Like people in any other job, truckers deal with their fair share of work stress over the course of a run. Sometimes that stress is minor, and sometimes it's a major headache, but there are few truckers who get through a week behind the wheel without some sort of unexpected disruption.
And while stress is a reality for anyone in the industry, truckers would be wise to make sure they don't let it negatively affect them too much. The following tips should help any hauler keep stress at bay on an ongoing basis:
1) Take some time to yourself
One of the best ways to keep yourself in a good head space is to give yourself time every day to relax a bit, according to Konexial. That means no distractions: no music, no phone, no anything. Just you and your thoughts for even a few minutes. It could make a big difference.
2) Get some exercise, or at least stretch
Even a little exercise each day — as simple as walking around your truck a handful of times or doing some basic stretching — will do you a world of good, Konexial noted. When we put our bodies through some small amount of physical stress, we can handle mental stress more effectively.
3) Take deep breaths and count to 10
Of course, when a stressful situation arises in the moment, it can be easy to fly off the handlebars, so you need something to stop that negative feeling in its tracks, according to Apex Capital Corp. Taking deep breaths and counting to 10 will really help you settle back down quickly, so you can focus on the task at hand.
4) Understand what you can and can't control
There are plenty of things that cause stress for truckers, and much it — like traffic, iffy directions from the GPS and so on — you have no control over, Apex Capital Corp added. If you make a mistake, that stress is understandable. But if it's something that's just affecting you with nothing you can do about it, you can just accept that you're in a tough situation.
5) Try to be healthier in your habits
When you eat healthy and cut out bad habits like smoking, you may be able to handle stress more effectively, according to Trucking Truth. When our bodies work as well as possible, our minds can do the same.
6) Accentuate the positive
While it can be easy to think about all the things that are causing you stress at any given time, you would be wise to think about the things that are going well instead, Trucking Truth said. That way, even if there are things you need to worry about and pay attention to, you can think about how you're running a few hours ahead of schedule, how you'll be able to enjoy a nice snack soon and so on.
7) Roll with the punches
Finally, it's always a good idea to have some mental contingency plans in place for when you experience some of the common things that cause stress, Trucking Truth further advised. That way, when a problem arises, you can react appropriately and be confident in your next steps.
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