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How To Take Care Of Your Mental Health When You Are Out On The Road

As a truck driver, you may feel like you spend most of your time behind the wheel, except for brief interactions at rest stops and destinations.

 

Isolation from one’s social circle is only one component of the whole picture of mental health. And not only for drivers of large trucks, but for everyone. Truck drivers, like those in many other professions, are susceptible to the same factors that might negatively influence their mental health.

 

It is OK to not feel okay for various reasons, including a lack of physical exercise, loneliness, and stress, to mention a few. While each of these emotions is perfectly acceptable in and of themselves, experiencing them all at once may be overwhelming.

 

Sometimes, these sensations can grow into anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns that can quickly go unrecognized — especially if you are the only one looking out for yourself. This is especially true if you are the only one responsible for looking out for yourself. Here, we look at several mental health solutions to help you.

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How You Can Take Control of Your Stress

 

The long days and nights may be hard for truck drivers, especially those responsible for traveling great distances because they need to stay awake while driving and fulfill stringent delivery deadlines. The mental and physical effects of stress may hit you all at once when it happens.

 

It is easy to disregard the warning symptoms of stress and burnout when one’s profession is as demanding as that of a truck driver who has a demanding career.

 

Nevertheless, focusing on yourself is precisely what you should be doing now. As a truck driver, how do you ensure that you care for your mental health? The following are some helpful suggestions that may be used to take care of oneself on the road.

 

Exercise

 

As a truck driver, you can’t get up and move around anytime you want, but moving around at least a little bit every chance you have is critical. Not only can a lack of physical activity contribute to tight muscles, leading to worse aches and pains later on, but exercise is also one of the most essential tools for a healthy mind.

 

Exercise decreases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is sometimes referred to be nature’s built-in alert system. When you are concerned or worried, your cortisol levels rise.

 

You could do anything from jumping jacks to pushups at a rest stop, parking lot, or waiting for a load. You can stroll or jog around the parking lot or do some lunges or a decent back stretch.

 

Keep in touch with loved ones.

 

When you have been away for so long, it is easy to forget how much family and friends can lift your emotions. 

 

Making time for a brief phone or video chat when you are not distracted can remind you that your job is not everything, and your vehicle is not the only place you belong. Reach out to those that make you laugh and raise your spirits. 

 

Even if you cannot spend as much time as you want with friends and family in person, a phone conversation may be just as satisfying.

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4 Skills Every Trucker Should Have

The trucking industry is often more competitive than people think. There can be a lot of individuals applying for the same preposition. That’s why knowing the skills you need is essential beyond standard driving qualifications

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Here Are 4 Skills Every Trucker Should Have:

First Aid

 

First aid could be a critical skill for a truck driver. At this point, you might think, wait, I’m going to be alone for most of the trip. While this is true, it is worth considering what might happen if you end up in an accident. If you have a first aid qualification, you could provide vital support to anyone injured. Don’t forget; this does include yourself. It’s easy to forget that skills in first aid will ensure that you can provide primary care for yourself if you are injured too. You’ll know the proper steps to take. You can learn more about this on sites that offer first aid qualifications. 

 

Customer Service

 

You might also want to consider your customer or client service skills. If you are new to the trucking industry it’s easy to assume that there are virtually no interactions with other people. While it’s true that you will spend most of your time on the road, you’ll still interact and engage with clients, customers, or colleagues. These interactions will impact how people judge and view your service. As such, you need to know how to interact with people at your final destination and on the road. Remember, your behavior will permanently alter the perception of the business you’re working for. 

 

Patience 

 

You must have patience when you’re a truck driver. There will be many times when you are stuck in traffic or when there are countless factors beyond your control. In times like this, mistakes can and will happen if you are not patient. It would help if you were willing to wait it out and have the mindset that some things can not be changed or fixed by you. This will also help you improve the quality of your driving. 

 

Mechanical Knowledge

 

Like first aid, you don’t need this skill as a trucker. But it can be helpful to have. Your employer won’t expect you to have mechanical knowledge, but it’s great if you know a little about how your vehicle works for a few reasons. First, it will ensure that you know the signs there’s a problem with the vehicle, which may mean it’s not safe to drive. Catching these signs early will help you avoid an accident. Second, it can ensure that you know what to do if your truck breaks down at the side of the road and may provide you can get it up and running again without waiting for support. 

 

We hope this helps you understand some of the skills you should have as a truck driver. By learning these skills, you can ensure that you are more likely to be hired for a position. You will also be more effective in any trucking job that you are chosen for.

 

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SHOP MTY

Beat Stressful Times With A Good Stretch

We could all do with a more peaceful life, and there are many ways to try to get that. One of the most popular ways is with yoga. 

 

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and is something that everybody and everybody can benefit from. 

 

Often our attention is pulled in so many different directions. Our family needs us, work has issues, bills need to be paid, and you still need to think about what to cook for dinner. 

 

It all seems small at the time, but it builds up pretty quickly – until it can feel like it is unmanageable. 

