5 Ideas For Staying Social On The Road
Trucking can be a lonely career. With many long hours in your truck by yourself, it can be tough to stay connected to your loved ones or to any type of social community. Isolation and depression can sneak in and wreck your mindset.
Luckily, there are many creative ways you can stay social while driving these days. From the classic CB radio option to new technology keeping the world at your fingertips, here are some tips for how to keep loneliness at bay while on the road.
Social media beyond your friend list.
With billions of people on Facebook and other social media platforms, it’s no longer difficult to stay up to date on what your friends and family are up to while you’re on the road. But social media is also a great place to connect with fellow truckers and make connections with your peers.
The tension of competition and the shifting schedules of truck drivers can make it seem tough to connect, but online forums like Facebook groups or Reddit communities can make friendships grow over shared struggles, crazy stories or jokes only other people in your line of work would understand.
2. Go deeper than small talk.
Whether you’re keeping in touch with your romantic partner, your kids, your parents or your friends, being on the road can be tough on any relationships you have. Avoid letting your calls home go stale by brushing up on your active listening skills and switching up your questions from just “How was your day today?”
Even a simple switch to questions like “How are you feeling?” or “What are you looking forward to next?” can spark a more meaningful conversation and leave both you and your loved ones with a deeper sense of satisfaction and understanding while you’re away from home.
3. Switch your stop spots.
If you always hang out in your cab or stick to the same safe restaurants, take advantage of a bit of extra time to check out live music or even an activity like bar trivia or a hobby group. This is especially helpful if you drive through the same places on a regular basis–you could make a local friend that will be happy to meet up for a coffee or game of darts when you’re passing through.
4. Listen up.
Music and silence might make up a majority of your driving soundtrack, but adding some variety can make your brain happy and help relieve stress. Specifically, audiobooks and podcasts that are action-packed and character-driven help the brain release oxytocin, a brain chemical that helps you feel empathy and connection with others.
Podcasts are a great, budget-friendly option for long drives. You can listen to everything from true crime stories, to comedians bantering with celebrity guests, to epic sci-fi stories.
Since podcasts continue to gain popularity, there are a great source of conversation starters and easy ways to connect with new friends on the road. You can also encourage your loved ones back home to listen along to a podcast or audiobook with you, so you can share an experience without having to be in the same place.
5. Count on the classics.
While they might seem a little dated compared to podcasts and social media, but old methods of staying in touch have many benefits. Saying a quick “hello” on your CB radio is still a great way to chat with other drivers and sending snail mail to a loved one back home is a great source of warm-and-fuzzy feelings from both writer and recipient.
Even if you don’t use these methods every day, they can be a good way to perk yourself up when you’re feeling blue.
Trucking isn’t easy and the road can definitely be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little extra effort, you can stay social on the road. From making other trucker friends, to having better connections with your loved ones at home, to getting creative at stops along the way, you can have a great life on the road. In fact, you deserve it.