Holiday Trucking: Reducing Stress and Staying Connected
The trucking lifestyle can make it hard to juggle spending holiday time with family and friends. For so many trucking families (just like families with members in law enforcement and public safety) moveable holiday celebrations are the norm. If you have to have Thanksgiving dinner on a Wednesday or a Friday, it’s OK. You can make it just as special and perhaps even more memorable. Remind friends and family that flexibility is key! Instead of insisting that celebrations and gatherings be held on a specific holiday date, focus on the importance of being together when you can, and find the joy in gatherings whenever they take place.
Technology Helps Keep You Connected
Skype and FaceTime have revolutionized the way we communicate with faraway loved ones. We know that most truck drivers are already using these important tools to keep in touch with loved ones every day. These technologies are even more important when you’re away from home during the holidays, a birthday or another important occasion. Use Skype to read a special holiday story to the kids, say grace with the family or join in a Christmas carol sing-along. Many churches and other places of worship are streaming services via the Internet, so you can attend that special holiday service virtually. It’s not quite the same as being there in person but it’s a million times better than not being there at all.
Holiday shopping used to be a big worry for truck drivers, but experienced drivers agree that online shopping is the way to go. Get your holiday list together and start buying gifts with the click of a mouse. If you can, arrange to have gifts shipped to a friend or neighbor so everyone at home can be surprised. By shopping online, you can avoid buying overpriced last minute gifts at truck stops, and most online retailers offer free shipping and other great “door buster” deals on Cyber Monday, the Monday immediately after Thanksgiving, as well as throughout the season.
Find Connections On The Road
If you find yourself away from family on an important holiday, find others who are away from their loved ones and create your own celebration. Share a meal with fellow drivers, talk about your own traditions and ask about theirs.
Give Yourself The Gift Of Health
Being away from family, along with winter driving conditions and holiday traffic can make November and December particularly stressful for drivers. Medical professionals agree that it’s an especially important time for drivers to focus on their health. Avoid making unhealthy decisions about food and alcohol and get as much sleep as you can. Also, get regular exercise—it not only helps keep you fit but also relieves stress. For example, one of our TransForce drivers carries a mountain bike in his truck so he can exercise whenever and wherever he stops for the day.
Many in the trucking community are also discovering the benefits of mindfulness and mediation. It’s something everyone can do, and you don’t have to be in a yoga studio to do it. There are lots of free resources online that offer tips and guided meditation. Some suggestions include focusing on your breathing in stressful situations and finding small moments of joy while on the road to help you decompress and diffuse stressful situations.
Remember The Importance Of Your Role As A Driver
The holidays are a season of gratitude, and it’s important that everyone recognizes the immense service that truck drivers provide to others. You are literally helping bring smiles and joy to children around the world, as well as supply the food and goods needed for all of those feasts and celebrations.
The bottom line is that without truckers, there would be no Santa. Just keeping that in mind should help put a little more joy in the holidays, even if you can’t spend as much time with loved ones as you’d like. A positive attitude and a little help from technology can help reduce stress and create meaningful connections at this busy time of year.
TransForce offers flexible schedules with guaranteed home time. Contact us today to see what we can do for your trucking career.