 

Anxiety, stress, and feeling overworked and overwhelmed are no way to live your daily life. And when all of these things start to pile up, it can be too easy to find yourself turning to something to help you cope. 

 

One of the most common reasons people turn to alcohol and then to alcohol rehab is to use alcohol as a coping mechanism. 

take a deep breath mother trucker yoga blog

Why should you consider yoga?

There isn’t just one type of yoga; there are many different types, so there is something for everyone. It works on engaging more than just your body and seeks to engage your emotions and mental well-being. And with Mother Trucker Yoga- trucking yoga, it’s all about mindful movements, stretching, and fitness explicitly made for drivers just like you. 

 

Since yoga has many different types and intensities, you can explore what works. Typically, the right yoga style will leave you feeling calm, rejuvenated, and your body will indeed thank you. And as a driver, trucking yoga focuses on small, simple changes, the easy, quick exercises you can do in just minutes a day.

 

Yoga will focus on your breathing and help you learn how to control it. Careful breathing techniques are great at reducing anxiety and helping you focus on the moment. It is perfect for calming loud thoughts too. Trucking yoga focuses a lot on breathing because your breath is your lifeforce, and learning to control your breathing can alter how you think, feel and move every day.

 

There might be some meditation in your yoga practice, which will help you to highlight negative thoughts, what triggers them, and how you can remove them. 

 

And of course, the most significant part of yoga is the poses. The poses will release tension in your body and increase your core strength and flexibility. There are some easy beginner poses, and then there are those that require more focus and effort. 

 

Health benefits of yoga

Everything that we gain from doing yoga is positive, and it is well known for offering some of the easiest ways to beat down your stress levels. 

 

Improved fitness is one of the things you will get from doing yoga regularly. It helps with range of motion, flexibility, and balance. And when it comes to driver fitness, yoga is one of the best ways to get moving again, no matter your age or body type is. 

 

Stress reduction is the number one benefit of doing yoga. After even one yoga session, you will get a sense of calm and well-being, and the more you do it, the more often you experience those moments. 

 

A complete yoga flow will help you calm your mind, control your breathing and work out tension in the body. And it has been shown to help improve anxiety, migraines, stress, depression, and sleeplessness. 

 

What makes yoga a great choice is that each pose can be modified to work with what your body needs. 

 

Small changes like adding a yoga flow or drinking more water make a huge difference to our bodies and minds; read more: National Drink Water Day – 6 Reasons Science Says You Should Drink Water

 

Keeping Your Mind Sharp: International Brain Health Week

It’s International Brain Health Awareness Week

(March 14-20, 2022)

Let’s celebrate by taking care of our brain health!

“Even before you leave the womb, your brain works throughout your life to control your body’s functions and helps you understand and interact with the world around you”.  When you focus on maintenance for your brain you will then help your mind stay focused, clear, and alert when you need it to and train your brain to respect downtime play, and rest when needed!

As truckers you know the importance of heart health, but what about brain health?

Brain health is all about maintaining and reducing risk factors and respecting the machine within. As we get older our brains when not taken care of properly can begin to show their wear which can affect your health, happiness, and overall functionality.

 

How do you keep your brain sharp as a truck driver?

What do you do to maintain and sharpen your brain and mind? Many take this for granted earlier in life but just as important as it is to learn new things, so is it important to give your brain a break, and learn to rest your brain.

Does your brain need sharpening?

Does your brain need resting?

Does your brain need maintenance?

Amazing Study

2.4 million people downloaded an app and played a game called the Sea Hero Quest that involved memory from age 19-75 years old; it was the only study of its kind. After these participants played the game, the research was astounding. 

 

“One key early finding, presented at a meeting of neuroscientists in the US, was that navigational ability begins to decline much earlier than was previously thought – possibly from as young as 19. The study found that 19-year-old game players had a 74% chance of accurately hitting a maritime target. By the age of 75, this figure had fallen to 46%.” 

 

And already, at age 20, our strategic memory recall is beginning to decline, and we may not even know it. 

 

The data published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences notes that our peak mental performance is typically at age 35 and then declines by 10% ten years after that. 

 

We need to sharpen our brains regularly. It’s backward thinking in our culture today rather than thinking of brain health as “preventative care,” thinking of it as sharpening and maintenance. 

Brain Health Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Eat Real Food

What Causes Our Brain to Age?

 

Researchers have discovered several factors that speed up brain aging. Things like obesity, especially in midlife, can accelerate brain aging by ten years! And add in our populations’ high intake of sugar, diet sodas all contribute to poor brain health. But that’s not the only thing that can affect brain health as we age.

Living a sedentary lifestyle, eating a highly-processed diet, not socializing, irregular poor sleep, and not practicing self-care, stress-relieving activities can affect how our brain ages. When it comes to truck driver health what you eat plays a large role in how you feel and how your brain functions, but often gets the back seat to other issues. 

