Skip to Content

Stress Management for Truck Drivers

Are you a commercial truck driver feeling stressed? Do you want to learn more about the signs and causes of stress? Are you ready to learn more about stress management for truck drivers on the job? You’ve come to the right place!

Welcome to the BW Mitchum Trucking blog! We’re bringing you the latest information on topics that matter to commercial truck drivers. In this blog, we will be talking about tips that you can use to manage stress while driving. But first, we’d like to introduce ourselves!

BW Mitchum has been a leader in customized intermodal and domestic transportation while still maintaining the core principles you expect from a third generation family business. We pride ourselves on our reliable and personalized customer service, and provide whatever logistical support customers may need in addition to transportation, including warehousing, trans loading, and brokerage services. We are committed to continuing to provide the highest-quality transport services as we continue to grow.

Before we get started, let’s talk about the common signs of elevated stress.

Signs of Stress

The signs of stress can vary from person to person. However, it is helpful to know the most common signs so that you can identify stress in your own life. 

These are a few of the most common signs of elevated stress:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Panic attacks
  • Low energy
  • Frequent infections and colds
  • Nausea, constipation, and diarrhea
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling overwhelmed

Now that you know the signs to watch out for, let’s talk about what causes stress!

Causes of Stress for Truck Drivers

Each person’s stress has a unique cause. Some drivers may find that their stress is caused by very specific circumstances in their personal lives. Others may feel stressed due to job-related concerns. Whatever it may be, identifying the cause of your stress will help you find the best stress management techniques. Let’s talk about a few of the most common causes of stress for truck drivers.


Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road, and all of that time is spent in isolation. It’s a part of the job, but it can become a source of stress over time. When you spend too much time alone, your stress is bound to increase.

Lack of Sleep

Driving schedules can lead to sleeping habits that are less than ideal. Overnight drivers are especially susceptible to insomnia. Less sleep means more stress across the board. This is an especially important stressor to pay attention to and identify because lack of sleep can quickly become a significant safety issue.

Lack of Acknowledgment

Because so much of the job is spent working independently, many drivers can feel that their hard work goes unnoticed. Feeling unappreciated can lead to increased stress.

Scheduling Worries

If a driver is spending too much time worrying that they may not meet delivery deadlines, the anxiety can take a toll. Similarly, if a driver’s weekly or daily schedule isn’t consistent, it can lead to an increase in stress throughout every aspect of the job.


Driving in traffic can be stressful, even for someone driving 20 minutes to work every day. But for truck drivers, traffic can become a much larger source of stress. Navigating in high-traffic areas can be especially stressful.

Inclement Weather

Driving a large commercial vehicle is stress-inducing on its own, but when the weather gets bad, driving can become very difficult. Many drivers experience added stress when they are driving in inclement weather. 

Are you experiencing any of these stressors? Let’s talk about how you can address them! 

Stress Management Techniques for Truck Drivers

Maintain Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy eating habits make a big difference in overall stress. When you’re eating well, you have more energy. Healthy eating also boosts your immune system. You will feel less stressed when your body has the fuel it needs to keep you healthy and strong!

Get Plenty of Sleep

Lack of sleep can be detrimental to your stress level. Take the time to create a sleep schedule that ensures you are getting enough sleep every night. This is critical stress management tip for truck drivers. Your body will thank you!

Think Positively

Your thought patterns can make a big impact on your mental health! If you often find yourself falling into negative thoughts, try confronting those thoughts and actively responding to them with positive alternatives. 

Spend Time Prepping for Each Trip

The more prepared you are, the less stressed you will be when things don’t go according to plan. If running behind on a delivery is a major stress for you, give yourself as much extra driving time as possible, and plan ahead for what you will do if you get behind schedule.

If feeling like you are underprepared to handle mechanical issues creates stress for you, spend time preparing an emergency plan and putting together the resources you need when you do experience a vehicle issue.

Focus on Breathing

Breathing exercises are a physical exercise that can help you calm your mind and body when you are experiencing high levels of stress. Check out this article to learn a few breathing exercises that you can use!

Stay Hydrated

Do you drink plenty of water throughout the day while you are driving? Hydration is an important part of managing your stress. If you are frequently stressed while driving, try drinking more water. You can also add an electrolyte mix into some of your water to help your body hydrate!

