Truck and delivery drivers, did you make any “New Year’s Resolutions” for 2023? At Lee-Smith, we’re resolving to do our part to help you get the job done. This includes providing you with the service and parts you need and the high-quality customer service you deserve. However, there’s another component to this that is just as important. We take it upon ourselves to remind each of you to take care of yourself. For this month’s blog, we’ve put together a list of resolutions to help you focus more on your personal well-being this year.
Before we go any further, we want to talk about “the why” behind our reason for creating this list of resolutions for truck drivers. Our team understands that when you’re busy working to get a delivery to its destination, it can be easy to push your needs to the side. Unfortunately, you may actually be doing more harm than good. The Centers for Disease Control has published a list of the major health concerns that truck drivers often face. The CDC says that compared to people who work in other occupations, truck drivers are twice as likely to smoke and struggle with obesity. Both of these can lead to serious health conditions like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. However, by making the necessary changes now to live a healthier, happier life, you can lower your risk of chronic illness.
Resolve to Stay Active
Make finding time to exercise a priority. Being physically active is very beneficial for your mind and body. CDC experts say that regular exercise helps improve brain health, strengthens your body, assists with weight management, and lowers your risk of disease. The goal is to get 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise weekly. However, this is not always possible on the road. Don’t let this discourage you though. Instead, we encourage you to get creative. For instance, you can take 10-15 minute walks when you stop for breaks. You can also carry small exercise gear like dumbbells, a jump rope, and resistance bands with you in your truck. Finding an accountability partner can also be beneficial. Whether it’s another truck driver or a family member, they can help you stay on track.
Resolve to Eat Healthily
Is eating healthily while on the road easy? Not always. Is it possible? Absolutely! The key is to plan ahead. Pack healthy snacks like almonds, protein bars, whole grain pretzels, crackers with a small amount of peanut butter, and dried fruit. You can also pick up items that are not as easy to travel with and keep fresh at truck stops. These items include fresh fruit, low-fat cheese, tuna, yogurt, and lean lunch meats like turkey and ham. Also, try to avoid eating lots of ultra-processed foods like potato chips, fast food, candy, etc. Don’t forget to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Resolve to Stay Connected
Being away from family and friends is never easy. Thankfully, technology makes it easier to stay in touch with loved ones. Truck driving can be a lonely occupation, but we want to help change that. A 2012 study found that close to 30% of truck drivers surveyed struggled with loneliness. Please make time every day to call your loved ones. Thanks to applications like FaceTime and Zoom, you can talk to family members face to face even when you’re miles apart. Also, don’t be afraid to make friends with other truck drivers you meet along the way. You could make that person’s day just by saying hello and carrying on a conversation with them.
Resolve to Get Enough Rest
Your body needs sleep to function. The CDC says that adults need to get 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. When your body is sleep-deprived, fatigue can become a real issue. We recently put together a list of tips to help truck drivers combat drowsy driving and fatigue. You can check it out here. Also, check the labels on medications like allergy and cold medicines before taking them since drowsiness can be a side effect.
Resolve to Take Care of Your Mental Health
Mental health is an important topic that we don’t talk about enough. The same 2012 study we referenced above also found that 27% of the truck drivers they surveyed struggled with depression. Today, finding someone to talk to if you are feeling depressed is easier than ever. Many providers now offer telehealth services so that you can talk to a counselor from wherever you are in the world. Another way you can cope is by spending some time outside in nature. Studies have found that being out in nature can help you relax and increase your focus so that you’ll feel refreshed when you get back on the road.
One Last Word
It is truly our honor to serve you at Lee-Smith. Truck and delivery drivers, you all are the reason that our world is able to function the way it does. Please remember to take care of yourselves. As always, you’re welcome to relax in our customer lounge any time you stop by. We have recliners and lounge chairs, coffee, a TV, and a washer and dryer that are available for you to use. We can’t wait to see you next time you stop by.