 

Truck Driver Health: 5 Practices to Sharpen Brain Health: 

1. Get out and move

Where can you fit in just 5 or 10 minutes of movement into your day? Don’t overcomplicate it; just move, dance, walk, squat, anything, just move! You don’t realize it, but your brain is tracking with you every step of the way, and that extra boost of oxygen and serotonin, dopamine, and neurotransmitters going straight to your brain doesn’t hurt either. 

2. Socialize

When is the last time you talked with that one friend, your mom, your brother, or rolled down the window and said “hey”? Isolation leads to a decline in our cognitive abilities. Socializing can help improve and impact thinking, memory, and behavior. Just like a young child needs others around him/her to mimic and encourage the developmental process, so does our aging population and those in-between.  

3. Eat real food

When we have a disease, what we have is a deficiency. What do you lack that has caused our body to malfunction. Our bodies are like trucks; we require certain maintenance to our parts, specific fluids, lubricants, and fuel to run optimally. You would never consider skimping on what you fuel your truck with because you know the consequences. If you are living in dis-ese or stress what are you lacking, and how can you refill it? The best and fastest way is to eat living food because you are alive. 

4. Get better quality sleep.

It’s not that you necessarily need more sleep but rather better quality of sleep. What do you need to do to improve the quality of your sleep? Better mattress? Darker room? Headphones with relaxing music? Essential oils? When it comes to sleep, focus on quality instead of quantity. 

5. Engage in de-stressing activities

Stress has become a badge of honor like the girl scouts or boy scouts badges when they sell cookies and build a soapbox car. My advice, slow down to speed up. More is not better, and the more stressed your system is, the less effective you will be, and you will begin to see your body, mind, and actions slow. Consider a walk without your phone, deep breathing, relaxing music, meditation, yoga, a shower, or going to bed early. These may seem small and insignificant, but they can make a huge difference. When you take time for yourself, you make time for the essential things in life. This is why Mother Trucker Yoga focuses on small simple changes and moves that you can do in 5 minutes or less and even things you can do safely while driving. [Try us out for FREE use the code: MTY30 for a FREE 30 days!]

6. Choose intellectually stimulating activities

Do hard things. I’m not talking about an Iron Man, but rather things that challenge you. This is where technology can help! Memory game apps, puzzles (electronic or physical), even crosswords, word searches, board games, and cards are all good ways to keep your mind sharp. If you have kids, don’t just let them plop down on the couch and watch T.V. have family game night. If you are on the road, pull out that pen and do a crossword puzzle. These are time-tested practices that will keep your mind at its best. 

Puzzles for Brain Health Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Don’t wait. We live in a world that is trained to respond to our health in the form of sick care. But the way to address our aging brain is to practice preventative care and create consistency in our health and health practices. 

 

Don’t wait until you see a decline to make a change in your brain health. 

Don’t wait until you feel less sharp to seek help. 

Don’t wait until you need extra care to decide to care. 

Don’t wait. 

As a driver, truck driver health is essential. And out a fully functioning brain, you may find yourself struggling to safely stay in your lane.

Are you looking for more ways to improve your health, mental clarity, and longevity? 

Check out Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART Membership Platform & APP.

Easy videos are designed specifically with a driver’s needs in mind.

No fancy gym.

No expensive equipment.

No stress.

Try us for FREE!

Use code: MTY30 for a FREE 30 days!

Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART App and platform image

References:
https://www.mirror.co.uk/science/scientists-reveal-age-your-brain-9274294
https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/this-is-the-exact-age-when-your-brain-function-starts-to-decline
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319185#Therapies-to-help-slow-brain-aging

Healthy Holiday Survival Guide: 5 Simple Strategies

Between Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, and the upcoming holidays, the next six weeks might be challenging to stay on track. I know some of you will be home for the holidays, and others will not. But the pressure to “dig in” during this time is everywhere. And I want to share with you some of the best holiday survival tips & tricks so you can all indulge just enough without sacrificing your health.

Here are a few of the tried and true tips you can find in our Holiday Survival Guide: 5 Simple Strategies

 

  • Avoid Skipping Meals To “Save Room For Later”.

 
Its mentality to “make room” often leaves you eating more than what you have room for. It also sets you up for thinking you can “eat more” than what you typically do. Even with healthy snacks for truck drivers, you can overeat. And when it comes to meals, skipping meal time to “eat more later” is not a healthy approach. If you have a dinner party, still eat breakfast and lunch if that is what you do. Not only will you stop the mind games around the holidays this way, but you will keep your blood sugar stable, and you won’t find yourself overheating due to a blood sugar crash. 

 

  • Sit Down And Slow Down When You Eat.

 
For drivers, eating on the go is the norm, so it can be hard for some to shut that approach to food off when you don’t have to. The holidays can be good for a formal dining approach, where you sit down, eat, and have conversations. This can be great to help you slow down and chew your food. Put your fork down between bites and add dialogue throughout the meal. It’s not just about healthy snacks for truck drivers. It’s also about how to approach food more healthily. In most Asian countries, dinner can be up to seven hours long. Because it’s more about conversation and not just about filling up our plates. By chewing and chatting, you can help your body digest what you are eating and allow your mind to catch up with your belly to prevent overeating. 