Stay Active

Commercial drivers often have trouble staying active because the job requires so much sitting. And when schedules get especially hectic, it becomes even more difficult to incorporate exercise into your day. Find ways to incorporate movement into your day, even if it is as simple as taking a short walk around a gas station when you stop during your drive. This can also help improve your focus, and prevent you from getting too sleepy while driving.

Connect with Other Drivers

If isolation is your main source of stress while driving, having a strong connection with others in your industry can make a big difference. Connecting with other drivers allow you to have conversations with someone who understands the specific stresses and frustrations of driving commercial vehicles. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask your supervisor or another leader in your industry for their help creating connections with other drivers.

Keep in Touch with Family and Friends while on the Road

In the same vein as connection with other drivers, staying in communication with family and friends is an important part of managing stress. It may be as simple as taking a few minutes during your stops to text or call your spouse or a friend. Just be sure that you are checking in with your loved ones!

Listen to Music

Do you enjoy listening to music? If so, music may be a great way for you to manage your stress! Whether you choose to listen to your favorite genre of music or to soothing classical music, find what works for you. If you’re not big on listening to music, maybe a podcast would be a better fit for you. Want to listen to a trucking-specific podcast? Check out the top podcasts in your industry here!


Taking the time to stretch your muscles will make your whole body feel more relaxed. Make sure that you take a minute or two to stretch every time you get out of your vehicle. 

Cut out Nicotine Products

If you consume nicotine, you likely feel that it helps you relieve stress. However, the research shows that nicotine actually increases your stress levels. If you’re experiencing stress on a regular basis, consider quitting cigarettes and other nicotine products. You can read more about how nicotine affects stress here.

Communicate with Company Leadership

If you’re feeling on-the-job stress, it’s vital that you communicate with your company’s leadership. Express how you’re feeling, the major causes of your stress, and what they can do to better support you and reduce your stress. 

So, How are You Feeling?

We hope that these tips will help you manage your stress while driving. Stay tuned for our next blog discussing how to eat healthy as a commercial truck driver!
If you are currently seeking new opportunities in the commercial trucking industry, we are always interested in adding new talent to our team! Visit our Opportunities page to learn more about our requirements and apply to one of our open positions.


How to Create Healthy Eating Habits As a Truck Driver

Are you a commercial truck driver looking for ways to adopt healthy diet? Keep reading to learn about a few of the tips and strategies that you can use to create healthy eating habits at home and on the road. But first, we’d like to tell you a little bit about who we are!

BW Mitchum has been a leader in customized intermodal and domestic transportation while still maintaining the core principles you expect from a third-generation family business. We pride ourselves on our reliable and personalized customer service and provide whatever logistical support customers may need in addition to transportation, including warehousing, transloading, and brokerage services. We are committed to continuing to provide the highest-quality transport services as we continue to grow.

Now let’s get started!

How can truck drivers create healthy eating habits?

The first step to creating healthy eating habits as a truck driver is to make sure that you have a strategy in place for creating habits that stick. If you immediately give up on healthy eating, you’ll just be right back where you started! 

So let’s talk about a few strategies and tips that you can use to make sure your healthy habits stick around for the long run.

1. Commit to a Time Frame

Although you may have heard people say that it takes 21 days to form a habit, research conducted by University College London suggests that 66 days, or about 2 months, is a more accurate average time frame but it may take even longer for some individuals.

If that length of time feels like too much of a challenge, you’re not alone. Many people find it difficult to stick with a new activity long enough to turn it into a habit. If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of it, try breaking it down into smaller time frames.

Commit to the first week. Then, when the week is over, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you enter the second week. Each week will be a new, small commitment to your larger goal. You can even buy a calendar specifically to mark off the time as it passes!

2. Start Small

You don’t have to begin the perfect healthy life overnight. In fact, you’re more likely to stick to your new habits if you start with smaller goals to create larger habits over time. Want to eat more vegetables? Start by adding an extra serving of veggies to one meal the first week, then two meals the second week. Keep increasing until you reach your goal!

3. Focus on Mindset

Mindset is half the battle when it comes to creating new habits. If you’re thinking negatively, you will ultimately find it harder to continue persevering toward your goals.

