Being an over-the-road (OTR) trucker has many benefits, but does come with its challenges as well. One challenge that drivers may face is managing the emotions that may arise when they are away from their homes and family for weeks at a time. Luckily, there are many ways you can overcome feeling homesick while on the road.
Follow these five tips to help you manage homesickness as a trucker:
1. Make Your Truck Feel Like Home
You will spend a lot of time in the cab of your truck as an OTR trucker, so making it as cozy as possible can help fight homesickness. Bring a pillow or blanket that reminds you of home. Not only will it help you get a good night’s sleep, but it will also make you feel closer to your loved ones. Carrying pictures of your family in your truck is another way to keep feelings of loneliness away. Seeing their faces while you’re driving will help you feel closer to them.
2. Find A New Hobby
Keeping your mind off missing home is another way to manage homesickness as a trucker. To keep yourself busy, you can try taking up a new hobby while you’re on the road. Subscribe to an interesting podcast, binge-watch your favorite tv show, or bring along some books to read. Other great hobbies for truckers are getting into photography, collecting, or learning to play an instrument.
3. Keep In Touch With Loved Ones
Talking to your loved ones as often as possible is crucial during trips that span long periods of time. A lot of drivers find it helpful to set a communication routine. For instance, a driver with young children may video chat every evening before their kids go to bed or in the morning before they leave for school. Having scheduled family chats give you something to look forward to during the day and helps you avoid playing phone tag. You can also ask your spouse or friends to record or live stream important events so you don’t feel like you are missing out.
4. Bring Along Your Furry Friend
Trucking is one of the few careers that allow you to bring your pet along with you while you work. Many truckers have found that driving with their animals in the cab significantly improves their mental well-being. It gives you someone to talk to throughout the day and encourages you to exercise and be social at truck stops.
At DSW, we are a pet-friendly company and are more than happy for your furry friend to join the team with you.
5. Be Kind To Your Body
Feeling good physically can help fend off pangs of homesickness, whereas feeling sluggish can magnify them. Be kind to your body while you are on the road by drinking lots of water, eating balanced meals, and getting good sleep as often as possible. Staying active can also help take your mind off of things. Exercise releases endorphins that put you in a good mood so if you are struggling with homesickness, try lifting weights or taking a long walk around the truck stop.
A Trucking Company That Cares
While occasionally feeling homesick is a part of truck driving, it doesn’t have to control your life. At DSW, we understand the importance of home time and make sure everyone who works with us gets home regularly. We have our drivers’ best interests in mind.