Commercial truck drivers hear the phrase “work-life balance” tossed around all the time, but do you know what that looks like for yourself? It’s not an achievement or something to simply check off of a list, but rather it’s a constant cycle of evaluating your priorities and setting aside time to rest and enjoy the people and things that are most important to you. Not sure where to start? Check out this list of five things professional class A truck drivers should be doing to maintain a good work life balance:
- Focus on your physical wellbeing
Sitting in the driver’s seat for hours at a time can do a number on your body. It is common for truck drivers to complain of back, neck and leg pain, so it’s important to do core strength exercises and stretching to help these major problem areas. Since trucking is a sedentary job, it is also important to incorporate some sort of exercise into your routine and focus on healthy eating. This will help you focus on the job, increase your energy level, reduce stress and protect you from getting sick.
- Take care of your mental health
Your mental health needs to be as much of a priority as your physical health. This job can be stressful and lonely, which are both big factors on your mental state. There are many
different things you can do to protect your mental health, including having a strong support system, establishing a daily routine, bringing photos and other special things from home, and doing things to keep your mind active. Having someone ride with you on the truck can also be beneficial. Many of our truck drivers at Carter take full advantage of our rider policy, which allows them to have passengers who are 12 years of age or older. Most importantly, contact a professional if you need someone to talk to. As part of our commitment to driver wellness, Carter’s drivers can get help from mental health professionals anytime, anywhere through Teladoc.
- Get the rest your body needs
Sleep, obviously, is a big contributor to work-life balance. Sleep deprivation is a major cause of accidents, plus it affects your focus, takes a toll on your body physically and can also contribute to anxiety and depression. When it comes to rest, it’s not just sleep that your body needs. You should also take time regularly to relax and recharge. This could look like reading a book, starting a new hobby or even taking advantage of the paid vacation time you have here at Carter.
- Find ways to keep yourself entertained
It is important to keep your mind stimulated when you’re on the road. This makes you less likely to zone out while driving or just feel like you’re going through the motions from day to day. Download your favorite podcasts or audio book to listen to, crank up the tunes to your favorite satellite radio station, or choose a program that will help you learn a new language. Finding a way to keep yourself entertained will help you stay engaged and enjoy your time as you work.
- Stay connected
Maintaining a strong connection to your loved ones is one of the most important things you can do for work-life balance. Social media and technology make it easier than ever to keep in touch. While you’re on the road, you can call, text and video chat during your down time. Send your friends and family members photos of where you travel to make them feel part of your journey. You can even use your time driving to connect with other truckers or staff at restaurants and gas stations you stop at regularly. Have a plan for your home time so you can maximize the amount of in-person time you have together. At Carter, we know how important home time is to our drivers, which is why our regional drivers and teams get weekly home time and our dedicated drivers are home daily.
If you have more questions about how to maintain a good work life balance as a truck driver, feel free to reach out to the Carter Express Driver Relations team. We’re happy to help!