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Addressing Driver Mental Health in the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic World

Mental health can be an uncomfortable subject to discuss, but with the onset of the pandemic causing an uptake in adults suffering from anxiety, depression, and the like, it is important to understand and address this topic; and while restrictions are beginning to lift in some parts of Canada and the United States, taking care of your mental health will still be important post-pandemic.

Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, impacting our daily lives in what we think and do. Having good mental health helps you cope with the stresses and anxieties which may come with life’s challenges. Certain factors (such as the pandemic) can have a positive or negative impact on mental health.
 
The risk factors for professional drivers are unique, as every job will have its own risk factors. But it is important to remember there are also many benefits that come with being an owner operator. At PowerLease, we want to see you thrive in your work, and having good mental health is a crucial part of this. Taking care to manage your health will help set you on a path to success.
 
Here are some tips to improve your wellbeing while on the road:
 

1. Stay connected

 
Modern technology has made it much easier for us to keep up with family and friends wherever we are, and it is becoming much more common and normal to talk to people virtually. Build and keep a strong support network that you can reach out to after a long day. Perhaps even schedule a particular time each day or week to talk to a friend or family member. Do not underestimate the benefits of even a ten-minute video chat each day. If you are unable to access video chat, a quick phone call will work too. All of this can help you feel less lonely and help to pass the time. It is also easy to stay connected with PowerLease on the road too; feel free to drop us an email any time questions arise.
 

2. Stick to a routine

 
Keeping a basic routine is said to have several mental health benefits. The more organized a schedule we have, the less stressful a busy day will feel, as we have a routine to cling to. Especially when times are uncertain and unpredictable, having a routine to help anchor you is a good idea. With PowerLease helping you to find contacts with top carriers, that is one item you can take off your schedule.
 

3. Find ways to pass time

 
Listening to music, audiobooks and podcasts can help you pass the time while you drive and also helps to keep your mind active. It can fill the drive with something other than silence and help you feel less lonely. Many phones have a podcast and music app, or else you can download an app like Spotify and browse their collection. There are even several truck-related podcasts available for listening.
 

4. Take care of physical health

 
When our physical health suffers, as does our mental health. It is important to try to eat well, sleep well and move your body a bit each day. The better you eat, the better you feel. Getting enough sleep helps keep your mind awake and clear and has several other mood benefits. Exercising just a little bit each day has also been proven to benefit mental health. Even if it is just a quick fifteen-minute walk daily, or a few minutes of stretching, this can all have a positive impact on your mood and health. If you make a bit of time for exercise as part of your daily routine, you will be less likely to forget in times of high stress.
 

5. Reach out if you need help

 
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we all need a bit of help. If you are struggling with anything business related, feel free to reach out to PowerLease. Do not hesitate to reach out and get help from a mental health professional (many offer online appointment sessions, so you do not have to take time off work) if you need it, or even talk with close friends or family about your problems. It is important to recognize you are not alone and that there are people listening.
 
We hope you found some useful tips in managing your mental health in this article.  If you are seeking additional mental health support, call Wellness Together Canada at 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 to talk to a mental health professional.

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