Excessive time away from loved ones and loneliness rank among the leading reasons truck drivers leave an otherwise good-paying career. While these feelings can persist year-round in varying degrees, hauling freight or hunkering down at a truck stop during the holidays often proves difficult. That’s why it may be worthwhile to consider the following proactive measures to navigate holiday emotions and ongoing loneliness.
1: Reflect on Whether You Have Telltale Signs of Loneliness
Truckers tend to possess a rugged spirit and natural ability to handle adversity. While admirable in many ways, this mindset can prevent men and women from gaining a sound understanding of their emotions. Consider taking some time and ask yourself whether you present with any of the following symptoms.
- Loss of Appetite and Unexpected Weigh Change
- Loss of Desire for Intimacy
- Lack of Energy or Motivation
- Inability to Get A Good Night’s Sleep
People who are stuffing down their sense of loneliness may feel irritable, lose interest in things they usually find pleasurable, and encounter friction with friends and family members. It’s essential to be honest with yourself about what’s going on below the surface.
2: Reach Out to a Trusted Friend or Loved One
Being honest with yourself represents the first step on the path to managing these emotions. By its very nature, loneliness is the very absence of consistent companionship. That’s why reaching out to someone in your orbit can make a significant difference. Consider prefacing the conversation with a text or email that indicates you need to have a heartfelt talk about personal inner struggles. An open and candid talk can deliver a sense of initial relief.
3: Establish Regular Communication with Others
Truckers who miss spouses, children, family, and others, have an opportunity to connect from the road. Depending on the personal relationship, it might be appropriate to schedule a conversation once or twice weekly. By using apps such as FaceTime, Google Meets, and others, you can both enjoy an almost in-person experience complete with nuanced facial expressions. Phone calls and text messages are good communication tools. But looking at someone’s face while you laugh and joke usually proves meaningful.
4: Connect with People While on the Road
Not everyone has people living in a hometown to connect with during off-duty days. But that is not necessarily an issue for truckers who travel familiar or regular routes. By scheduling some downtown in select communities, trucker drivers can build relationships. Consider participating in pick-up sports and leisure activities such as open bowling nights.
Another way to meet people that few consider involves volunteering. Non-profits are usually open arms to people giving their time and participants generally find interacting with others for a good cause rewarding.
If you or someone you know is experiencing heightened signs of loneliness or depression, it’s vital to speak with a medical professional.