We love trucking for its no-nonsense, independent nature. There’s no fear of presenting in front of a room full of people or pressure to dress a certain way for work – but that’s not to say it’s always a walk in the park. Every job yields its own set of stressors. For example, traffic, bad drivers, and being late for a delivery can all make your job feel more irritating than enjoyable. The bad news? These stressors are never going to go away. The good news? They’re not impossible to overcome! You simply need to know how to handle them. Learning how to reduce stress while driving is one of the best things you can do for your trucking career.
How to Reduce Stress While Driving
1. Know What Makes You Tick.
Part of learning how to reduce stress while driving is learning where your stress comes from. Maybe it’s rush-hour traffic, or perhaps complicated routes always frustrate you. Whatever it is that frustrates you on the job, figure it out as soon as you can. This is one of the first steps to take in stress management. When you know what causes stress while driving, you have more power to deal with it (rather than let it deal with you). This isn’t to say you’ll be able to avoid the situation — maybe you can sometimes, but likely not always. However, knowing what irritates you will let you be more prepared to face and overcome the stressor(s).
2. Take a Break When You Can.
After a tricky route or a moment of road rage, you might feel pretty heated. Take some time to park and step out of the truck so you can cool off. Again, you might not always be able to do this, but keep your eyes open for opportunities where you can. Even a quick five minutes of walking around outside can go a long way in reducing stress.
3. Turn Up the Volume.
What sounds calm you down when you’re stressed? It might be your favorite band or style of music, or maybe it’s a great audiobook. Perhaps it’s just white noise or nature sounds that drown out the honks and tire screeches of the road. Whatever it is, keep it handy in your truck and turn up the volume when a bad bout of traffic hits or an abysmal driver won’t get out of your way. You’ll be able to distract yourself with something you really enjoy.
4. Fidget a Little Bit.
When you’re in the midst of feeling stressed or overwhelmed, little things like squeezing a stress ball or even chewing a piece of gum can reduce stress. Like music, it can help distract you. Keep something to fidget with or a pack of chewing gum with you for these moments.
5. Keep a Good Routine Outside of Work.
What you do outside of work can affect how you feel on the job. Keeping a healthy routine in your personal life — eating right, getting enough sleep, etc. — can bring your stress levels down and prevent those overwhelming feelings before they even happen. You’ll feel happier overall, both at and outside of work.
Trucking might be a relaxed career, but every job has its frustrating moments. Understanding how to deal with them is just part of the job. Whether you’re a brand-new trucker or have been in the game for years, it’s never too late to learn how to reduce stress while driving.
If you’re interested in joining the trucking industry, check out Double “S” Transport, a FedEx Ground contractor based in Springfield, Missouri. We offer team driving, dedicated runs, and extra board runs. All of our runs are drop and hook, and we pay 100% of miles from hub to hub. Our drivers average 50.5 to 52.5 cents per mile (CPM) and can earn as much as $1,650 a week. Plus, we offer tuition reimbursement, health benefits (including dental and vision), vacation days, and 401k plans after 60 days of employment. For more information, call us today at 417-873-9121 or contact us here.