Is truck driving stressful? Well, yes. After all, while truck driving is a rewarding and adventurous career, it can also get stressful at times. You can drive all over the country but also face many unpredictable factors. This means there are many stressful factors associated with the career overall. Thankfully, even though it can be stressful at times, there are ways you can reduce your overall stress levels and maintain a healthy lifestyle even when dealing with life on the road. Read on to learn more about reducing your stress and maintaining wellness:
Common Causes of Truck Driver Stress: How Stressful is Truck Driving?
The following are common causes associated with truck driver stress. These can all add to your stress levels as a truck driver:
- Reckless & Distracted Drivers: The roadways are full of distracted and reckless drivers, and when your office is on the roadway, then you can experience a significant amount of stress due to this factor. After all, even when you pay attention, if others around you are drivers playing with their radios, lawlessly texting, etc. you have to be extra vigilant to maintain safety.
- Exhaustion/Over-Work: Working long hours and altering your sleep schedule, which is sometimes part of the trucking industry, can mean that you are overly tired, leading to additional stress.
- Tight Deadlines: When you are trying to meet a tight deadline then everything can cause you additional stress. A traffic back-up, or a mechanical failure, any delay can cause you to panic thinking you aren’t going to meet your deadline.
- High-Value Cargo: Another reason that trucking can be stressful is the presence of high-value cargo. Obviously, if what you are hauling has a high value or is dangerous, you will be more stressed when transporting it from point A to point B.
- Bad Weather: Bad weather can make driving that much harder by reducing your vision. Rain, sleet, snow, and especially ice can make it extremely different to control your rig, and that creates stress for obvious reasons.
- Traffic: Stop-and-go traffic is stressful, always! However, when you’re a professional truck driver, stopping and going, or just stopping can be that much more stressful as it can cause you delays in meeting deadlines or even leave you stranded in bad weather.
Methods to Reduce Stress For Truck Drivers
Thankfully, you aren’t powerless to reduce your stress levels as it relates to the truck driving industry. Keep the following tips in mind to reduce stress levels:
- Get plenty of rest. While truck driving does require some long hours to be sure. However, it’s important to get plenty of rest for your body to process the stress levels of the job.
- Eat well and exercise. You will have to be purposeful when eating well and exercising when on the road. Thankfully, you can make healthy choices in terms of food. As far as exercise goes, taking a simple walk regularly can make a big difference. If no track is handy, just walk around your rig!
- Talk to someone regularly – family, dispatchers, and other drivers. Truck driving can be isolating, which can lead to loneliness even if you are introverted by nature. Thankfully, you can talk to someone even when you are on the road. Call up your family and friends or talk to the dispatchers or other drivers. These are your co-workers in essence, so picking up your communication device and speaking to other drivers or dispatchers can be the equivalent of “meeting at the water cooler,” or “grabbing coffee.”
- Plan your route ahead of time. To ease your stress levels as much as possible when running a route, make sure that it is planned out ahead of time. Ensure that you know exactly where you are going, and if you have time, even plan out some alternate routes in case you run into traffic, bad weather, or other delays.
- Listen to podcasts. Finally, when the hours stretch out before you and you find yourself becoming overly stressed, this is a great time to listen to a podcast. When you do this, your mind is engaged in something else, allowing you to relax a bit and enjoy being entertained.
While the trucking industry has many benefits, it does come with high levels of stress as well. Thankfully, by keeping the tips listed above in mind and putting them into practice, you can reduce your stress levels and improve your well-being throughout your truck driving career.
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