D.O.T, tight dispatches, traffic, construction zones, weather and customers themselves. These are just a few of the things that affect your job on a daily basis as a driver, Did you also know they affect your mental state and acuity. There's an old saying in trucking "You don't have to be crazy to be a trucker but it sure does help." All joking aside it's not easy to keep a positive state of mind when your alone, day in and day out, for weeks at a time. Here are some things to help keep you from being driven into a state of depression.
Establish a routine even if it's as simple as just shaving and brushing your teeth every morning. The more involved the routine the more "normal" you will feel. As the old saying goes "Idle hands are the devil's playground". For example when I'm on the road I sleep approximately seven hours a day, which leaves three hours left on my DOT break. In the remaining three hours I; Make my bed, do my Bible Study and Devotionals, workout, shave, wash my face and brush my teeth. Several times a week I'm able to get a shower simply because I'm organized and have a routine.
Ok, that's relatively simple, but what about those long hours when it's just you and the highway? Again, occupy your mind.
Go to your local public library and check out books on CD, learn a new language while your driving down the road. Most libraries allow for a 30 day check out, however most will gladly give you an extension if you simply call them. Also, most truck stops have audio books that you can purchase. When you've got down time don't just sit there and mope. Read, do crossword puzzles, word searches, regular puzzles, put together model cars. Write in a journal to get the negative thoughts out of your mind, or just write any negative stuff down on a piece of paper and then throw it away.
I know female drivers that knit, crochet, do needle point and cross stitching. Why? Simple. Because it's harder to think negative thoughts when your mind is having to count stitches. Be creative in ways you find to occupy your mind and free time. Walk, shadow box, jog, jump rope. Physical activity is a great way to battle dark and negative thoughts. Above all avoid negativity as much as possible. That stuff seeps into your thoughts while your driving down the road and it's really hard to get out once it's in there. Another thing is look at who you surround yourself with and who you talk to. Quite frankly, most truck drivers complain and gripe more than anything else especially on the C.B radio. Only use the C.B radio when you need help with traffic and weather, otherwise turn the thing off.
Drivers, I hope these few things are helpful.
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