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10 Ways Drivers Can Look After Their Mental Health On The Road

1 in 6 people are affected by mental health issues every week, but many of them don’t get the help that they need because of the social stigma surrounding the issue.

In the transport industry, driver safety is often at the forefront of sector issues – but it should go beyond just physical safety. A driver’s well-being is equally important to ensure a positive and healthy mental state. After all, driving can be a lonely profession, especially for those trunking for long periods of time.

Long-haul work can see drivers spending long hours on the road – so it’s time that the transport industry stepped up and started focusing on the mental health and wellness of all drivers on the road and beat that social stigma to encourage those who need it to seek out the help that they need!

Here at Drivers Direct, we care about the metal wellbeing of our employees as well as everyone else in the logistics business, so here are our top 10 ways drivers can look after their mental health on the road…

Take regular rest breaks

‘Stop, revive, survive’ isn’t just a catchy phrase – taking a break while driving is essential! Make sure to follow your required rest breaks and stop when you need to. Pulling up where possible, stretching your legs and getting some fresh air can go a long way to boosting your mood.

Stick to a routine

Even something as simple as eating breakfast each morning before you leave can give your working day some much needed structure and familiarity. Romanticise your routine, take the time to make yourself a brew, get something in your stomach, wash your face stretch your legs and plan your day.

Reach out to loved ones

Driving on remote or rural roads can be long, tough, and lonely. Take the time to rest and reach out to your loved ones, whether that be a family or a friend. A familiar voice can boost your mood and help you feel more connected.

Make a playlist

Singing while on the road isn’t just for fun – it can also keep you awake, alert and stress-free. Compile a playlist of your favourites tunes and sing along to relieve your stress. We even have a playlist for those who haven’t got time to create their own!

Eat well

Having fast food everyday just isn’t healthy as we all know. But what you may now know is that a good diet is not only great for your physical health but also your mental health. Pack what you can from home and choose the healthier option when picking up food for the road – you’ll thank yourself later.

Stay hydrated

Drinking water is essential to keeping up your health and mood. When you’re taking on a long-haul drive, you’ll need a lot of water to keep you going. Make sure you’re loaded up before you set out and remember to sip often to keep up your levels.

Know when to stop

Track your work and rest hours in great detail. Restrictions on this are there for a reason. Any work done outside of this is at high risk of causing fatigue and other health issues. Keeping track of your work hours is important, as is limiting your personal driving time to ensure you’re well rested and focused for your next shift. Getting tired on the road is not only dangerous for you but for everyone on the road with you. Don’t burnout. Know when to take time away from it all so your mental health can stay above water.

Talk to someone

Suffering in silence is dangerous. Talking to your partner, friend, co-worker, or manager can relieve your burden and help you manage any issues you have. Honesty is the best policy, and it might just save your life.

Track your mental health

Even if it’s as simple as noting down how you feel on a scale of 1-10, it can be beneficial to track your mood and determine what and when changes occur. It can also be a therapeutic practice for some, the ability to write their thoughts and feelings down to get things of their chest is often very beneficial for relieving any pent-up stress.

And last but NOT least, breathe!

If the stress of a job is getting to be too much, always remember to take some long, deep breaths. Spend a few minutes doing this, and you’ll get yourself back on track and in control of your mind.

At the end of the day, stress is unavoidable but employing just a few of these tips will reduce your stress and help you manage any negative emotions or experiences.

If you are struggling or need someone to talk to there are many ways to reach out and get help:

Samaritans – Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline). Website: www.samaritans.org

CALM – CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35. Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight). Website: www.thecalmzone.net

Looking for more tips for being on the road? Check out some of our previous blogs.

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IWD 2022

Celebrating the Women of Drivers Direct for International Women’s Day

Even though logistics is a male dominated profession, it’s important that we don’t neglect to show support for the valuable contribution the women in logistics make to keep the wheels turning! From HGV drivers to recruitment specialists and transport clerks, the transport industry can only succeed due to the efforts of hard-working individuals who play their part – regardless of their gender.

And we can’t think of a more perfect time to celebrate the contributions of women at Drivers Direct than on International Women’s Day 2022. Below, you can read our interviews with two amazing women who work for us, both supporting us in different ways – but both equally valuable members of our wonderful team!

Roxie, Recruitment Consultant

  • What is your job title?

Hi, my name is Roxie, and I am a recruitment consultant at Drivers Direct.

  • How long have you been working in the transport industry?

I have been working in this industry for five years now.

  • How did you come to work in logistics?

I followed a friend who I worked with in the NHS. She first made the move to the transport sector and had nothing but good things to say about it. I have always been interested in the transport industry, so I thought why not take the plunge!

  • What’s your favourite thing about your role and Drivers Direct?

My team, my drivers, and my clients. Drivers Direct gave me the room to grow and evolve into my role here and remain completely myself at the same time. It has also given me the knowledge and confidence to pursue my goal of becoming an HGV driver. This has been a dream of mine since I was little and now that my children are older, I’m halfway along that journey! The friends I have made through this role give me confidence to know that I am making the right decision with some amazing support behind me.

  • What would you say to young women wanting to join the sector?

It may be a daunting proposition, but what can’t women do? Young or old, this is an exciting, fast-paced, rewarding, funny, scary in a good way, forever changing industry – it’s made for women! I am an incredibly shy and anxious person and I have still enjoyed my five years in the logistics and look forward to many MANY more! Drivers Direct in particular have been a great route into the sector and have been really supportive with my decision to move into driving.

Drivers Direct aside (love you guys!) – transport, haulage, logistics, warehousing and even recruiting – I would say go for it girls! Get a peek behind the scenes of what makes this country tick and see how we #keepbritainmoving. Ladies – we can do this in our sleep!

Emily Ogden, Transport Coordinator

  • What is your job title?

Hi, I’m Emily and I’m the transport coordinator at Drivers Direct Tamworth.

  • How long have you been working in the transport industry?

This year marks 7 years in the industry for me.

  • How did you come to work in logistics?

I started as a recruitment consultant in a different sector, however, after around 1 year of working for them, an opportunity arose to work within the logistics sector of the company, and I took it.  

  • What’s your favourite thing about your role and Drivers Direct?

Getting to know the drivers on a professional and personal basis has always been a highlight and will continue to be! This has created such a positive and respectful environment to work alongside each other in and I couldn’t wish for anything better. I also thoroughly enjoy building and maintaining great relationships with our clients. It seems I’m rather a people person!

  • What would you say to young women wanting to join the sector?

Over the past 5 years or so I have noticed an upwards trend in the amount of women in the transport industry at all levels. I believe this has created and will continue to create a great platform for not just young women but ALL women entering the transport industry.

To find out more about Drivers Direct and what we do, you can follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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