Stress is a part of every person’s job. For truck drivers, there are unique circumstances that contribute to their stress, such as traffic and long hours on the road away from their home and family. What can drivers do to cope with and reduce the stress they experience? AnnaBeth Rouse from American Trucker highlighted six strategies for reducing stress on the road.
Move and Stretch as Often as Possible
Exercise does wonders for the mind and body. AnnaBeth recommends stopping every couple of hours to stretch and get fresh air. If stopping is not an option, she suggests taking advantage of stop lights to quickly re-position, stretch your arms and legs and take some deep breaths.
Listen to a Podcast or Music
Podcasts are a great way to engage your mind while simultaneously keeping stress at bay. And listening to music is proven to help you relax and focus.
Get Adequate Rest
Who of us hasn’t felt extremely stressed when we’re running a little to no sleep? Getting enough sleep is vital to your health and will ultimately keep you and others safe while you’re on the road.
Plan Your Route
Missing a turn and getting lost is a huge stress factor, especially if it means you have to turn that big truck around! If you take a few minutes to look over your route on a map or GPS before your trip you will be better prepared if technology fails or something unexpected happens. You can also use this tactic to avoid road construction or traffic.
Practice Breathing Exercises
When stress strikes one thing you always have control over is your response. AnnaBeth recommends taking in a deep breath through your nose, holding it for seven or eight seconds, then exhaling slowly.
Eat as Healthy as You Can
This may sound challenging for someone who is on the road constantly. While options are limited, there are still options for getting a quick, nutritious meal on the road. Eating a healthy meal will help to ease stress levels and will benefit you ‘down the road.’