Even the most skilled and experienced professional driver can on occasion feel stressed after a day of driving. And, for good reason. The driving life is filled with stressful situations, frustrations created by the bad behavior of other drivers, traffic congestion, lack of suitable parking, highway construction, bad weather, and a constant race against an unforgiving clock.
Combined, these things, plus being seated for hours at a time, can add up to massive muscle tightness that leads to discomfort or even chronic pain. Even the hottest truck stop shower can’t wash this away.
Instead, after dinner and before you retire to your sleeper berth for the evening, you may wish to try an easy technique that can help reduce the physical and emotional/mental effects of driving stress.
Called progressive muscle relaxation, this simple process calls for you to first tense, then relax groups of muscles throughout your body.
Here’s what you do:
- lay or sit quietly on your bunk or sit in a seat of your truck’s cab
- start by breathing in while tensing the muscles in one of your feet, hold that for a count of five and exhale and relax
- now do the same with the other foot
- progress up the rest of your body, tensing and relaxing the muscles in each body part, finishing with the muscles in your face
- finish by laying or sitting quietly for a minute or so
If possible, try this process each day when you’re done driving.