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8 Aspects of a Successful Driver Wellness Program

When you have a trucking company taking care of your drivers, running your company successfully is necessary. Without healthy drivers, the health of your company will suffer. As a trucking fitness company, it is critical to focus on more than just exercise when improving driver health. When you only focus on one, your health will never get to where you want it to be, which means your company’s health won’t either.

8 Aspects of a Successful Driver Wellness Program:

Emotional and Mental Wellness

Your emotional and mental wellness are the heartbeat of every other aspect of health in your life. If you have been focusing solely on nutrition or solely on fitness and haven’t gotten the results you wanted, this might be why. A successful corporate wellness program needs to address the driver’s current state of being. Discuss strategies for drivers to see life more positively and manage the stresses of the job in healthy, safe ways. With suicide a growing concern in the trucking industry, this must be addressed. Truck drivers are 5th on the list of highest risk for work-related suicide. The trucking industry has been classified as one of the highest-risk occupations in the United States. Does your program focus on this aspect of driver health?

Driver Wellness Program Mother Trucker Yoga Blog 1

Environmental Wellness

What can a driver possibly do to improve their environmental happiness and well-being? The answer, a lot. Ensuring your program teaches drivers techniques, strategies, and practical lifestyle upgrades they can do to their truck and daily routine can positively impact how they see themselves, their job, and the obstacles that come their way. And when a driver focuses some time on improving their environment when they are done driving for the day, their truck encourages them to make healthier choices. Teaching drivers the 30-second rule can help them focus on the little thing that they can do quickly that will have a lasting effect on their mental and emotional health.

The 30-Second Rule

Sarah Felton of Messies Anonymous created the 30-second rule that goes something like this—if a job takes around 30 seconds or less, do it immediately. This applies to putting away your shoes, picking up garbage off the truck floor, and putting away loose items immediately instead of rushing to do it when trying to roll out for the day. That small effort will have a large impact on your driver’s wellness.

Financial Wellness

It seems odd to discuss when talking about health. Oftentimes we don’t realize how much we are spending on meaningless items or even food until we stop, slow down and do the math. But this can be as simple as showing drivers the cost savings of cooking on the truck or preparing even just a few travel-friendly food times for their trip. Or even showing them how easy it is to build a healthy meal at the truck stop for the same or less to what they currently spend every day. And once we show them the savings there, next is the pile of medications and higher insurance rates they are paying for out of their paychecks. And that The “ah-ha” moment can’t come until we slow down and not just tell drivers these things, but show them, guide them and support them through these changes. And when drivers see that these implementations are not difficult to do and don’t take much time, they will begin to see the cost-benefit of trying to live a healthier life over the road.

Intellectual Wellness

Providing your drivers opportunities to learn and expand their knowledge is a brilliant way to lead them down a path of self-care, setting goals, and aspiring to live the best life possible as a driver. This doesn’t mean telling them to go back to college to get a different job. This means giving them opportunities to learn and grow. There is a difference between telling someone to do something and showing and explaining how to do something and why. Ensure the program you provide gives your drivers opportunities to expand themselves beyond their current life circumstances. This can be a book club, a weekly chat, monthly health webinars, lifestyle challenges, and guest speakers that directly link to your driver’s current situation and goals.

Driver Wellness Program Mother Trucker Yoga Blog 2

Occupational Wellness

Occupational wellness means that you provide your drivers with a sense of work-life balance. Show them and give them opportunities to select strategies and apply new ways of making life easier as drivers. Whether they are a day cab driver, an over-the-road driver, or a driving truck but not a semi, this is still a necessary aspect of driver wellness. This can be as simple as providing drivers with a safety kit or simple amenities that can help improve their day-to-day life. What would make their life easier? Is that something you can play a role in providing? Oftentimes providing the right health and safety programming can be the olive branch drivers are looking for that helps give them the work-life balance they are looking for.

Physical Wellness

This is probably the most obvious of the eight, but just as important. With 86% of drivers obese and 34% of truckers have at least one sign of a severe medical condition that has been previously linked to poor driving performance, the need for a physical fitness upgrade is now more than every critical need in a corporate wellness program for drivers. When setting up a wellness program, make sure the physical fitness side provides more than just exercises. There is more to physical wellness and fitness than doing push-ups, jumping jacks, and even yoga. A well-run program will assess all aspects of physical health, not just exercise, and break it down in a way that makes sense to a driver’s lifestyle and needs. It provides a breakdown and how-to for drivers to re-learn lifestyle movements and skills to help them continue to do their job for years to come.

stiff mother trucker pain relief cream

Social Wellness

What type of community do you offer your drivers? Driving a truck is a lonely profession, and things like depression, anxiety, suicide, and addiction are common among drivers for a good reason. When your corporate wellness program for your drivers provides an aspect of community, this can make all the difference. And yes, drivers use things like social media to communicate regularly. However, when groups and sites are unmonitored, a few bad seeds can take a group in the wrong direction. When the provided social wellness is monitored, it can allow for a more positive outcome. It’s not just about offering community, and it’s about offering a safe community where drivers don’t feel intimidated or embarrassed for taking care of their health.

