It takes a strong person to be independent.

A self-starter, someone who is self-motivated tends to come to mind here. Being independent as a commercial driver also means someone who works alone and is often away from their family and friends. That can be a tough pill to swallow for some, but many people do it and many people do it successfully. Ever wonder how they cope and survive out there? Being alone is a physical thing but being lonely is an emotion. There is a difference with how you cope.

Many of us work alone. It may be on an assembly line, in an office or out on the road. That’s okay because when you’re focused, you’ll get a lot of work accomplished. Some consider their vehicle as an office. Being lonely is a different matter and must be dealt with differently.

Being distracted by your lonely thoughts can seriously affect your ability to safely operate your vehicle. It’s no secret that your mind must be on the driving task each time you hit the road, so what can you do if you’re feeling lonely? First, consider a job in an office or factory would mean you would be away from your family for 8, 10 or 12 hours at a time as well, so consider driving a commercial vehicle similar. Recognize you have a job to do to support your family, but it’s the afterhours when you may miss them most.

If you’re feeling lonely, one way to get your spirits up is to remember the fun and good times you’ve had with family and friends. Get your photos out from your phone. Photos help to bring back those fun memories of the times you’ve had with family and friends. Don’t be afraid to laugh out loud. It’s good for your soul.

Making regular phone calls home always seems to help keep up to date with family affairs. More than one call per day can make it seem like you’re with them. Everyone can update each other on their daily activities. Video calls such as Skype or Facetime during rest periods are even better. Make it fun, laugh and enjoy the time, just like when you’re all together. Seeing a smiling face always seems to bring relief to loneliness.

It’s been known that time drags on when you’re not doing so much. Staying busy, whether it’s work-related or otherwise can help keep your mind off the loneliness and being away from family. It’s often when you have time to yourself that loneliness sets in, especially during special days such as holidays, family day and birthdays. Staying busy with activities during time off helps to keep your mind away from family and being preoccupied helps to pass the time. Go to the movies, read that book you’ve been putting off, sight-seeing or hanging out with co-workers can pass the time away in a pleasant manner until you can return home.

Remember that what you’re doing as a commercial driver is appreciated by many people; your employer, your customers and your family. Embrace the time you have as valuable. When you do get home, spend time with family as a continuation of the time you’ve spent talking to them online or the phone. You’ll enjoy it that much more.

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