Everyone needs social connections to survive and thrive. But in certain professions, we can find ourselves spending extended periods of time alone. Being alone may leave adults more vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation, which can affect their health and wellbeing. Studies show that loneliness and social isolation are associated with higher risks for health problems such as heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline.
At Barnes we’re keen to help you actively tackle this whilst out on the road, as we care for our driver’s mental health and are grateful to them for the hard work they carry out for our clients, respect goes both ways here.
Recent years and the response to the pandemic made issues with isolation and a lack of connection more abundant than ever. Locked up in our homes or in demand on the road as key workers, everyone’s social lives took a hit. Feelings of loneliness were quite common, and some would often go for days without interacting with another human being outside of their bubble (if they were lucky enough to have a bubble in the first place)!
4 Ways To Remain Connected Whilst Trunking
Nevertheless, as we move out of that situation and back towards normality, many of us are finding it hard to re-enter society. And for those of us trunking up and down the country, social lives can be hard to maintain sometimes.
Here are a few tips from our team to help you remain sociable whilst working on the roads, as it’s important to us that you enjoy both your life in and out of work!
Open up your contacts
First of all, why not start simple and easy? Open up a conversation with a loved one or an old friend and keep in touch, if you feel as though it won’t be a distraction, you can even catch up whilst on the road through handsfree. This simple act of texting or calling can go a long way to maintaining that relationship and feeling less socially isolated whilst you’re away from home.
Please do bear in mind the most recent law update when doing this though:
“Drivers will still be able to continue using a device ‘hands-free’ while driving, such as a sat-nav, if it’s secured in a cradle. They must, however, always take responsibility for their driving and can be charged with an offence if the police find them not to be in proper control of their vehicle.”
If you’re seeking new social circles, why not try inserting yourself into new situations either physically or virtually? Attend a book group, or a class, join a Facebook forum or try an app for finding like-minded individuals. When driving up and down the country on your HGV duties, there are ample opportunities to meet new people and form connections – we’d always recommend you make the most of your downtime!
Take up a new hobby
When you’re not driving, why not continue or pick up a new interest? Hobbies are fantastic ways to remain social as more often than not, you’ll be getting together as a group in whatever format and partaking in an activity you all enjoy, which undoubtably brings people closer together and forms strong friendships.
Meet people virtually
Seeing a loved one’s face will instantly brighten anyone’s day! Set aside time to video chat during your breaks and catch up over video chat whilst you’re parked up and taking your rest – it’s definitely an instant mood boosted. If you’re away for a few nights, you could even try having a virtual movie night together via Teleparty or another meeting app to stream and share your screen!
Or an old school tip: if you and your friends/family have the same channels on the TV, pick one, and everyone watches from their own screen at the same time while on the phone, video chat or even just gossiping over text whilst watching.
It’s crazy (but wonderful) how technology can keep us connected even when we may be hundreds of miles away.
If you have any more ideas for remaining sociable when HGV driving that you’d like to share with us and our drivers, please let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn, we’d love to hear from you. Or, if you like to read more of our news and blogs all about HGV driving and the warehousing and transport industries, please visit our website.