Spiritual Wellness

This is not about religion but more so about guiding your employees towards finding purpose in their life. Engaging in practices that promote relaxation, happiness and encourage them to be a part of something bigger than themselves. When we isolate ourselves from the world, be it by choice or not, we can feel disconnected. I like to think of it as giving drivers something to chew on. When we have something to chew on and reflect on while driving, it can create new conversations, new ideas, and new ways of thinking and living.

Final Thoughts on Your Driver Wellness Program

Whether you incorporate a few of these or all of them, remember this; there is more to driver wellness than a fitness app. Your drivers carry heavy loads, not just behind their trucks but on their shoulders every day.

If you’d like to learn more about how Mother Trucker Yoga can help support your drivers and set up a driver wellness program for your company. Learn more about our trucking fitness company and driver corporate wellness programs HERE

4 Simple Steps to Mindfulness In A Stressful World

The idea of being “mindful” is now just as common language as “ya all” or “selfie”. What used to be the art of paying attention has morphed into the art of mindfulness. But what exactly is mindfulness? But what does mindful mean? And I know what you are thinking. I’m not about to ask you to wear yoga pants, sit on a yoga mat, and chant the night away (although it might do a few people some good).

Dictionary.com says

mindfulness

mahynd-fuhl-nis ]
Is the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.

Psychology.

  1. a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them: The practice of mindfulness can reduce stress and physical pain.
  2. the mental state maintained by the use of this technique.

This way to mindfulness blog mother trucker yoga

The simple art of paying attention, being alert, present, and aware in a non-judgemental way. In yoga and mediation part of the practice is to observe, notice, and just take in. For most of us, we cannot help but float back into the past and drift off into the future when various things arise. The idea of replaying what happened, or predicting what will all while mixing in our feelings with what is.

To me, mindfulness is the practice of separating from all of that. Not to be dull and lacking in life. But the opposite. The art of seeing, feeling, and being a part of what actually is. I believe that nearly all frustration comes the moment we step out of them now. Mindfulness says stay with me, breathe and take it one breath at a time.

Mindfulness also asks us to be kind. To be kind to ourselves, to others, and to the world. [Check out The Daily Meditation and what Hope had to say about Gratitude…]

One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to apply this idea to the little things. Because it’s the little things that add up to big things over time. If you don’t want cavities when you are older, focus on brushing your teeth today, and when brushing your teeth, do just that. Treat your teeth, the action of brushing with the utmost reverence and importance. And notice how you feel afterward.

4 Simple Steps to Mindfulness

1. Start now. Start simple.

Many people decide to step into mindfulness and create this elaborate plan of how they are going to meditate 20 minutes twice a day, and go for long nature walks, and do an hour of yoga daily. Adapting all those things has never done any of them, even in the slightest is a recipe for failure. Most won’t even get out of the gate and decide that it’s too much. I prefer to focus on keeping things KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. Now I’m not insulting your intelligence, but rather suggesting we start simple.

Instead of starting to apply the practices of mindfulness when you are the most stressed, the most overwhelmed, the most distracted. Start when it’s easy, when and where you don’t have to change much of anything. When you brush your teeth, only brush your teeth. When you go to the bathroom, just go to the bathroom (I know crazy right). When you are cooking, or eating just do that one thing. Pay attention to every aspect of it. Be present. You may be surprised by how you feel after. Taking an everyday task you already to and turning it into a mindful one.

 2. Approach With An Open Mind.

We as humans like to predict. We like to know all the answers… Well most of us do. And I want to challenge you to approach one situation each day for a week with a completely open mind. Notice if you start to predict how the situation will play out in your head before it’s over. Take note if your mind has already predicted the future before anything has even happened.

Take inventory of your feelings before, during, and after and how do you feel? For me, the practice of mindfulness is not sitting on a cushion in a dark quiet room. Mindfulness is me being more present, more alert, more aware, and more engaged in what I am doing, how I am feeling, and despite all of that continuing. Mindfulness has given me more confidence in hard situations, ones I would normally avoid otherwise.

