Managing work-life balance can be tough, but it is even tougher when you feel like life is 5,000 miles away from work. There are plenty of benefits that come with truck industry jobs. 401k, insurance, great pay and independence are a few of the perks given to truck drivers, but when it comes to helping you maintain a balance between life and work you may find that it isn’t included in the benefits package.
A Healthy Life Is A Wealthy Life
The first area of your life that becomes neglected is your physical health. A life on the go calls for fast-food and on the go snacks. In bulk these things can take a huge toll on your weight and energy. Every trucker is mindful of the fuel that goes into their rig, so why not be as concerned about the fuel that goes into your own bodies. Lack of nutrition in the body can make you feel sluggish, every truckers nightmare when it comes to having a long haul ahead of you.
Tip: To find a healthy balance prepare road snacks with plenty of nutrition to boost your energy and not zap it. Try pre-washed fruits and vegetables, and nuts for a bit of protein. Making your way to the gym isn’t ideal with a life on the road. Luckily there are plenty of methods to boost your heart rate than an elliptical. Free weights and a jump rope are both small enough to be carried on the road with you and make for a great full body workout.
Mental Health Matters
Being stuck in a truck cab alone for hours on end can get lonely and in some cases lead to burnout. It’s important that you keep your mind active and away from daydreaming to protect yourself and others on the road at all times. Some may not choose to believe this, but when you look your best you feel your best. Although, as a trucker you are typically to yourself, for most of the day, but small adjustments to the outward appearance can boost how you view yourself.
Tip: Try listening to music, audiobooks, podcasts or finding a second language to pick up and practice using an app. Keeping your mind focused on something other than those things going wrong is beneficial to mental health. Even the way we dress can put us in an overall better mood. We don’t suggest you wear a three piece suit, but by buying a new lotion with a scent that reminds you of home or wearing a shirt that’s soft and comfy will likely take you from being dreary to happy.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Of course being away from your family is one of the biggest downfalls of the career, but the coming home part isn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows. Veteran truck drivers can attest that it is easy to come home and feel the need to hibernate or over do it when it comes to getting neglected errands done and chores taken care of, but making time for your family when you get the chance is important. You may have video chatted for hours, but nothing compares to being able to tuck your kids in and make sure everyone is at one table for dinner. You miss out on the little moments that make for big memories, so making up for that time, in creative ways, adds to the relationship. Tip: If you have children make them feel connected to you when you’re on the road by telling them where you’re headed and have them do research on fun facts you can discuss when you get home. Do something similar with your significant other, such as purchasing a book you two can read together, being sure to purchase yourself the audio version. These are the people who you’re on the road for, and making them happy involves making real time for them.
Being a trucker is not easy and neither is creating a work-life balance. It requires commitment and if having a work-life balance is important to you, you’ll want to work for it. Following these tips will help you develop your own ideas to maintain good physical, mental and relationship health.