Truck drivers travel long distances and are often away from home for weeks. These men and women are alone on the road for long periods. For many, it’s hard work that leads to an unhealthy work-life balance.
In addition to the difficult social aspects, the job also includes a lot of inactivity, but requires alertness at all times. Therefore, many truck drivers rely on large amounts of caffeine and sugar to get energy and a mental boost.
Clearly, it’s important for truck drivers to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Here are a few suggestions on how to do just that.
Recognize your needs
We all have different needs, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance starts with acknowledging your individual needs. Is being around family during the summer important? Are you in good physical shape? Are you finding the time to pursue hobbies or passions outside of work?
Once you have acknowledged what you need in your personal life, you can go about addressing those needs.
Get enough sleep
One of your needs should be getting enough sleep at night to be able to function properly at work. Be sure you are getting quality sleep during your rest periods and invest in quality bedding arrangements. A portable fan and heater can come in handy if your truck breaks down and you need to sleep while waiting for repairs.
Eat healthily and get exercise
Living an unhealthy lifestyle can have a serious negative impact on both your professional and personal lives. Instead of eating out on the road, plan healthy meals and stop at groceries stores whenever possible. Most stores have pre-cut fruits and vegetables for easy snacking. Invest in a portable grill so you can grill meat, one of the healthiest ways of cooking it.
It’s also crucial to get exercise whenever possible. Collapsible bicycles, running shoes, rollerblades, weights, pedometers and smartphone apps are all good ways to facilitate exercise.
Establish and maintain boundaries
You cannot have good work-life balance if you don’t put boundaries in place, keeping work and life separate. It will be challenging at first, but you have to stick with it so you create a healthy routine and establish some predictability. There is always a bit of maintenance to do in the truck or another job to accept, but you have to respect your own boundaries. If you don’t set limits, you can’t expect other people to respect them.
It’s also important to shut off your phone whenever possible. For many people, this is the most challenging thing to do. To start, do it in phases. Avoid having your phone during dinner.
As soon as you have done it a handful of times, it is simpler to set additional the boundaries, and you begin to gain peace of mind and perspective.
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