Any person who has spent an extended amount of time on the road knows how exhausting it can be to drive long distances, and truckers know this better than anyone. Many jobs come with a risk of burnout, and trucking is no exception. No matter how much you initially love the job, burnout can sneak up on you at any time. So, what is burnout?
Symptoms of Burnout
Knowing the symptoms of burnout and noting any changes in your behavior can help you identify it more quickly and find ways to curb it before it becomes a serious issue.
One of the most prominent symptoms of burnout is constant fatigue. If you’re always feeling tired and drained, day in and day out, this is a sign you are likely beginning to experience burnout.
If you are experiencing muscle stiffness, headaches, and aching joints, it could be a sign of burnout. Your physical and mental are more intertwined than many people realize, so it’s important to keep both healthy. If you’re suffering from mental stress, it can manifest in physical ways.
Not wanting to engage with family, friends, or even your job are all symptoms of burnout. Withdrawal generally presents as severe procrastination, and reluctance when it comes to your job and responsibilities, which can become full avoidance if you don’t try to manage it. It can also manifest as an inability to enjoy time with your loved ones such as your partner, children, family, or friends.
Self-Care is Important
Taking care of yourself is not selfish, and it does not make you weak if you need time to decompress. Truckers are only human, and everyone needs the freedom to relax every so often and engage in the things that they find joy in.
Take your vacation time! Money is important, but so is your health. Don’t run yourself down to the point where you couldn’t even enjoy a vacation if you took one. Make a plan, and take some time off. If you don’t want to travel, try something local like an escape room or take your kids to an aquarium or zoo. You can also fire up your grill and have family and friends over for a barbecue and some socialization. Play a game of cornhole or throw a ball for the family dogs. It doesn’t have to be an expensive island resort vacation, it just needs to be fun!
Making sure you get enough sleep is imperative to stave off burnout. Your body and mind need to be well-rested to endure those long drives. Using your electronic log to help with this so it’s a good idea to give it a try even if you’re hesitant. New technology can be intimidating and annoying, but it could be a great new tool to help you manage your time better and get the rest you need.
Trucking isn’t known for being diet-friendly. You often get stuck eating whatever you can grab at truck stops and fast food joints. Look for healthier options at least a few times a week to hopefully turn it into a habit and get your tastebuds adjusted to healthier food. Before long it’ll be normal for you to seek out better choices for yourself, which will help you feel more energized and ready to take on a drive.
If you are experiencing severe burnout, it could cause depression and a feeling of helplessness or worthlessness. Small changes might not be enough, and there’s no shame in seeking help if you’re struggling. Shop around for a good therapist that can give you more tools to help you on your journey so you can heal from your burnout faster and get back to a life where your job doesn’t feel like such a heavy burden.
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