HGV Drivers And Mental Health
- on Jul 20, 2022
Health Tips for HGV Drivers
HGV drivers are subject to incredible stress – and mental health concerns may impact not only these drivers themselves but also co-workers, family, and friends. The state of mind of the HGV driver also impacts the lives of other road users. New research has revealed that around 40% of HGV drivers have suffered from anxiety or mental distress while performing their duties – and that translates into the 30% who claim to have had a ‘near miss’ while behind the wheel and feeling anxious.
However, in keeping with national statistics, most drivers will never report these feelings. The result is that feelings of anxiety tend to grow until a crisis point is reached – and this can often mean injury to the driver and other road users. It is common for people to criticize the diet and lifestyle of HGV drivers – but those same people ignore the fact that the mental health of drivers is also important. If you are an HGV driver and are suffering from anxiety or stress then consult a doctor as soon as you can.
Ignoring the issue will only make it worse the road to a successful outcome is to first recognise that you may have a problem.
The second step towards resolving the issue is to open up to someone you trust. That could be anyone from a co-worker, to a loved one or even a medical practitioner. The process of revealing what you are feeling can be frightening – but it is essential if your mental health is to provide the foundations for great quality of life. No one should shy away from mental health issues.
It is also advisable to talk to your boss or supervisor. They may have already noticed that you are not yourself – and the stigma of reporting these issues no longer guides the actions of most employees. They are aware of the stresses of the job. For anyone looking to take an HGV theory test see here.
Some coping Mechanisms for the HGV Driver
Sitting behind the wheel almost every day of the week can become habit-forming, with many HGV drivers avoiding physical exercise. However, research has shown that HGV drivers who make time to exercise are more physically and mentally healthy. Set aside some time to exercise before or after your shift.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Relax. Drivers are on the road for large amounts of the day – and doing something that you enjoy, and that brings a smile to your face is important. This is especially important to those who will be spending days and nights away from home.
Your mental health depends on a good night’s sleep. If you wake up tired then it is almost certain that you will begin to view minor challenges as major stumbling blocks.
Your job requires immense concentration – and the day-to-day stress of coping with the open road requires focus and a level head.
Declutter your Space
Most drivers report that they feel more clear-headed and focused when their workspace is clean and tidy. This echoes the results of studies on workers in office spaces. They also feel more productive when their desks are clean and tidy. Clutter can easily become a distraction.
Sharing is Caring
Keeping your feelings to yourselves is not a healthy way to deal with stress and anxiety. Venting any frustrations is essential – but it should be done in a constructive manner. Talk to those around you, they are your first line of support.
Driving is a lonely business, try to communicate with others. This will ensure that negative thoughts do not affect your performance.
Keep up those Healthy Energy Levels
Try to avoid ‘Highway Snacks’. It’s far better for your health (and cheaper) to make your own food from fresh and healthy ingredients. Junk food doesn’t just harm your body – it’s not great for mental health either.
Those sugar-packed snacks may provide a short-term jolt of energy – but that mental down will soon follow. Those high-fat and carb-heavy (we’re looking at you, burger) fast foods drain mental energy as they take precious bodily resources away from your brain to aid in digestion.