know taking five minutes a day to write down the things you are grateful for has been proven to lower stress levels?
Available Resources to Manage Long-Term Stress
Anyone experiencing severe or long-term, unrelenting stress can become overwhelmed. If you’re overwhelmed by stress seek help immediately by calling your doctor, a mental health professional or one of the resources below:
If you or a loved one is having thoughts of suicide, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential. Visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more information.
If you or a loved one is facing mental and/or substance use disorders call SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 The service is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service providing referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
For more safe driving tips, visit transforce.com/blog.