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5 Mental Health Tips for Solo Long-Haul Truck Drivers Spending Long Hours on the Road
Littlewolf1989 – stock.adobe.com

Littlewolf1989 – stock.adobe.com

Being on the road for long periods at a time can get lonely– especially as a solo long-haul truck driver. According to Premack’s article in Business Insider, “ Nearly a third of [all truck] drivers say being alone all day and away from their family is a “significant issue affecting their mental health.”(Premack). In addition to loneliness, spending long hours alone on the road can take a toll on your overall mental health, as well as amplify some existing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. This is why we are sharing 5 mental health tips to help you combat loneliness, boost your mood and make your time on the road a bit easier.

1- Call Loved Ones During Your Breaks

If you work the day shift, it’s a great idea to schedule routine calls with friends & family during your shift breaks. Making calls with the people you care about can help you combat loneliness while on the road and still maintain a presence in their lives. After all, trucking is a career that requires long hours away from home, which sometimes means missing some important events or opportunities to spend time with the people you love. This is why it’s so important to call when you can and make the most of your time off to spend it with them! It’s a win-win situation!

2- Reduce Your Caffeine Intake 

While many of us enjoy a warm cup of coffee to help us get through our workday,  caffeine can also amplify and/or mimic anxiety. This doesn’t help if you suffer from an anxiety disorder and are spending many hours isolated on the road. After all, being alone with your anxious thoughts can be an overwhelming experience and lead to a panic attack for some (See below for ways you can receive support in a time of crisis). 

As per Healthline, “8 ounces of plain black coffee contains 102–200 mg”. The daily limit of caffeine per adult in good health is 400mg, which translates to 4 cups of black coffee or 6 cups of espresso. It’s a good idea to ensure you are drinking under the daily maximum in order to avoid health complications, reduce some of the negative side effects of caffeine consumption and STILL reap the positive benefits of drinking coffee. You can also replace those extra cups of Joe with extra water, a protein shake/smoothie or decaffeinated tea! 

3- Get 8 Hours of Sleep

We all need sleep, yet it’s one of the first things we often skimp on– especially when we are juggling work, a social life, family obligations and more! However, getting a full 8 hours of sleep is CRUCIAL for your mind-body wellness and overall health! Not only will it help your ability to focus on the road and make better decisions, but it’ll also boost your mood! Not to mention, a healthy amount of sleep can help reduce the development of cognitive diseases later in life, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

4- Make Your In-Cab Experience as Comfortable as Possible

As a long-haul truck driver, your truck is your home-away-from-home. So make sure you take the time to make it feel that way! You can do so by keeping photos of your friends & family, pre-loading your phone with your favourite jams & mood-boosting playlists, comfortable bedding and all your favourite snacks! Of course, make sure you are within company regulations! If you’re ever unsure about what you can and cannot have in-cab with you, speak to your management team. They’d be happy to assist you by providing more information!

5- Soak in the Sunshine & Stretch Too!

After driving for a long time, your muscles are more prone to cramping, tenderness and becoming sore. It’s always a great idea to take advantage of your shift breaks to soak in some sunshine and stretch! Whether it’s a 15min walk around the parking lot/truck stop or a couple of equipment-free exercises outside your truck,  they all can do wonders for your physical and mental health! After all, who doesn’t feel a sense of accomplishment after completing a quick workout or enjoying a little outdoor TLC?

We hope these 5 tips helped you! Have a tip you don’t see here? Share them in the comments below! We’d love to hear them!


If you need someone to talk to during a mental health crisis, panic attack and/or difficult time, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Remember you are NOT alone! There are people and trained professionals here to HELP YOU. You can reach out to your transportation coordinator and/or management staff on duty. Alternatively, if you’re within Canada and having suicidal thoughts you can call the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at: 1-833-456-4566 (24/7) or 1 866 APPELLE (1.866.277.3553) if you’re in Quebec.

Works Cited:

Frontingham, Scott. Warwick, Kathy W. “Caffeine and Anxiety: How Does Your Caffeine Habit Affect Anxiety?” Healthline, Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company, May 24 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/caffeine-and-anxiety#caffeine-and-anxiety . Accessed Mar 31 2022.

Littlewolf1989. “Featured: Driver smiling in their truck.”. Photo licensed vis stock.adobe.com. Accessed Mar 31 2022.

Premack, Rachel. “Being away from home for weeks on end can put truckers’ mental health at risk, and there’s no solution in sight.” Business Insider, Insider Inc., Jun 18 2018, https://www.businessinsider.com/truck-driver-trucking-family-2018-6 . Accessed Apr 1 2022.

Smart Trucking. “Ten Practical Tips for Mental Health, Just For Truckers”. Smart Trucking, Smart Trucking, Jun 25 2020, https://www.smart-trucking.com/tips-for-good-mental-health/ . Accessed Mar 31 2022.

Titner, Eric. “Tips for Good Mental Health.” The Job Network, PandoLogic, Unknown, https://www.thejobnetwork.com/how-truckers-can-protect-their-mental-health/ . Accessed Mar 31 2022.
Whitehouse, Jessica. “What Can Trucking Companies Do to Improve Mental Health for Truckers?”. GTG Technology Group, GTG Technology Group, Apr 15 2019, https://gtgtechnologygroup.com/what-can-trucking-companies-do-to-improve-mental-health-for-truckers/ . Accessed Mar 31 2022.

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