The freedom of being a truck driver means plenty of time on the open road. And even though many truck drivers enjoy being able to see the country and setting their own hours, it can occasionally wear them down. Transportation jobs in Nashville mean there’s a lot of time in your cab on the open road. Being by yourself for prolonged periods of time can lead to drivers growing lonely.
Humans are social creatures. We need and crave human interactions. And even if you enjoy your solitude and thrive on your own, there’s a limit. Many people prefer not to talk about this aspect of the trucker’s lifestyle, but it’s unavoidable. So let’s look into what loneliness on the road means and how we can best address it.
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The Effects of Loneliness
The time spent alone in transportation jobs in Nashville can lead to feelings of loneliness. We often think of loneliness as a psychological problem. It makes us feel bad emotionally, but it doesn’t go beyond that, right? There has been a lot of research that found this assumption to be wrong. Loneliness can have measurable negative effects on our physical health.
The reasons for this are varied. First, lonely people tend to make worse choices when it comes to taking care of themselves. Meals prepared for a group are usually more intentional, while singular meals are more often thrown together quickly. This means the nutritional choices are less considered. A reduced tendency to exercise is also associated with this mindset.
Another way loneliness affects our health is that it makes us more susceptible to stress. We aren’t as well prepared to deal with stress on our own which can lead to higher risks of heart disease.
There has even been research to show loneliness can weaken our immune systems. This has the potential to lead to higher levels of inflammation, which has been linked to arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other health issues.
But of course, there are the emotional tolls loneliness can take as well. Being lonely leads to feelings of depression. This is because your brain releases stress hormones such as cortisol when you are lonely. These hormones lead us to retreat further from social interaction, which creates an unhealthy cycle. This can also have a negative affect on your sleep patterns. Less restorative sleep leads to feeling drained and tired while also contributing to an unhealthy mood.
But now that we’ve learned just how much loneliness can affect us, how do we work to avoid it?
The good news is that just because people working transportation jobs in Nashville spend a prolonged period of time alone, that doesn’t mean we have to be lonely. There are various methods we can use to stave off these negative feelings and save ourselves from suffering the negative physical and mental consequences of loneliness. And even if these feelings of loneliness start to creep in, there are things we can do to push back.
Use Your Phone
Our phones can be our greatest resource when on a long trip. There are plenty of hands-free optional add-ons for our phones. Position the phone in a place where everyone can hear each other and find someone with some time to chat. Even if we can’t be near our friends and family, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy their company. Spend some time each day speaking with someone you know. There are numerous apps like Facetime or Skype where you can video chat with someone when you’re not on the road. This way, you get to speak with someone as well as seeing their face. Even a small amount of time spent this way helps us to feel connected even when no one else is in the cab with us.
Bring a Pet
Do you have a pet that travels well? Bringing along your furry friend can have drastic effects on your loneliness. You’ll have someone to talk to, interact with, and touch. It might seem silly to anyone who doesn’t have a pet, but our pets play a massive role in how we feel. Looking over and seeing your furry friend on the seat next to you can be enough to brighten your mood even on a long day of driving.
Connect with Those Around You
You’re going to be around people every time you stop. And whether this is a gas station attendant, other truckers, or servers at a diner, they are all opportunities for a conversation. These small conversations can make us feel a lot better. And if you drive the same route a few times, you might even be able to remember these people and foster a relationship with them. Pleasant interactions can help us feel less lonely as we start to see ourselves as part of a community.
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