Mental Health Tips for Truckers
Mental health issues in truck drivers are not a thing of the past, if anything it is more prevalent and more dangerous than it has ever been.
According to the CDC, there are five major industry groups with the highest suicide rate, transportation workers rank at number five.
We’ve compiled a list of things you can do to help nurture your mental health and take care of yourself.
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep does a lot more damage than people think. You can be clear-headed and present daily by ensuring you’re sleeping enough.
If you struggle to fall asleep or struggle to stay asleep, start by setting a routine. A routine can take the uncertainty out of the moment and can act as a guide for what you need to do.
Avoid caffeine and heavy meals before bed. It’s no secret that caffeine gives you energy, my rule of thumb is no caffeine at least eight hours before I plan on going to bed, but what works for me might not work for you, so take the time to experiment and see what does work for you.
Limiting your screen time 30 minutes before bed has been proven to have negative effects on your sleep.
Communicate with your loved ones
Life on the road can be particularly lonely, especially if you’re an OTR driver. Keeping in touch with your family can help you feel connected to them and help remind you why you’re working so hard.
If you cannot communicate with them, keep photos of them around your cab so you can feel more grounded.
Something fun you could do is send postcards to your loved ones when you visit a new place. This helps your family feel more connected to you and lets them know you’re thinking about them on the road.
Know the warning signs
Depression and anxiety are no joke and sometimes they show up unannounced. Recognizing things that would cause you to feel anxious or depressed is one of the best ways you can minimize mental health harm.
While depression and anxiety present differently in everyone, here are some of the most common symptoms.
- Feeling tense
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling of dread
- Upset stomach
- Lost interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Frequent mood changes
Try new things
Music is a great way to relax. Spend some downtime searching for a new artist you like and make a playlist you can listen to while driving.
Meditation is also a great habit to get into. Mindfulness can overall improve your mental health.
If you feel you need further assistance, do not hesitate to call the Crisis Hotline at 988. For more information visit https://988lifeline.org/. For news and other health and wellness articles, subscribe to our newsletter.
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