3. FOR Peace Breathing.

Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing was introduced to me when I first started on my yoga journey. It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t complicated, and it didn’t require any equipment. All it needed was you and your willingness to step back and breathe.

When you stop and take a breath in a stressful situation, you stop the hormones released by the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) and start to live again. It is a simple tool that you can use every single day to prevent and release stress when it starts to bubble up.

Steps of F.O.R. Peace Breathing

Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing un-complicates what our minds often make complicated. It makes you STOP and use the tool you were born with to deal with stress in your life.

What Does “F.O.R.” in Peace Breathing Stand For?

1. FOCUS

Focus on one, long, deep breath. Inhale deeply, feeling your diaphragm and belly expand (not your chest). Exhale through your nose or mouth for the same count, or longer. Be fully conscious of this breath.

2. OBSERVE

Observe your mind. Does it wander during this breath? Where does it go? Can you try again to be right here, right now?

3. REFOCUS 

Refocus if you need to. Bring your mind back to your breath. If your mind wanders, return to one deep breath.

4 Ground yourself physically.

Sounds silly, but we are all a part of something greater than ourselves. And science has already proved that we are all made up of energy. And when we are in nature our bodies have a way of restoring that energy within us with the positive energy around us. Ever been around someone who you felt like just zapped the life right out of you? Have you ever gone into a building, or slept somewhere were you just felt drained the next morning. Or the opposite. You are around someone who just lifts you up. Or slept somewhere and said that was the best night’s sleep ever. That might not be a coincidence.

Today, take inventory of who and what you surround yourself with. If all you do is spend time in a concert jungle, it might be time to step out into nature. Pull off at an oasis with a small park or grassy hill. Layout in the sun, or take a bit of time and reconsider who you surround yourself with. Being mindful asks you to do things with a purpose. And that purpose may be for you to take better care of you.

Take the Mindfulness Challenge!

Do you want more practical tips for being more mindful and peaceful in a stressful world? Join our 5-day Mindfulness Virtual Challenge September 7-11, 2020! Click HERE to sign up to join us!

 

What does mindfulness mean mother trucker yoga blog

Continue down the mindfulness path to a happier and healthier you with some of Mother Trucker Yoga’s other great content!

14 Ways to Reduce Stress and Overwhelm Blog

10 Tips for a Functional Body Blog

10 Steps to Goal Setting as a Truck Driver

 

Did you love this article?

Leave us a comment on what you thought. Or ways you work to stay more mindful.

BreakTime: Fitness Time with Hope Zvara

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Have you heard? RoadPro Family of Brands has kicked off a drivers only private forum (chat room) where truck drivers can come ask questions, answer questions and hang out with fellow drivers in a virtual setting. This isn’t a place to complain or post rude comments, but rather a place for drivers to motivate one another, give and receive great information, take fun quizzes and win free products and swag.

RoadPro launched this online offering back at GATS (Great American Truck Show) back in August 2019 inviting drivers to come and join.

“I love the idea of BreakTime for truck drivers as it gives those who may not be on Facebook a place to connect with other drivers and say up to date on what is going on. I know I am not a driver and never claim to be one. However with nearly 20 years in the fitness and yoga world and a traveler myself, I get it. I grew up around the trades, and had drivers, family members of drivers and company owners of trucking outfits all as students over the 14 years I owned and operated a yoga studio in my home town. I have a real passion for helping drivers and am excited to help inside BreakTime. My expertise is movement, fitness, and lifestyle. My focus is making it super-duper easy, accessible, quick and fun.” -Hope Zvara

Ask questions, gain insights, inspiration and a kick in the pants to start your health and fitness journey over the road alongside Mother Trucker Yoga and Hope. Have back pain? Neck pain? Stressed? Can’t sleep? Wondering where to start? Hope will answer all those questions and more. But for now you can check out one of Mother Trucker Yoga and Hope’s recent blog posts all about back pain.

On Tuesday, January 14th 2020 at 7pm EST

(6pm CST, 5pm MST, 4pm PST)

Come join Hope Zvara, CEO of Mother Trucker Yoga for a private chat, Q & A and some fun giveaways inside BreakTime.

To join it’s fast and easy, no need to give your blood type, your first born child or take out a small loan (insert humor) it’s FREE to drivers.

At Mother Trucker Yoga we hope you come join in on the fun over at BreakTime with Hope. There are already questions posted waiting for your comments in BreakTime for Tuesday nights chat!

See you there!

BreakTime Chat with Mother Trucker Yoga