Today I found myself watching the movie Finding Nemo. Yes I know it's a kid’s movie but sometimes you go with what you’ve got.
As I was watching, it really made me think about what I do to “just keep swimming” out here on the road. As truck drivers, we are out here for weeks and sometimes months at a time and we can suffer from mental burnout.
Here are a few things I’ve tried myself to help quell the feelings of burnout and depression while on the road.
● Talk with family. I usually start my mornings by texting or using Facebook Messenger to say good morning to my fiancée. Depending on her schedule, sometimes she's still asleep but messaging her can help take my mind off of the stress of the days tasks.
● Have breakfast. They say that starting off a day with a good breakfast is beneficial to you, not only physically, but mentally as well. I don't know why but when I have a delicious breakfast the worries of the day do seem to fade away.
● Try to stay away from the truck-stop counter. I was told this originally by my trainer, and I know this is a challenging thing sometimes but I find that sitting away from all of the negative counter talk can make your time at the truck-stop more pleasant in general. Now don't get me wrong, sometimes it's nice to sit at that truck-stop counter, especially if you see someone you know, but don’t let the negativity drag you down.
● Don't worry about things out of your control. There are a lot of bad things going on in the world, but ask yourself this: “Is it something I can change?” If the answer is no, then don’t waste the mental stress on subjects that are ultimately out of your control.
● Listen to upbeat music. I know this one sounds kind of cheesy but I find this to be an uplifting beat to my long hauls, especially across Kansas. Whatever upbeat means to you, turn it up and enjoy the mood boost.
● Invest in audiobooks. We have the unique opportunity on the road to listen to a lot of audiobooks, if we choose to. Learn something new! You might surprise yourself.
● Finish your day with family. This helps me with not only communication with my family and friends but also helps them if they've had a bad day or just need to vent. Communication is especially important if you’re on the road more often than you are home.
These are just some of my tried and true tips to help with being on the road for the extended periods of time. Till next time, just keep swimming!