Seasonal Affective Disorder – 3 Tips for Staying Positive This Winter

Wintery road covered in snow

Image credit: sashapo, Flickr

January can be a challenging month for many people, including truck drivers. The days are short, the holidays are over, and there are still a few months left until warm weather becomes consistent for most of the country. During winter, the lack of warmth and daylight can have a negative impact on you, physically and mentally. Truck drivers may also have the additional challenge of being out on the road for several days at a time, away from their families during this season.

By following these three tips, you can stay happy and healthy while you’re out on the road.

Stay Active and Get Out of Your Truck

Cold, winter months often bring the desire to sit around and avoid physical activity. In a way, we have a tendency to hibernate for the winter too. One of the best ways to increase your energy level is to stay active. Even on the coldest of winter days, you can still do a workout inside your truck with some minimal equipment such as resistance bands. You should also take the time to get out of your truck. You may be surrounded by your windshield for most of the day, but nothing compares to actually getting out into fresh air and walking around. Invest in some affordable winter clothing to keep yourself safe and comfortable.

Brighten Your Truck

White light therapy lampYour truck is your second home, why not make it feel that way?

One of the biggest challenges in winter is the lack of light. You can use a S.A.D. light therapy lamp in your cab to get your daily dose of daylight you might otherwise miss. You should also invest in comfort items to make your truck feel like your own: a hot pot for coffee, a crock pot for home cooking, or an electric blanket for staying warm on cold nights. Little touches of comfort and personality go a long way in making your cab feel like home. Displaying photos of family and friends, kid’s artwork, or your favorite personal items are some ideas.

Communicate and Keep in Touch

As a truck driver, you should be in touch with home every day or as often as possible. Taking more time in the cold and dark months to call a loved one can help you maintain a positive attitude more than anything. Get a Bluetooth headset to accept calls when you’re on the job. When you’re parked, accessing social media on a laptop or tablet can help you stay in touch. Video chat through FaceTime or Skype is also a great way to have conversations with your family.

The darker, colder months can bring an increased appetite and desire to sleep, irritability, and lack of focus. Following these three simple tips can keep your body healthy and energized all the way to spring. However, sometimes these symptoms can persist and develop into Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or even depression. If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms or concerns that you think might be something more than a case of the winter blues, you should contact your primary care doctor right away.


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About Derek McClain

Derek McClain is a blogger with TheHealthyTrucker.net and co-host of the Mile Markers show. Derek has worked in the Internet & Technology industry for over 7 years dedicating last few years to writing about truck driving jobs and careers. McClain has always had a passion for exercise and fitness so with truck driver health becoming such a hot topic in the industry, it just made sense to work with TheHealthyTrucker.net. You can Connect with Derek on Google+ here