Whether you’re just starting out in your trucking career or you’re an old hand by now, you’ll know that it can get lonely sometimes out on the open road. There’s always the radio to listen to and the promise of friendly faces at the next truck stop, but how do you fill your downtime? There could be a long wait between jobs, bad weather that forces you off the road for a while, or simply some time to kill in the late evening, but this ‘empty time’ can take on a whole new significance when trucking is your trade.
If this sounds familiar to you, then you’re in the right place. Read on for the very best suggestions on how to keep occupied when you’re on the road.
Stay In Touch
After a long day’s driving, chatting with friends or family back home is probably the last thing on your mind. It can seem like a lot of effort when you’re tired, hungry and perhaps a little grumpy after a hard day’s work. However, it’s important to carve out time to stay connected with those you hold dear.
It doesn’t have to be every night, but once or twice a week make sure that you organise a phone call or, even better, a video call so that you can see your favourite faces and catch up on each other’s news. Platforms like Zoom and Skype have been developed with this exact purpose in mind, but messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp also have video call capabilities. Once you’re fed, watered and comfortable in your cab or motel room, call up your best mate or partner for a chat and you’re guaranteed to feel much better afterwards.
Harness Your Brain Power
When you’re driving a truck, your brain is engaged all day with the trials and tribulations of being on the road. Being a safe driver means that you can never switch off whilst behind the wheel, so once you’re parked up for the day, it’s a good idea to give your brain a proverbial shake out. It’s the equivalent of standing up and stretching out, but for your mind instead of your body. This should help to keep you sharp and focused, as well as feeling good.
All you need for this is a smartphone or tablet, and you can access a whole world of different activities. Duolingo is a great resource for learning a new language, PokerStars Casino offers a wide range of table games to play and Future Learn is a free resource for online courses in every topic imaginable. By working one of these into your daily routine, you’ll make sure your brain remains in tip top condition.
Flex Those Muscles
Following on from that, it’s important to keep your body in good shape too. Trucking is, obviously, a sedentary occupation which can have a negative impact on your spine, muscles and bodily health in general. This is without even mentioning the poor diet that often goes hand in hand with this type of work.
Whilst you may not have as much control over the dietary options you encounter on the road, you can certainly do something to keep your body feeling good. There are countless workouts available on YouTube and similar platforms that cater for every fitness level, body type and interest. You could do yoga aimed specifically at truckers, attempt a HIIT workout or even try your hand at kickboxing. Whatever tickles your fancy, just make sure that it gets your heartrate up and your body moving – regular exercise helps to combat heart disease, lowers the risk of stroke, fights cancer and helps with type 2 diabetes, so it’s in your own best interests to get started.
Of course, on some days all you’ll feel like doing is relaxing. And that’s fine! We all need to take some time off for ourselves, doing whatever we enjoy and recharging our batteries. This is a great time to catch up on favourite TV shows through Yidio or hire a movie through Amazon Prime; it can also be the perfect opportunity to read that novel you’ve always wanted to finish or listen to an engaging podcast. All you need these days is a smart device and an internet connection, and the world is your oyster.
If you find yourself feeling stressed out a little too often, you could look into using one of the many meditation apps on offer. Headspace is a well-reviewed one that offers a basic level for free, so you can gauge how you feel about the app before your commit to a subscription. In a profession where you spend so much time alone, it is essential to make peace with your thoughts and practice maintaining good mental health.