For most people driving is simply a means for getting from one place to another. For a truck driver, it’s a way of living. However, when you spend so much time in your truck it’s easy to get stressed out. But there are some things you can do to make the time you spend on the road more enjoyable. Here are some tips that will help make you a better driver (owner operator or company driver) and reduce stress on the road.

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Maintain a healthy diet

Tips For Drivers To Reduce Stress On The Road Maintain A Healthy Diet

They say you are what you eat. Your nutrition affects your overall health and influences the way you feel throughout the day. It is understood that unhealthy food will lower your mood and increase your stress levels. A healthy diet gives you more energy and helps you to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. This is why you should avoid processed food and meals that have a high level of cholesterol and fats.

You should also lower your sugar and caffeine intake. They provide you with short bursts of energy, after which you can feel even more exhausted.

We know it’s hard to cut out eating fast food completely while being on the road for longer periods. Still, it’s worth the effort to add lots of fruits and fresh vegetables to your diet. Food that is rich in complex carbohydrates and vitamins provides your body with long-term energy. This will reduce your stress levels and keep your body happy.

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Get enough sleep

Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep is one of the major sources of stress regardless of profession. For truck drivers, this problem is only worse because of the long hours that the job requires. But this job is also the one that needs a good night’s sleep the most.

Sleep deprivation can lead to dangers on the road – it makes you more likely to engage in impulsive behavior, it may impede your reaction time, or you could even fall asleep while driving. This places you and others on the road in danger, and just knowing this will increase your stress level.

On top of that, fatigue also harms your overall health. After a while, it could cause problems with your endocrine, respiratory or endocrine system. So, getting enough rest isn’t only vital for keeping your stress low, but also for maintaining your long-term health and safety.

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Listen to podcasts

Tips For Drivers To Reduce Stress On The Road Listen To Podcasts

Another way to stay stressed is to overthink. When you drive long hours all by yourself, you are bound to get tangled up in your thoughts. And this will surely have a negative impact on your mood.

Listening to podcasts can get your brain actively engaged and stay mentally focused. When your thoughts are not wandering off, you’ll find yourself more focused on driving. You can choose podcasts that are motivational or inspirational to keep your spirits up at the times when you start missing your home.

If you’re not a fan of podcasts, you can make the best out of your driving time by listening to your favorite music. Check out our post on 10 best trucking songs for on the road to find some great additions to your playlist. Whatever your preferred source of entertainment, it is sure to change your mood for the better and lower your stress on the road, because it’s important to get out of your own head from time to time.

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Exercise daily

Exercise Daily

It’s hard to find time and space for exercise when driving long-haul. But it is very important to keep in mind the importance of staying physically active and use any occasion to sneak in at least 15-30 minutes of exercise.

The human body isn’t meant to remain in the same position for too long, so this can cause harm to all aspects of your well-being and, in the end, raise your stress level. Even shorter periods of activity will give you an energy boost that will brighten up your mood and make you feel more energized.

For those who can’t find the time for exercise, it’s good to at least sop every couple of hours to stretch and get some fresh air. You’ll notice the difference immediately.

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Take your time

Tips For Drivers To Reduce Stress On The Road Take Your Time

Those little breaks aren’t important only because of physical activity. You’ll find yourself just needing a break from driving from time to time. Get out of the truck to stretch your legs, breathe deeply and clear your mind. This will help you release the tension and get rid of some stress.

Even before starting the trip – take some time to plan everything out. Pick the route that covers everything you might need on the way – gas stations, truck stops, etc. Also, having the base knowledge of your route will help you feel more secure. GPS will help you get where you need to go, but knowing the road in advance will save you the stress of checking the navigation every few minutes.

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Incorporating a few of our strategies into your daily routine will make a big difference to your lifestyle and make your workday a lot less stressful. Make sure to try them out and let us know how it went. For more insider trucking tips, follow the weekly Extra Mile vlog on our YouTube channel Extra Mile International Inc Trucking Company, or visit our Instagram profile @extramiletx.

Fleet Manager & Recruiter at Extra Mile International | + posts

Mia is a Fleet Manager and Recruiter at Extra Mile International, based in Chicago. Mia is over 5 years in the trucking industry while driving trucks for more than 3 years.