33894253 - truck driver preparing his truckA career as a long-haul trucker can be incredibly rewarding. Not only do you get to see the entire country, you’re also tasked with delivering crucial goods to small-town America, communities that rely on you and your colleagues to keep running. As more and more people turn to Amazon Prime and other online retailers to get everything from groceries to reading material, the need for truckers is only going to increase.

With the country facing a trucker shortage, many commercial drivers are being forced to work long hours under grueling conditions. While trucking companies are taking steps to relieve overworked employees, at the end of the day, it’s you who’s responsible for self-care. Here are three simple tips that can help you stay happy, healthy, and safe.

Sleep is your best friend. Sitting behind the wheel of a semi-truck for eights hours a day is exhausting. Long stretches of highway can lull you into a sense of false security, causing you to pay less attention or doze off. If you feel tired at any point, do yourself a favor and pull over. It’s better to take an hour break and get in a nap than it is to fall asleep behind the wheel and cause a serious accident.

Communicate with others. Many truckers are loners by nature, but that doesn’t mean you should stop communicating with others entirely. When you’re alone on long stretches of highway, keep in touch with friends, family members, or colleagues. You don’t want to be distracted from the work at hand, but communicating with your loved ones can boost your mood and help you stay sharp.

Eat healthily and stay hydrated. Driving might not seem very strenuous, but it really is. Fuel your body with foods that provide you with vitamins and nutrients that will keep you alert and feeling good. Drink water throughout the day, and if at all possible, avoid having too much caffeine.

What steps do you take to stay healthy and happy on the road? We’d love to hear from you! Visit our Facebook page and let us know!