FreightWeb is dedicated to optimizing all areas of transportation, including health. We are continuing our on the road health series, with this blog focusing on mental health. Long days on the road can take a mental toll on anyone, so stay ahead of the curve by practicing the following tips and tricks.
A clinic in Buffalo, New York conducted a study that found that those with insufficient levels of social interaction were more likely to suffer from mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression. Social connection provides a sense of purpose, support, identity and belonging. There are ways to build human connection even from isolated settings; for example, hopping on a phone call (using the speaker or Bluetooth for ultimate safety) with a loved one, friend or coworker will stimulate the mind.
Considering your brain tissue is made up of 75 percent water, hydration is key for mental and emotional health. A hydrated mind increases energy production in the brain, allowing us to be more alert and clear. On the flipside, lack of hydration may evoke feelings of anxiety, depression and lethargy. The recommended intake is half a gallon a day, however, if you are sipping on caffeine or consuming high levels of sodium, you may want to increase that intake.
Music has a lot of power to change your mood in a positive or negative manner. Turning on certain types of music has been proven to not only alter your mental state, but your cognitive functioning as well. Turning on music while performing a mental task may increase your overall performance. In addition, music has the ability to improve overall mental health, depending on the type of music you listen to. Researchers found that classical and meditation music offered the best mood-boosting benefits within two weeks, while techno and heavy mental were ineffective or even detrimental.
Move Your Body
While long days in freight may cause mental exhaustion, it is important to create time to move your body as well. For 20 minutes let yourself move your body. It can be as simple as stretching or going for a brisk walk around a rest stop; doing this releases feel-good hormones such as endorphins.
The way you breathe impacts your mental health. Breathwork boosts the oxygen in the blood and sends messages to your brain to ease any mental tension.
Belly Breathing: Breathe slowly through your nose into your belly; hold for a second; then exhale the breath slowly through your mouth; repeat this three times.
4 - 7 - 8 Breath: Breathe in, through your nose, into your belly for the count of four; hold for the count of 7; and release, slowly, out of your mouth for the count of 8; repeat 3 times.
Carriers and owner-operators, we encourage you to continue to optimize your personal and professional life with FreightWeb. Please feel free to check out our innovative pallet-racks that maximize the full capacity of your truck or sign up for our Carrier Hub to streamline your business.