 

  • Bring Healthy Dishes To Share, So You Know There Is A Mindful Option To Choose From. 

 
As someone who has dietary restrictions (not by choice) and tends to lean more on the Pescatarian side, I have had to train myself always to bring a dish to pass, even when I’m not asked. That way, I always have something I can eat. This reduces the eating things that leave me sick for days and helps me avoid binge eating when I get home because I am so hungry. 

 

  • Build Movement Into Your Day Every Day Throughout The Holidays. 

 
Traveling may take you out of your daily routine (you know that as a driver), but it doesn’t have to make you sedentary. For drivers and those who often travel, the mindset that comes with it is one you don’t have time for. Or that what you are doing takes up all your time. But in all reality, it doesn’t. Where can you fit more movement into your day? Where can you sneak a quick walk in, even if it’s just 10 minutes? Where can you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Where can you squat, reach, bend and twist? Stop categorizing movement as exercise because they are not the same. 

 

  • Set Aside 15 Minutes Every Day. 

 
New habits are created by making it a point to develop new habits. I am not a big believer in elaborate workouts. And as a driver, who has time for that? But everyone has 15 minutes. At Mother Trucker Yoga, I call it The 15 Minute Wellness Method™. How can you move on purpose for 15 minutes? Go for a walk each day, call someone you love, and wish them happy holidays. Stretch and move for 15 Minutes using Mother Trucker Yoga’s Jump Start Video’s inside our app. Bicep curls water jugs until you can’t anymore. Whatever it is, set a timer for 15 minutes and move. Chances are you will exceed that time because you will feel so good. 

 

And move the new tradition and bring others along, you’ll be surprised how many of your friends and family want to move too after all that sitting and eating. 

 

We get it! Sometimes our plans don’t allow for the time or space to get a workout in. If that happens, do your best to keep moving. Inviting family or friends to join in can help you get more active and may even start a new healthy tradition. Some of our favorite “just move” tips are:

 

 
See our latest blog for these and more of our favorite ‘go-to’ holiday party tips, where I talk more about each of these healthy holiday ideas.
Don’t forget to watch us on STARTUP on PBS this Sunday, November 28th at 12:30 pm CST, where Hope’s entrepreneurial journey and how she is helping truck drivers with health and wellness debuts!

Check your local listing for your area’s exact time HERE

Good Stress, Bad Stress and How to Manage It

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How to manage stress is not something we are “taught”. But everyday life can be stressful. Good stress, bad stress. Stress, stress STRESS. It’s everywhere. 

Job demands, relationships, life events, and social media drama are daily occurrences. Moreover, it can begin to feel like this is just how life is supposed to be, coupled with the stresses of living over-the-road as a truck driver. These things can often have you feeling like you are traveling down a never-ending, bumpy road called LIFE. It’s easy to see how stress can suck you in and not let you go.

good stess bad stress blog post MTY

While stress can help some people perform under pressure, too much bad stress can negatively impact a person’s mental and physical health. It’s common for most people to focus on the negative side of stress, but sometimes stress can be a good thing. Good stress can motivate a person and help them achieve more goals. BUT how can a person tell the difference between good stress and bad stress?

Understanding Good Stress vs. Bad Stress

Good Stress

Good stress, often called eustress, is stress that pushes a person to accomplish more. It helps a person achieve those hard-to-reach goals. Good stress also helps a person learn new things, adapt to change, and engage in creative thinking. In a situation where a person is experiencing good stress, they always have control over the outcome of the issue.

Bad Stress

Bad stress, often referred to chronic stress, can slow a person down and prevent them from doing the things that they need to do. It can often lead us down a winding road of helplessness and despair. Bad stress can be things like staying in an unhealthy relationship long-term, living with a difficult person, continual high paced (stressful) workplace, taking on too many things, and continuously unable to complete them. That is continually saying “yes” when you should be saying “no.” When the body feels like it is under too much bad stress, symptoms such as excessive sweating, anxiety, headaches, and rapid breathing begin to appear. 

Managing Stress

As a yoga teacher, I encourage others to live a life where they can stay grounded, focused, balanced, and content. However, sometimes I fail to implement these strategies into my own life. I take on too many things, try to please everyone else, and neglect my health and self-care. It’s a downward spiral, and before I know it, my daily life is fueled by bad stress. Can you relate? 

Unfortunately, stress is inevitable. It’s a part of daily life. The good news is that stress IS manageable. To manage the stress in your life, you must relax your body and mind. You must balance the scale and know what your triggers are and what to do to bring yourself back to center. 

What is center? Center is when you feel like you are on point when you feel like you are handling life and thriving. When you sleep well and respond to life’s circumstances with ease, most people that meet with anger or hate are dealing with something much more profound—usually, sadness or hurt. And in not dealing with those emotions and challenges brings about bad stress and unwarranted responses that hurt rather than help.

Here are three ways to manage stress so that you can live a healthier, stress-managed life.

