Being a professional truck driver is hard work. The job requires being seated behind the wheel for hours on end in deep focus as we monitor the conditions or the road and our rig. Even the most seasoned pros can find themselves frazzled at times due to trying circumstances that can arise on the road ranging from bad drivers and traffic jams to tight schedules and inclement weather; there are many factors that can leave us feeling stressed at the end of the day.
When we allow these factors to compound, they can cause further complication such as muscles so tight that even the hottest truck stop shower can’t loosen us up. The good news is that by taking breaks, engaging in relaxation techniques, and staying properly nourished, truckers can manage their stress levels and stay safe on the road.
Below are a few relaxation techniques for truck drivers to help them de-stress and keep themselves balanced while out there driving America’s economy.
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Begin by tensing all your muscle groups in turn, beginning with your toes, and ending at your head. Then allow yourself to relax all those same muscle groups in order from top to bottom. This technique helps you recognize tension and actively release it in a productive way.
- Breathing Exercises
Take slow deep breaths that fill your lungs completely. Visualize each breath going into the deepest parts of your body and then letting go as you exhale slowly. You may even find it helpful to practice breathing exercises with a guided meditation video or audio recording of some sort as well.
- Move Your Body
If you are feeling particularly tense after a long day of driving, try getting out of the driver’s seat and stretching a bit before continuing your journey. Be sure not to stretch too hard since fatigue can lead to over stretching which can cause more harm than good. Just move around gently until you feel less tension in your body overall.
- Listen to Music
Picking an uplifting genre can be extremely beneficial for improving your mood instantly! Music has such a powerful effect on our emotions so make sure you choose songs that will actually lift your spirits up rather than ones that bring them down further. Of course, if music isn’t really working its magic on you right away, just switch it off and try one of the other tips in this list instead.
- Write it Out
Keeping a journal on hand while out traveling is always useful, and especially so if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed out while navigating unknown roads/towns/situations (or whatever else increases stress levels). Writing is an incredibly potent form of self-expression; getting those thoughts down onto paper often helps clear them up in our minds too.
- Talk to Someone
Everyone needs support once in a while. The best way to truly ease feelings of anxiety or worry is by being open about them with someone who won’t judge us for expressing how we feel – whether that be another human being who is physically present or via telephone call/text/email etc… Sometimes all we need is someone else’s understanding ear in order to reset.
- Power Naps
If all else fails, then just close your eyes for 15 minutes (set an alarm before dozing off) and recharge yourself with a quick snooze. Taking naps helps boost energy levels as well as promotes alertness during drives so don’t hesitate to take one if needed.
These seven methods should help truck drivers gain some valuable downtime whilst remaining safe behind the wheel; but if further self-care routines are ever needed, then remember that taking regular breaks from driving is key – everyone needs occasional rest periods to refresh their mind, body, and spirit, no matter what job it is they’re doing.