Here are some ideas of how to be more connected to your friends, career, and loved ones:
Get involved in social media
One of the easiest ways to network with other drivers, make friends, socialize, and find answers to a variety of your problems is to interact on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and other social media channels. I’d recommend connecting with a few truckers and then following several of the people they follow. For example, you can start with my Twitter account: @truckertherapy and start following people who I follow. Get connected and stay involved!
Get involved in trucking groups
There are a variety of trucking organizations that can help you with networking. Join some organization and see what friends and connections you might make.
Listen to self-help audio books
Most of the popular relationship improvement books are also in audio book format. If a trucker is using this to improve their relationship, they could even have their partner read/listen to the book and then discuss the book on a regular basis. My favorite audio book service isAudible. I know Cracker Barrel has a neat rental system for audio books on CD, as well.
Develop a plan to talk with friends and family regularly
It is important to set up a schedule for communication. For example, you could put a reminder in your phone to call home daily or every other day. Better yet, you could set up the reminder during a time that you and your family have the most energy. Make sure you don’t put the call off by waiting until the last minute before bedtime. This will allow you and your family to have the most energy to have a quality conversation.
Develop a plan for home time
Being on the road for weeks on end usually isn’t a good idea, as most truckers and their families already know. It is essential for there to be as much of a structured plan for home time as possible. For some people, coming home less often, but for a longer period of time is more helpful, compared to frequent short visits.
Remember, relationships and lack of connectedness are often the biggest source of stress for the trucker and their family. It is important to realize that since many truckers are away from home for weeks at a time, they are automatically having long-distance relationships. Given that relationships are hard enough as it is, distance only adds to the complexity. As a result, there are more miscommunications, heartaches, and arguments. Make it a priority to call your loved ones on a regular basis. Remember, texting is often good, but an old-fashioned phone call is more personal and less likely to result in miscommunication.
I wish everyone the best with their New Year’s truck driver relationship resolutions. It’s hard work and the payoff will be well worth it!