1. Take a Break

When I say take a break, I don’t mean a break where you are scrolling through social media or watching videos on your phone. I’m talking about unplugging and walking away from all the distractions in your life. Do something for five to fifteen minutes that requires very little of you other than for you just to be yourself and to be present. Sit outside, take a quick five or ten-minute walk, play a quick game of “Go Fish” with the kids, or engage in meditation. And sometimes that break is to help your body to heal. Make sure you take a time out so your physical body can reset and heal as well. Check out STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream to give your body the boost it needs for rapid healing!

Stiff Mother Trucker

2. Put Away Your Electronic Devices

If you think about it, we live in a world where we have immediate access to almost anything we need. Instant information is available to use with the simple touch of an app on our phones or tablets. But at what expense? Being over connected has created a massive epidemic in our world today. An epidemic that has produced anxious stressed and technology-addicted teens and young adults that are not ok with doing nothing or being alone. The only way to break that cycle and bring more Zen into your life is to put the electronic devices down and slowly back away. Have a no-phone rule at the dinner table, limit screen time, keep your device in your pocket or bag when you are out with friends–whatever you need to do to stop looking at your device–do it. You’ll be glad you did.

3. Be Positive

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? If it’s half-empty, it’s time to change your thinking. Keeping a positive attitude, shifting your negative thoughts to positive ones, and keeping your self-talk encouraging are great ways to reduce stress. For example, instead of thinking, “I can’t believe I made the same mistake AGAIN,” think, “Everybody makes mistakes. It’s ok. It is something that I can fix.” Developing an attitude of gratitude toward the people, things, and events in your life is also an excellent way to reduce stress. Write it down or take time to tell the people in your life that you appreciate them–trust me; it goes a long way! Finally, smiling and laughing also helps to reduce stress. I guess laughter is the best medicine. 

AND if you are ready to get crystal clear on your life priorities, health needs, and how to achieve your goals, my Practices for a Positive and Productive Life Masterclass is for you! In this sixteen-week program, we cover three key areas: Breath, Body, and Belief. All three of which are necessary for sustainable success!

Utilizing these three tips will help you begin to walk down the path of life a little less stressed and more positivity. 

Need a bit more encouragement? Looking for a quick listen to help you manage stress? Check out the Positive Positivity Podcast with guest Hope Zvara

Self Care is Your Business MTY Blog

Trucker Fitness: Managing Stress Through Movement – Part 1

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As a truck driver feeling the pressure to be ready at any given moment can be stressful and downright irritating. Hurry up and wait seems to be the constant mantra most truck drivers adopt into their lives, and with that comes the added stress of never having control over the situation you are in. But you don’t need to let that keep you from finding ways to feel and stay calm no matter what comes your way. 

Do you ever feel as though you are permanently stuck in overdrive? Like it’s zero to sixty in T-10, and you need to stay there until the job is done, only to feel like you want to crash but are never 100% able to recharge your batteries when you need to. 

You are not alone. 

Trucker Fitness: Managing Stress Through Movement: Part 1 Mother trucker yoga blog on stress 1

Truck driver fitness is more than just exercise. While everyone else is focusing on push-ups and mountain climbers, Mother Trucker Yoga is saying let’s learn from what yoga can teach us about living a healthy, happy lifestyle, and yes, that includes truck drivers. 

There are dozens of natural, easy, and effective ways to manage the stress that will help you deal with the day-to-day ups and downs, unexpected delays, and schedule changes with ease. 

The best way to manage stress is to keep moving!

Keep moving. Yes, I know you are a professional driver, but that seat doesn’t mean you can’t move at all. Movement trumps exercise in that movement is not designated to a specific time, a particular style of movement, or outfit choice. Movement is a way of life; if you aren’t moving, you are training yourself not to move. And that lack of movement will leave you feeling stressed, worried, and unable to sleep. 

Movement and exercise encourage the brain to release “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. 

WOW! Just 15 to 20 minutes of movement every day can help you fight the urge to overeat. That movement can come in the form of dancing, walking, squatting, using weights or a resistance band from the driver’s seat, or even doing a little yoga in your truck, and of course, exercising in any way you choose. Do not let your mind limit you or tell you the lies that this movement has to come in a certain package. We often complicate things to keep us from achieving the results we are looking for. It’s called a Fixed Mindset, and it creeps up on us whenever we are faced with doing something different from what we have been doing up to this point. Even when we know the change is good for us, our minds will try to convince us otherwise. Adding movement into your day is one of those things that you just have to do anyway despite what your mind may tell you. 

When done correctly and done regularly, it’s movements like this that can have a positive impact on your emotions and, in turn, on your life. 

Today instead of thinking, I can’t find the time. Decide that there is always time. 

Today instead of thinking, I don’t like exercise. Decide that movement is more important than exercise. 

Today instead of thinking, I am too busy. Decide that you are never too busy for your health. 

There is a small window of time before you look back and say, I wish I would have. That window of time is now. And great news, you can start today. Join the movement over at Mother Trucker Yoga and see for yourself how easy it can be to de-stress as a truck driver and feel good again. 

