5 Uncommon Mental Health Tips for Long Distance Drivers
For many, driving can be quite a therapeutic endeavor — especially on long distances. Afterward all, you’ll remain to spend a lot of time cruising and seeing some potentially beautiful sights here and there. Indeed, some people find long-distance driving to be a way to turn their brains off, at least in a way where they can focus on the road and forget their real lives in the meantime.
However, when you spend most of your time on the road — such as long-distance truck drivers — too much time cruising the highways can start to take its toll.
Driving long distances requires you to stay alert at all times, and it can get physically and mentally exhausting even if you take your required breaks. Being away from family and friends can also take its toll on your morale and mental well-being.
However, there are things you can do to save yourself in good spirits while you’re on the road.
1. Feed Your Mind
When you’re on the road, one of the things you’ll have to face is absolute boredom and monotony. One good way to get past this is to feed your mind every chance you can get.
You can listen to podcasts or audiobooks while driving or during your scheduled rest stops. Audiobooks and podcasts create a fantastic opportunity to reduce boredom through learning something new or listening to a riveting tale.
With the uncertainty you’re currently stopped, you can entertain yourself with somewhat relaxation. If you have mobile data, you can do many things to keep your mind active, such as streaming movies and TV shows (or legally downloading some to watch while you’re in an area with shoddy service). You can also play some simple mobile games that can help keep you sharp or choose up a course and learn a new skill set like programming.
Ebooks are as well an option, especially if you just want to get some reading in before you go to sleep.
2. Bring Someone Along
If you enjoy the solitude of long drives on your own, this tip may not be as beneficial to you.
If you’re a private contractor or working for a company that will allow it, bring a pet along during your trips to help save your company. Alternatively, you can also bring someone along now and then.
When coupled with boredom and monotony, feeling isolated can have quite a negative impact on your mental health.
3. Try to Keep a Balance Diet and Get Some Exercise
A balanced diet goes a long way towards keeping you in good health physically and mentally.
Eating well while on the road may not always be possible. In this case, there are steps you can take and substitutions you can make to lessen the impact of a ruthless diet or unbeneficial foods. For example, you may seek lower-calorie options or avoid deep-fried food.
Exercise pumps you up with endorphins and increases your general feeling of wellness. It might also bring better moods over time. Exercising can be challenging when you’re on the road and have limited space, so you can consider stretching or finding short routines to get you moving.
4. Keep in Touch with Loved Ones
Staying in touch with friends and family can keep you sane while on the road. Something as simple as a phone call or text message can be enough to keep you from feeling lonely while you drive. Thanks to technology, this is easier than ever.
5. Get Insurance for Peace of Mind
Peace of mind is priceless when it comes to long-distance trucking. If you drive for a company, you may already be under a commercial fleet insurance policy, eliminating the need to get your own. Otherwise, it’s essential to get the coverage you need to protect yourself on the road.
There’s No Shame in Seeking Help
If the tips above aren’t helpful or your mental state is becoming a cause for concern, there is no shame in seeking help — avoid telling yourself you can power through, especially since getting help can set you on the right path fast. Another thing you can do is learn the signs of mental health crises so you can notice them in yourself and others, so you know when you need assistance.