In November we celebrate Movember—the international movement that encourages men to grow mustaches to raise awareness about men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and depression. We thought it was important to address the Truck Driver Blues, which is more prevalent than people realize.
Day in and day out our road warriors are hauling all of our freight in a job that requires long hours behind the wheel and very little interaction with others, unavoidably making drivers very lonely.
A study by the National Library of Medicine, which collected data from a random sample of 316 male truck drivers, found that - “Surveyed truckers [had] significant issues affecting their mental health, such as loneliness (27.9%), depression (26.9%), chronic sleep disturbances (20.6%), anxiety (14.5%), and other emotional problems (13%).”
These numbers are shocking, and when mental health issues go unchecked they can affect your overall health. We thought we’d share some tips with you on how to make your life a little easier and healthier while you’re on the road so you can beat the Trucker Blues.
The first step you can start taking is…. more steps, ha ha. Physical activity can lead to endorphin production, which can make you feel happier. Take a look at Mother Trucker Yoga, she shares different ways to exercise while on the road. We especially like this one: 3 Driver Exercises To Do Anywhere As An OTR Trucker.
Second step you can start taking today is monitoring your diet. Swapping out the chips and cookies for fruits and vegetables is always a good call to improve your mood. You can check out @_TruckerDee’s TikTok videos, he shares easy and delicious recipes you can cook while on the road.
Third step, how’s your sleeping schedule? Are you getting enough sleep? Resting and disconnecting from your everyday activities is of utmost importance. The correlation between high stress levels and sleep deprivation is strong. The American Psychological Association has stated that “adults who sleep fewer than eight hours a night report higher stress levels than those who sleep at least eight hours a night.” We have put together a list of tips for better sleep for truck drivers which you can check out here.
The fourth and final step is to set up a chat group, people you can talk to while on the road so you don’t feel so alone. There are many ways to socialize. Strike up a conversation at truck stops, shops, or terminals. Call someone over the CB radio or phone some friends and family when you start to feel down. You can also try exploring social media! Many truck drivers have developed a large following by showcasing their life on the road and interacting with followers. There are many ways to find your tribe, you just have to put yourself out there.
If you tend to get The Trucker Blues, we hope these steps can help alleviate them and allow you to enjoy the thrills of the open road again. What have you found that works for you?
For more information about truck driver health and wellness be sure to check out this blog post: Truck Driver Ergonomics: Best Practices and Tips