 

 

 

5 Stress-Soothing Foods for Truck Drivers

Stress is everywhere, and it’s the wrong approach when you try to eliminate all the stress in your life. Because having stress in your life is a good thing. Yes, there is good stress. But stress in any form is not dealt with and utilized in a healthy way. That is when we see our health affected and our lives negatively affected. As a truck driver finding healthy foods to eat can not only be difficult, it in and of itself can be stressful. But when you know what to look for it can be easier for you to de-stress while on the road. 

Five foods to your diet to help you soothe stress and live a happy and healthy life as a driver. 

Stress-soothing foods that are easy to find and can be travel-friendly when needed!

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are a fantastic way to improve your health and happiness while simultaneously soothing stress. 

These leafy greens include: 

  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Kale

These leafy green veggies offer your body essential minerals like magnesium, which may bring feelings of calm and help with aching muscles. Not to mention are high in fiber which can help you with digestion and elimination because no one likes to be constipated. 

Almonds

This yummy nut is a perfect travel food and easy to store, making it great for truck drivers and travelers. Almonds are full of B vitamins, and when eaten as a part of a healthy diet, they may help you stay afloat during stressful times. Try soaking almonds in a jar of water for 24 hours, then rinsing them to help you unlock their total nutritional value. Then dehydrate them for an even crispier crunch. 

Dark Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate, and who isn’t looking for a reason to take a nibble? Dark chocolate is not only delicious. It is packed full of antioxidants, which is just what your body ordered when trying to combat stress day in and day out. Keep a close eye on your ingredients when buying dark chocolate, as many brands have junk ingredients mixed in. But a piece a day will surely help keep stress at bay. 

foods that sooth stress mother trucker yoga blog

Oranges  

Another great travel food, oranges are not only delicious but are high in Vitamin C, which will help your body lower stress when eaten as a part of your regular diet. Oranges come in all sizes from Mandarin to Clementines to Navel Oranges, and you can even step outside the orange family and give a grapefruit a try. But beware, drinking orange juice, although it has high Vitamin C levels, drinking your orange juice can be higher in sugar, and research has shown that eating your oranges is better for your body than drinking them. 

Complex Carbs

Now don’t get scared. The media has done a great job of scaring most people into thinking that you should run for the hills when you hear the word carb. But every cell in your body is made up of lipids (fats), amino acids (protein), and yes carbohydrates. It would be best if you had these to operate optimally for your cells, and those cells include your brain cells. But remember, everything in moderation! When you eat complex carbs, you give your body much-needed glucose and helps your brain produce serotonin to help you function and keep depression at bay.

Some Complex Carbohydrates include:

  • Starchy Vegetables 
  • Beans 
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Quinoa 

Food is fuel, and food is medicine. Let’s change how we look at the food to change how we function in life. Stress may not be avoided, and you don’t need it to be when you fuel your body with the right foods. When you couple a variety of foods with living an active lifestyle (even as a truck driver), this can be a game-changer when dealing with stress on the road. 

5 Minutes to Fit Program Mother Trucker Yoga

12 Things to Say to Yourself Everyday

What we say to ourselves might be the most powerful thing we can do for our health and well-being.

Some joke about the current state of their health.

Some pretend it’s not an issue.

Some respond they had no idea.

But the truth is, bottom line, we know. We know if we are in a healthy state of being or not. I’m not talking about being a fitness model or professional athlete or size zero. The state of health I am speaking of says you can move, breathe and live with ease. You sleep well, feel good, and have a good attitude towards life and yourself.

Your Health Is Not a Means of Punishment

After spending more than half my life struggling deeply with addition, I 100% understand how the conversation inside your head plays into how you live life and the choices and actions you make that play into that.

It might seem silly, but you are enough. And many use their health as a means for punishment. Many choose everyone else and everything else over their health even when the reality is they can’t be 100% all-in when their health is less than optimal.

Today I’m not here to tell you to eat healthy, because correct me if I’m wrong. We all know we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, less processed and greasy foods. We all know we should be drinking more water and less soda. We know that! You know that! I know you do. So the big question is, why don’t we?

When I began my journey into recovery, I realized my choices were directly related to how I felt about myself. When I felt like I was a loser, ugly, a nobody, I made choices that reflected that. But when I had a moment that I felt good about myself, I made choices that reflected that.

On days that I am stressed, the moment I allow myself to “think about it,” I choose the couch, a snack, other needs above mine. But when I catch myself and act accordingly when I get up and move, eat the damn salad, I find I am a better version of myself. I have better internal conversations. And that is worth something.

If push-ups, sit-ups, and squats were the answer, then we’d all be fit.

If meal plans, food apps, and simply eliminating a food group were the answer, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

But it has to start with you.

The Link Between Thoughts, Feelings, And Behavior

An article on Forbes said: “Your thoughts are a catalyst for self-perpetuating cycles. What you think influences directly how you feel and how you behave. So if you think you’re a failure, you’ll feel like a failure. Then, you’ll act like a failure, reinforcing your belief that you must be a failure.”

