This week is Mental Health Week. Mental wellness is an important factor for every one of us nurture and be mindful of – if we don’t take care of our own mental health, it becomes very difficult for us to do our jobs well, care for family, and maintain relationships with friends. For truck drivers, it is very important to maintain mental health, especially in stressful times. We covered this topic last year, with a post on Depression In Truck Drivers; while the world may look very different right now, the causes and tips still ring true. So, this week we have 7 great tips that support mental health, and a new Spotify playlist for all our carriers to enjoy!

Exercise

Moderate exercise is proven to increase your white blood cell count, which is what attacks viruses and boots your immune system. Truck drivers on US roads don’t always have an easy way to keep fit when long-haul trucking. Long-haul truckers often spend 11 hours per day driving on the roads, and after factoring in sleep, it leaves them little time for exercise. Check out our Exercise Tips for Drivers for some simple body weight exercises that can be done anywhere. But remember, don’t overdo it!

Get Outside

There are many studies that promote the positive mental health benefits of being close to nature. Truck drivers see much of the beautiful countryside from inside their cab; we encourage you to try to fit in a break in nature, and maybe combine it with some exercise to get 2 items ticked off!

Connect virtually

Social distancing does not equal social isolation. Now is a great time to not only with coworkers but also with friends and family. One great idea is to make a list of all the people you would like to connect with (some you talk to on a regular basis, and some who you haven’t talked to in a while), and do one person on the list per day. There are so many great applications to help connect people virtually, including FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, and HouseParty!

Limit Your Intake of New and Social Media

The key to mastering this tip is to see what works for you. Many of us consume a lot of technology during the day; drivers are completing electronic logs, making numerous phone calls/texts, and sending multiple emails per day. Limiting your intake of news and social media will not only give you a break from screens, but also reduce the negative impact of distressing news/posts.

Stay Positive

Having a positive outlook does wonders for your mental health. This time will end, and one of the most important things to take from this time, is what you can learn from it. Can you be better to family? Better to coworkers? Have you had time to learn something new? Have you seen more people being kind? These are all great places to look for silver linings.

Practice a daily mantra

Daily mantras can take many forms; they are words or sounds that are repeated to help build concentration and focus, and their intention is to shift your mindset onto bigger and brighter things. A simple mantra is “I can and I will” – it doesn’t have to be complicated, just something that will let you be more connected and calm.

Meditate

Mediation is another practice that can take many forms but always involves breathing and being mindful. Some good ways to get introduced to meditation is to pick a small time period (5 minutes, once a day) to sit quietly without distractions, and breathe deeply. You can also add mantras into your mediation practice, or even thoughts of gratitude. You should find after a few practices of mediation that you sleep better, feel more focused during the day, and have an uplift in your overall mental wellness.

Practice these 7 components of mental wellness and you will be on your way to a positive outlook! To help with mood boosting, and to connect virtually with our drivers on another platform, we have created a UWT Driver Playlist on Spotify. Check it out and let us know what you think!

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