During the pandemic, about four in 10 adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, up from one in ten adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019.
Meanwhile, a tracking poll suggested many adults are reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and well-being, such as difficulty sleeping (36%), increases in alcohol or substance abuse (12%) and worsening chronic conditions (12%) due to worry and stress over COVID-19.
During this global pandemic, the effect on today’s truck drivers cannot be ignored; under normal circumstances, drivers face a tremendous amount of stress. They face long driving shifts, disrupted sleep patterns, suffer from a lack of exercise, are often away from their families and friends, and oftentimes, face obesity.
As the entire world continues to cope with this ongoing crisis, that stress can increase in innumerable ways.
As a driver, it’s critical to be proactive when it comes to maintaining your mental health; failing to can put you at an increased risk for accidents or mishaps to occur – especially when you’re behind the wheel.
In an effort to help you, we’ve complied a list of ways for you beat the blues, and help ensure COVID-19 doesn’t get the best of you mentally.
Still feel stuck? Our company Employee Assistance Program is here to help. Please reach out to us for more information on this program if you feel it could help you! Your health and safety are important to us; and that includes your mental health as well.
In the meantime, here are some ways you, as a truck driver, can maintain a healthy mindset, even when you’re on the road:
Stay Physically Active. Being behind the wheel means you’re sedentary much of the time, so it’s important you prioritize exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should aim for 150 minutes per week of physical activity. Think activities such as brisk walking, jogging/running and muscle-building exercises. It can work wonders for your mental health; physical activity may help ward off mental health problems before they start. Additionally, research shows exercise can improve the symptoms of many existing mental illnesses.
Connect with Loved Ones. We know it’s hard when you’re always on the road, but set aside time to connect with your family when you’re not working. A sense of connectedness can help when those feelings of blue strike.
Listen to Music and Podcasts. Colorado is beautiful, but the miles can stretch on! Ask fellow drivers for their top podcast picks and audiobooks, or create some playlists when you’re at home to hum along to while you’re driving.
Don’t Deny the Importance Your of Mental Health. Mental health and safety are directly connected, so it’s important you take it seriously. Know that no one should struggle alone.
The impact of issues related to mental health can affect everyone around you – including other drivers on the road.
For more information on our company’s benefits and EAP program, click here.