The article discussed that once we draw a conclusion for ourselves, we are likely to do two things:

  1. Look for evidence that reinforces your belief.
  2. And discount anything that runs contrary to your belief.

Once you do that, you are going to act based on the above. It’s your thoughts that are determining your actions, your choices, not a fancy app or workout program. Those can help, but if they don’t help address the mental and emotional, you may find yourself spinning your wheels and wondering why nothing is changing.

12 Things to Say to Your Self Everyday Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Image 1

Shift Gears

When you find yourself stuck in a corner, reinforcing negative beliefs or thoughts that hurt you rather than help you challenge yourself, there are several things you can do that include self-talk.

  • Talk out loud to yourself.
  • Say CANCEL CANCEL; when you say that within 20 seconds of thinking or saying those negative thoughts, you can rewire your brain away from those thoughts.
  • Do it right away in the morning. When you start the day out on the right foot, the rest of your day is more likely to go that way. Drink a large glass of water, go for a quick 10-minute walk, deep breathe, recite positive affirmations like, I love myself, I am enough, I got this. 
  • Engage in activities, programs, and groups that don’t overwhelm you where they mean well, but you feel like you won’t be able to do that in the end. To figure this out, you have to listen to the conversation in your head. Sometimes, you need to push through, but make sure the pushing is through an overwhelm of information that you aren’t even applying. (Mother Trucker Yoga Program)

It must start with how you talk to yourself.

You are worth it.

You are good enough.
You can work out.

You can eat healthily.

You have what it takes!

That self-talk is the first conversation you should be paying attention to in your daily life and the one that creates all other conversations you have here on out.

Notice your internal response after reading those statements?

Are you rejecting them?

Embracing them?

Do they inspire you?

Or make you feel uncomfortable?

 

Get clear on that, and you, my friend, have your next step!

Things to say to your body everyday mother trucker yoga blog

If you think this is too simple. You are right. It is, and that is why most think it’s not worth it. But the truth is. What you say to yourself is worth focusing on. If your kids listen to everything you say, is your brain not listening to everything you say too?

If you want to learn why Mother Trucker Yoga and how we are different than the rest. CLICK HERE 

Stress Management: HowTo Do Deep Abdominal Breathing

Stress Management: How to Do Deep Abdominal Breathing

Breathing is one of those things we all do, yet we rarely think about it; when a system like the respiratory works without us having to think about it or make it happen, it’s called “involuntary.” The respiratory system has the unique ability to work all on its own without our help, unlike the muscular system, which works voluntarily.

When we breathe, we get this precious gift called life. We can survive 21 days without food, seven days without water but can only go one to three minutes without oxygen. And at the 60-second mark, brain cells are already dying. Yet after 20 years of teaching yoga (Mother Trucker Yoga’s Membership) to others, there is one thing I have come to find, many do not like to breathe. I would often notice few would appreciate the art of breathing practices (pranayama) in yoga. You could see people start to fidget, become distracted, and even get annoyed at the idea that they weren’t “doing anything” during their yoga class. Yet without the ability to breathe, nothing on the yoga mat would even be possible. 

Mother Trucker Yoga Audio Bundle

Breathing is a tool. Those that learn to harness the device and tap into its vast abilities to improve, help and even heal the body get to reap the benefits of increased vitality, health, and happiness. But time and time again, I have observed others choose pills, alcohol, and even violence to manage what we all call stress or our emotions rather than tap into this tool we are all born with and have access to us at any given time. 

Stress can alter just about any system in the body if we allow it to. 

Stress management sign mother trucker yoga blog

Stress can:

  • Raise our blood pressure
  • Increase our heart rate
  • Increase our body temperature
  • Leave us in physical pain
  • Can decrease our immune system
  • Give us stomach discomfort
  • Make it difficult to sleep
  • Can affect your libido 
  • Tense your muscles 
  • Cause weight gain 
  • Burden your nervous system
  • Leave shallow breathing

When is the last time you felt the effects of any of the above and thought you should practice deep breathing? 

When my oldest son was small, and he’d get stressed out, the first thing I would have him do is deep breathing. Three deep breaths, I’d say, and we’d do them together. He’s now nearly a teenager, and I have observed him repeatedly defaulting to deep breathing when he is stressed, angry, frustrated, or can’t sleep. He automatically uses this incredible tool we all walk around with every day but rarely tap use voluntarily. 

The average American breathes with less than 18% of their lung capacity. That’s what I like to call clavicle breathing. It’s no wonder we are a stressed-out, upset, unhealthy out of touch society. I say these are the very things I have felt before yoga and learning how to tap into my breathing. And the same things I think when I’m not in my body, using my breathing, and feeling grounded in my skin. 

How do we breathe?

