It’s time for the holidays again, and with our experience in the industry Carter knows that this time of year can be challenging for truck drivers in a variety of ways—from the stress and anxiety of aligning schedules to the seasonal affective disorder, loneliness, and other negative emotions that some people inevitably feel during this time of year. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your holiday season this year:
Enjoy the busy season and the extra lining of your pockets, but don’t overextend yourself.
The holiday season is different for everyone—some people simply have to be home for the holidays, while others see this as an opportunity to get a little extra cash by running the routes that nobody else wants. Whatever your preference in approaching the holidays, we encourage you to make decisions that are in line with your goals while also remembering not to overextend yourself if you are picking up a few extra routes during this time.
Know your company’s policy, and plan accordingly.
Wish you could hand off a route to your co-worker? From switching shifts to requesting off in advance, every company has different policies that offer potential solutions to the scheduling problems that many truckers face during the holiday season.
Traditionally, freight slows down slightly after the holiday season, so it’s all about compromise.
When determining whether you’ll be home for the holidays or spend that time making some extra cash while others can enjoy time with their family is entirely up to you. Just remember that you can utilize the time right after the holidays to offer some extra attention to either your family or your wallet—whichever suffered this holiday season. Did you put in extra miles over the holidays? Take the opportunity to spend a little extra time with the family after the holidays. Did you spend your holidays at home? Maybe you can pick up some extra miles after the holidays and give some “home time” to those drivers that were on the road for the holidays.
Organize with family members.
Plenty of families move their holiday celebrations to a more convenient calendar day. Maybe your kids are young enough that you could ‘move’ Christmas morning a couple days and they wouldn’t even know. Some churches have services the week leading up to Christmas for people who travel at that time. When possible, ask your family if they would be able to celebrate on a different day and then go all-out for your holiday celebrations, whenever you end up having them. The important part is the time you spend together, not what day you do it!
If you need some help, ask for it!
There are two parts to this, both equally important. First of all, as mentioned before, if you have plans for the holidays and your schedule is looking like those plans of yours are all for not, ask a co-worker to share the load! You never know, they may have the holidays off and would rather be on the road, but you’ll never know for sure unless you ask. Don’t forget to run all coverage changes past your Driver Manager first.
Aside from asking your co-workers to help with the route itself, don’t be afraid to ask friends, family and/or co-workers for a little help on the social/emotional side of things as well. This season can be a very hard time for many of us. If you have negative associations with this time of year (holidays often remind us of people we’ve lost or difficult financial situations), for whatever reason, be intentional about connecting with others. If you’re a verbal processer, talk about things that are important — not only is this good for you, but it will also help in relationship building as well.
Whatever your plan for the holidays, we hope that you get to enjoy them as you see fit and that you stay safe and have fun. You can enjoy the holiday season as a truck driver if you are willing to find solutions and focus on the positives.