All truck drivers, whether newbie or veteran, know that it’s not easy being alone on the open road. Having to go long periods of time away from home and family can cause even the most seasoned trucker to feel homesick from time to time. Unfortunately, it’s just the nature of the trucking lifestyle. However, there are all kinds of strategies for fighting homesickness on the road. Keep reading to find out how to battle these feelings of loneliness so you can maximize and enjoy your trucking career!
7 Tips for Fighting Homesickness on the Road
1. Don’t ignore your feelings
It may sound obvious, but ignoring or trying to fight feelings of homesickness is definitely not a good idea. In reality, downplaying your feelings or shoving them under the rug will only make them worse in the long run. It’s important to realize that feeling homesick is natural, and it doesn’t make you any less of a truck driver.
2. Bring home on the road
Since you’ll be spending the majority of your time in your cab, it’s a good idea to make it feel as homey as possible. Tape up pictures of your family in your truck or bring a cozy blanket from home to use when you sleep. That way, you’ll have a little piece of home with you wherever you go. You can even have your family members write you letters to open while you’re away on the road.
3. Mingle with other truck drivers
While you may be inclined to relax by yourself in your cab during downtime, you should try to talk with other truckers! You’re all in the same boat, so why not chat about it? Making friends at truck stops is a great way to cope with feelings of loneliness on the road.
4. Communicate with your family regularly
With today’s technologies like Skype and FaceTime, it’s not hard to see your family (virtually) on a daily basis. Even a quick phone call has the power to turn your feelings of homesickness around. Set aside a period of time a few times a week to call or video chat with your loved ones. Keep in mind that, while it may feel natural to talk about work, you should try to limit talking about your job when you’re chatting with family. Ask them to tell you stories from home, or even to just tell you about their day!
5. Make the most of your time at home
It’s important to make your time at home as enjoyable as possible. Try not to sit in front of the T.V. or computer all day – hang out with your family! Having time to relax is important, but so is making memories with your loved ones. Plan a fun activity or day trip for when you get home. Not only will it create memories, but it’ll give you something to look forward to.
6. Take care of yourself
It’s much easier to feel down in the dumps if you’re not feeling well physically. So, it’s important to be kind to your body and try your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle on the road. Eat balanced meals, drink plenty of water, and get a good amount of sleep. Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to exercise when possible! Something as simple as taking a short walk at a truck stop can improve your mood exponentially.
7. Keep yourself occupied
Sometimes, fighting homesickness can be as simple as finding a hobby or something to take your mind off things. Whether it’s a good book, an interesting podcast, or a new T.V. show, a pastime is a great way to keep yourself busy when you’re not on the road.
Truckers, do you have any other tips for fighting homesickness on the road? Share them with us in the comments below!