The average person takes about ten breaths per minute; that’s an average of 22,000-24,000 breaths per day. That’s a lot of breathing. And when we breathe, we inhale necessary oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and toxins that our body wants to remove. When we breathe, our lungs expand and take in air, and our diaphragm lowers and expands as well, taking in oxygen to then be distributed out to the millions of cells throughout our body that need that fresh oxygen to live. 

Dr. James Hoyt, a pulmonologist, says, “Our respiratory muscles don’t have the luxury of being out of shape.” Yet how many people can say with certainty that they use them, work them, build them like their bicep regularly? There is a saying, “use it or lose it,” and it fits here with our breathing. 

 A recent study in the Journal of Neurophysiology may support this, revealing that several brain regions linked to emotion, attention, and body awareness are activated when we pay attention to our breath.

And, also nearly every system in the body is connected to our respiratory system or breathing. 

  • Our metabolism increases when we practice deep breathing.
  • Our autonomic nervous system regulates when we deep breathe.
  • Our digestion can settle and improve when deep breathing.
  • Our muscles relax and get total oxygen, helping them not to cramp.
  • Our lymphatic systems become stimulated, hand and hand, with our immune system, both stimulated when we breathe.
  • Our body is fully oxygenated when we deep breathe.

And one of our deep breathing’s most impressive features is that it stimulates our vegas nerve. 

What is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest of the cranial nerves, extending from the brainstem to the abdomen through multiple organs, including the heart, esophagus, and lungs. It controls the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which contains your relaxation response. Most people never breathe deep enough to stimulate this impressive nerve. We need the vagus nerve to be alive and working because the vagus nerve controls your mood, heart rate, digestion, and immune response. Stimulating your vagus nerve can help to regulate many functions in your body.

Vagus nerve stimulation has been linked to treating epilepsy, improving digestive conditions, reducing inflammation, and managing anxiety disorders. The journal Frontiers in Neuroscience reported in 2018 that the poor function of the vagus nerve could lead to mood and anxiety disorders. But most importantly, when you stimulate the vagus nerve, you can reduce anxiety, stress, and mood disorders. All of this can happen when you learn to breathe more deeply and more often. 

WAKE UP, PEOPLE! BREATHING IS FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where does your breathing fall?

Clavicle Breathers: Those that breathe only into the upper chest, throat, and shoulders. These breathers often have lifted shoulders and a tense neck. 

Chest Breathers: Those that breathe into the center of the chest. 

Abdominal Breathers: Those that breathe deep into the belly and feel their lungs and abdomen expand freely. 

We have forgotten our unique ability to help and heal ourselves. When you were a baby, no one had to tell you how to breathe, yet there you were, breathing so deeply that your entire torso was expanding and contracting every breath you took. I have listened and watched my children as infants, and now adolescents get upset and even cry only to default to their breathing to calm them down. It’s in you; you have done it; you have just forgotten how to do it. 

Deep Abdominal Breathing Technique:

  1. Sitting tall or lying down comfortably, place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart/chest. 
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth and hear your breath move out of your body. 
  3. Inhale through your nose and move your breath deeply into your lower hand (belly) and feel it expand. Continue to move your breath up to notice your upper hand (chest) rise. 
  4. Exhale slowly move the air out, feeling your belly collapse and your chest lower (in any order). 
  5. Soften your jaw and relax your body, focus on fully emptying your belly when you exhale and fully expanding when you inhale. 
  6. Work yourself up towards a count of four counts on the inhale and eight on the exhale. 
  7. Repeat this for two to five minutes. 
  8. Anytime your mind wanders, bring it back to your breathing. 
  9. Allow yourself to hear your breath each time you inhale and exhale. 

How to do deep abdominal breathing

Continue this practice daily in the morning to wake up, when you are feeling stressed, waiting in traffic (minus the hands-on your body), or before you go to sleep to help you relax. 

You have tools to help you breathe, relax, fall asleep. The real question is, are you using them? 

Deep Abdominal Breathing Benefits:

 Various deep abdominal breathing forms have been linked to cardiovascular benefits, including increased blood flow and improved blood pressure. Deep breathing is also a helpful tool for relaxation and sleep. Taking deep breaths can also help you manage stress and improve cognitive function like brain fog and lack of focus and concentration.

If every tool you are reaching for is outside of yourself, let me ask you, have you tried the tools you were born with? The tools you were given and are the very tools that make this life possible? The tool I am talking about is your breathing. 

Try This:

For one week, practice deep abdominal breathing at least one time a day. Work to practice it at the same time each day. Set the alarm on your phone or in your calendar and make it a priority. All too often, we say something doesn’t work or help, and we have never really tried it, let alone given it the attention required to see results. 

After seven days, come back and let us know how you did. What changed, what you noticed or found. 

Now take a deep breath and start living! 

Resources:
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_focusing_on_the_breath_does_to_your_brain
https://www.uchealth.org/today/understanding-breathing-and-the-importance-of-taking-a-deep-breath/
https://www.healthline.com/health/facts-about-stress#25.-Past-experiences-can-cause-stress-later-in-life
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.n
https://www.consumerreports.org/mental-health/ways-to-manage-stress/ih.gov/29593576/