If you happen to be one of the nearly 4 million professional truckers in the United States, you know that working in the trucking industry can have many rewards. It can also be a stressful way to make a living in some ways.
If you’re running a one-man operation, for instance, you may stress over things like finding jobs on load boards and staying in compliance with industry regulations. There are also the daily stresses of traffic, delays loading and unloading, and layovers because of truck maintenance.
Occasional stress is something we all deal with. In fact, some degree of stress can be healthy and improve mental alertness. However, if you are consistently anxious or overwhelmed, stress can take a serious toll on your health. Minimize the risk of being sidelined by stress-related health problems by keeping the following tips in mind.
Okay, so your normal route is now under construction, or your latest load is a little more out of the way than you anticipated. Dwelling on things like this will only give you time to relive those moments over and over, which will stress you out even more. Instead, have a more Zen attitude about situations you can’t always control and learn to let things go and focus on the here and now.
Obviously, this isn’t something you can do while driving. But when you are at a truck stop, in a hotel on a longer run, or sitting in your truck waiting for a load to be ready, take a few moments to get into a more relaxed frame of mind. What’s good about meditation is the ability to do it any time you have a moment to yourself.
Instead of solely focusing on how many miles you have to go or how many more loads you have to pick up and drop off, think about the pleasant things you enjoy in life. For example, you might have some vacation time coming up soon. So, think about what you plan to do during your time off instead of how many miles you have left on your current trip.
A big part of stress management is the perspective you have on what you have to deal with on a regular basis as trucker. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out to other truckers. This can be especially helpful if you’re fairly new to this profession. You can do this in person, online in chat rooms, or even on your social media pages or with apps and texts. Further manage your stress by:
• Getting regular exercise when not on the road (exercise produces natural “feel good” hormones called endorphins)
• Eating fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods to maintain your body’s internal balance and reduce the production of stress chemicals
• Finding creative ways to get more family time
• Knowing when it’s time to take a well-deserved break to recharge mentally
• Getting involved with charitable efforts with other truckers (doing something good for others can be a great way to feel better about yourself)
• Seeing if it’s possible to take your pet with you (having a four-legged companion along for the ride can be an excellent source of stress relief)
Another way to ease your stress and enjoy more of the rewards of working in the trucking industry is to take advantage of the services and programs available from Pay4Freight. With our freight factoring programs, you can improve your cash flow and ease stress by avoiding the hassle of waiting on payments. We’re also a reliable source of information on everything that matters to truckers and anyone working in this industry, from load boards to freight factoring add-on services. Explore our website to learn more about what we have to offer.