6 Mental Health Awareness Tips for HGV Drivers
- on Jul 20, 2022
It’s no secret that driving can be stressful. But for some people, the stress of driving can lead to more serious mental health concerns. According to a recent study, over 40% of HGV drivers have admitted to feeling anxious or mentally distressed while driving. And of those surveyed, 30% said they had experienced a near miss as a result of their anxiety.
However, people push through their pain, ignoring their symptoms until they reach a crisis point. Drivers often face flak for not paying attention to their mental health. If you feel anxious or overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Too often, people try to ignore their mental health problems in the hope that they will go away on their own. However, this is not the case. Mental health problems will not simply disappear if you ignore them. Opening up to others can be challenging, but it is an important step in your recovery. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed talking about your mental health.
Many people feel uncomfortable talking about their mental health, but it is essential to remember that you are not alone. Talk to your friends and family members about how you are feeling, and consider talking to your doctor or mental health professional. I highly recommend learning about the different types of HGV and increasing your knowledge on this subject
1. Stay active
For HGV drivers, making time to exercise can be difficult. However, it is essential to keep active, since drivers spend their working hours seated in a cramped area. Some small steps that you can take towards exercising are: stretching before and after your shift, taking a brisk walk during your lunch break, and parking in a spot that is farther away from your destination so that you can get some extra walking in.
2. Keep yourself entertained
Though a truck driver’s job may entail long hours on the road, drivers should set aside time for activities that bring them joy. For some, this may mean taking a few minutes to read or listen to music. Others might enjoy spending time talking with family or friends via video call.
A good night’s sleep is essential for everyone, including those who have mental health issues. Since drivers require a high level of concentration for hours, they should sleep peacefully at night to focus on the road properly while driving.
4. Clean the driving space
A clean and tidy workplace is important for many reasons. For drivers, it can help to prevent distractions and ensure that they are able to focus on the road. A cluttered cab can make it difficult to find essential items, and it can also be a source of stress. In addition, a clean cab is a more inviting space, and it can help drivers to feel relaxed after a long day on the road.
5. Don’t hesitate to share your feelings
Many drivers bottle up their emotions, thinking it will make them seem strong. In reality, holding in your feelings can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety. It’s important to be able to express yourself, whether it’s through talking to a friend or writing in a journal. When you keep everything inside, it’s easy for negative thoughts to take over and start affecting your mental health.
6. Eat healthy food
When you’re on the road, it’s easy to give in to the temptation and live on junk food. After all, fast food is easy to find and usually very affordable. However, living on a diet of burgers and fries is not only bad for your physical health, but it can also be disastrous for your mental health. Junk food is often high in sugar and fat, which can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. Instead, try to make your own food and focus on eating fresh fruits and veggies. They are easy to digest and won’t drain your mental energy quickly as fast food.