Four Tips to Overcome Truck Driver Burnout

Posted October 20, 2019

Between the responsibilities of the job and the physical demands, truck driving can be a challenging occupation.

After the initial 'honeymoon' stage, the negative aspects of any job start to become apparent. If these negatives aren’t managed, they can quickly sap every last drop of enthusiasm, resulting in full-blown burnout. Signs of burnout include missing work, a decreasing sense of pride in the job, feeling trapped, loss of motivation and using food, drugs or alcohol to cope.

If you are a truck driver and any one of those signs sound familiar, you need to take immediate action. Below are four tips to help you overcome burnout and keep it from coming back.

1. Establish a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Truck drivers are conditioned to think that, if their truck isn't rolling, they aren't making money. However, if you're burned out on the job, your performance is going to suffer, and if your performance drops off a cliff, you’re not going to be making much money.

Rather than pushing yourself until you reach some kind of breaking point, find a sustainable work-life balance. Perhaps you’d be happier only being away from home a day or two at a time. Or maybe you would prefer to work a long block of days so you can have long blocks of time off. Find out what works best for your mind and body.

Making time for vacations and holidays can also help immensely when you're feeling burned out.

2. Find an Interest You Can Engage in While on the Road

Burnout often comes not from physical fatigue, but from mental fatigue. Finding an interest, pursuit or hobby you can engage while on the road can help treat burnout by engaging other parts of your brain. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn French or learn to play guitar. Try to pick an interest you can actively participate in, instead of passive interests like following Major League Baseball or Netflix shows.

3. Keep a Daily Routine

Our bodies like routines and our brains like patterns. Keeping a daily routine will allow you to plan better and establish healthy habits, like getting enough sleep and eating right. Getting on a regular sleep schedule is particularly important. The last thing you want to do is to fall asleep behind the wheel.

4. Exercise

When we exercise, it releases endorphins, the brain chemicals that make us feel happy. Getting regular exercise may not solve any of the systemic factors contributing to burnout but exercising will help put you in the right frame of mind, so you can make smart decisions about your work-life balance, daily routine and potential interests.

Exercising will also help when it comes to keeping off unwanted pounds.

Let Us Connect You to Best-Fit Driving Opportunities

At Ambassador, we specialize in connecting professional truck drivers to opportunities that best suit their personal, professional and financial needs. If you are currently looking for assistance with your driving career, please contact our full-service staffing firm today.