The holiday season tends to be busy for people working in many different industries, including the trucking industry. As a professional truck driver, you know that the last month of the year brings a surge of loads that need to be delivered, road traffic, and unpredictable weather. December can undoubtedly be an anxious and busy time, but using these four tips will help make your holiday season more enjoyable and less stressful.
Have a Jolly Attitude
The last six weeks of the year bring about a huge increase in the number of drivers on the road. In 2017, 97.4 million Americans hit the road for December holiday travel and that number is expected to increase for 2018. With the increase of drivers, it is easy to get frustrated behind the wheel, but it is important to remain calm, cool, and collected. Aggressive, impatient driving can put you more at risk of being involved in an accident or safety violation. If you notice yourself feeling frustrated by traffic or others driving on the road, take a few deep breaths and try listening to your favorite song. This holiday season, try channeling your inner Saint Nick and have a jolly attitude, even while on the roads.
Holiday traffic and weather are just two examples of delays you might experience this holiday season. To manage this busy time, one of the best things you can do is to be prepared before you begin your next trip. Before you begin your route, make sure you know the weather forecast in all the areas you will pass through, familiarize yourself with your route and where traffic delays could occur, and call your shipper ahead of time to clarify any directions. Most importantly, when possible, give yourself extra time for when the inevitable delays occur.
Check in at Home
In the age of technology, keeping in contact with your loved ones is as easy as ever. This holiday season, frequently check in with your friends and family to feel closer to home, even if you are hundreds of miles away. When you have downtime at a truck stop, customer location, or terminal, take an extra few minutes to reach out to those you care about. Increasing your communication with your loved ones will better your mood and help alleviate any stress or sadness you may feel during the busy season. Remember to practice safe driving techniques and to never use hand-held devices while driving.
Try to Help Others
During the holiday season, many people choose to extend an extra hand to those in need by donating time, money, or goods. This time of year can be stressful for those who go without or who are spending time on the road away from their loved ones. Looking for small ways you can help others will not only benefit them, but it will also help improve your mood and attitude during the busy holiday season. Simple things like buying someone’s coffee, leaving a thank you note, or giving a stranger a compliment will go a long way. When you are feeling down or stressed, try helping someone around you and you will be surprised at how it will change your day. Just like the Grinch, your heart might even grow two sizes by helping others and spreading the holiday spirit.
It is undeniable that the holiday season can busy and demanding, but by having a good attitude behind the wheel, being prepared for seasonal delays, keeping in contact with your loved ones, and looking for opportunities to help those around you, this holiday season can be of good cheer!