A truck driver’s life sounds like a country song: open roads, working hard, deadlines to meet, lone soul getting it done. The reality is that while trucking is a great career, it often comes with long days away from home.
Even the most seasoned truck driver will feel pangs of homesickness from time to time. How do you cope with missing home when your job is, by definition, away from home?
Homesickness for truck drivers can present itself in many forms, such as being irritable, anxious, tense, or just constantly thinking about home. It has been known that some truck drivers drink alcohol to forget this homesickness and some get caught and prosecuted with a DUI because of it. If you feel you have wrongly been issued with a DUI visit the Campbell Law Firm or someone similar for advice. Whereas these feelings may just be an annoyance to other professionals, they can present a serious risk to a truck driver’s quality of work. Any type of distraction can impact the overall experience very easily and significantly in a job that requires vigilance, long hours, and technical precision. Consequently, attending to your wandering mind is in your best interest as well as those around you. Don’t become a distracted driver!
Trucking should be a career you enjoy, so hopefully our 10 tips will help you deal with homesickness on the road.
10 TIPS FOR TRUCK DRIVERS WHO ARE HOMESICK
1. TAKE YOUR FEELINGS SERIOUSLY
Downplaying your homesickness is just as ineffective as ignoring it all together. Without proper attention, these feelings could linger around for days instead of hours. It may feel silly to acknowledge that you’re homesick when you’re trying to focus on work, but remember that many truckers have to cope with homesickness.
Humans are naturally drawn to routine and breaking from that can be stressful. Truck driving, by nature, is breaking from routine and overcoming that is impressive, whether you’re a newbie or a veteran.
2. SKYPE AND CALL DAILY
Call your family or friends daily and ask them how their day is going. When possible, hit the free Wi-Fi spots on the road, so you’re not only talking but also seeing each other. Try to make these daily calls a family thing, for instance by reading stories to your children over Skype. If you each have the same books, you can even read together. Nothing beats homesickness for truck drivers than a little bit of quality time with your family.
3. SEND PICTURES TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS
If you or your family can’t schedule a time to call, keep in touch by sending each other pictures throughout the day. It will make you feel like you’re right there even when you’re miles apart.
4. SEND POSTCARDS TO YOUR KIDS FROM DIFFERENT STATES
Children hardly ever get mail with their name on it. Fighting homesickness becomes easier by imagining their faces light up when they get a postcard from their mom or dad from a totally different state! Moreover, this is a great learning tool to teach your children all the states and capitals.
5. CARRY PICTURES OF YOUR FAMILY IN THE TRUCK
Not only can you show off to other truck drivers with photos of your beautiful family, but looking at these pictures from time to time while driving will also put you in a better mood. It’s a good reminder of who you’re doing this work for and that every mile driven is one closer to them.
6. MAKE YOUR CAB FEEL LIKE HOME
Because you’re spending a lot of time in the cab of your truck, try to make it as cozy as possible. A nice mattress and bedding already goes a long way. Fight homesickness by bringing your favorite pillow or blanket that smells like home or your spouse. Additionally, these items will give you a good night’s sleep, which will make you feel a lot better the next day.
You can also make your cab more fun by hanging up some curtains and placing a few posters of your favorite movies or sports team. You can also bring a coffee pot or crockpot to brew coffee or cook meals.
7. BE KIND TO YOUR BODY
Feeling great physically can help fend off even the worst pangs of homesickness, whereas feeling sluggish or sick can magnify them exponentially. Drink water, eat balanced meals, snack when you’re feeling lightheaded, and sleep as much as possible. Don’t skip meals, but try to avoid the cheeseburger and fries at fast food restaurants.
Furthermore, physical activity releases endorphins, which helps improve your mood and release negative emotions. It may be challenging to find time to work out on the road, so stop at rest areas when possible and stretch your legs by walking for 15 minutes or so. Stay healthy for your wellbeing and to help overcome your homesickness!
8. GET A HOBBY
Take your mind off missing home by listening to a fun podcast or watching the newest movies and shows on Netflix. You can even channel the secret bookworm hiding inside of you by picking up a book.
9. BRING SOMEONE ALONG
Homesickness for truck drivers is made worse by the long hours spent alone. Thankfully, some trucking companies allow for drivers to bring their significant others, close friend or even pet. A little one on one quality time with a person you care about works wonders for your relationship and homesickness.
10. TALK TO OTHER TRUCK DRIVERS AT STOPS
You’re all in the same boat, so why not talk to the other truckers at the stops or even reach out over the CB for a quick chat with fellow drivers. A work family can be almost as great as your family waiting at home.
The independence and open road are major rewards that come with the trucking profession. There is good reason for why truckers are so proud of what they do. It may be impossible to never feel homesick, but hopefully these tips can make it a little easier.