If you are getting dragged down by negative thoughts, the best thing that you can do is to push back with positive thoughts. Check out this article for some tips to create positive thought patterns!

Now let’s talk about a few healthy eating tips and food recommendations for commercial drivers like you.

Healthy Eating Tips for Truck Drivers

Want to eat healthy while on the road? Here are some tips to help you get started!

Plan Ahead

You’re always going to have a more difficult time eating healthy when you don’t have a plan in advance. If the extent of your planning is ‘When I get hungry, I’ll stop at the nearest gas station or fast food restaurant,’ you’re bound to eat a much less healthy meal.

During your pre-trip planning, decide where along your route you will stop, and look at what food options are available. Then you can plan to choose a restaurant, or even a supermarket like Publix or Harris Teeter, that has food options that are healthy and delicious. 

Of course, it’s always better to bring home-cooked food on the road. This may not be a convenient option for many drivers, but if you are able to include preparing and packing some meals into your pre-trip planning, it’s a great way to ensure you’re eating healthy foods while on the road!

On Off Days, Cook at Home

Your meals at home are just as important as your meals on the road, and it is often easier to control what is available in your own home. Get intentional about grocery shopping for the days when you will be home.

If you can, spend a day creating a grocery list based on specific recipes, then shop and spend time preparing the ingredients to make cooking each dish simple. It may take time to find some recipes you like that are simple and healthy, but once you have a few, you can rotate them to keep your healthy eating interesting!

Take Snacks Seriously

Not all eating will be full meals. Everyone loves a good snack, and when you are on the road, you’re bound to enjoy some snacks. Stock up on healthy options like granola bars, nuts, dried fruits, and even baby carrots and celery ahead of your trip.

This will ensure that you have those healthy options available when you want a snack! It is also a good idea to identify healthy snacks that are often carried in gas stations and convenience stores, so that when you need to pick up a snack, you know what to look for.

Are you ready to learn about some healthy diet options for truck drivers? Let’s talk about it!

What are some healthy diet options for truck drivers?

Now that you’ve learned how to create healthy habits, let’s talk about some specific foods that will keep you at peak performance!

We’ve already talked about the importance of choosing the right snack foods while on the road. Nuts, dried fruits, and granola bars are all great options. Mess-free, minimal-prep fruits and vegetables are also great choices for snacking on the road. Here are a few fantastic vegetable choices for snacking:

  • Celery

Celery has a low glycemic index, meaning if you have trouble balancing your blood sugar levels, it’s a great choice. It also has vitamins A + K, as well as potassium and folate!

  • Baby Carrots

Carrots are high in fiber, calcium, and vitamin K. They’re great for your bone health and may help lower your risk of developing diabetes.

  • Cucumber Slices

Cucumbers contain antioxidants, and some studies suggest that they may help balance your blood sugar. They’re also full of water, so they can help keep you hydrated!

  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain a specific antioxidant called lycopene, which is linked to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. They are also full of vitamins C and K, as well as other vitamins and minerals!

In addition to vegetables, there are also plenty of fruits that you can take with you for on-the-road snacking.

  • Grapes

Grapes are another great source of vitamin K as well as B vitamins. They’re also full of a variety of antioxidants, some of which may help fight cancer.

  • Oranges

Oranges are a fantastic source of fiber and Vitamin C. Eating oranges is also a great way to fight inflammation!

  • Apples

You’ve heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well, apples are full of fiber and contain flavonoids that help reduce your risk of heart disease. Plus, eating apples has been linked to a reduced risk of stroke!

  • Bananas

Bananas are well-known for their high levels of an electrolyte called potassium. It can help keep your muscles strong and healthy! Bananas are also a good source of folate.

  • Cherries

Cherries contain fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and loads of antioxidants. They’re anti-inflammatory, which means they are a good choice for anyone suffering from arthritis or gout. They’re also linked to better heart health!

If you’re hoping to create healthier eating habits, consider adding some of these fruits and vegetables to your diet!

Have these tips helped you create a healthier lifestyle while you are on the road? We hope they have! We’ll continue to cover more topics like this one in our future blogs. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on our latest blogs!

If you are an experienced commercial driver or mechanic, we are hiring! Visit our Opportunities page to learn more and apply to join our team.