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The world looks very different day by day surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving a lot of uncertainty and concern for the future. Therefore, taking the correct steps to tackle mental health issues and prevent them from happening is critical, both for yourself and for other people.

Below, we outline how to remain positive during this time, for both drivers and employers.

Drivers

As you are classified as key workers in this worldwide crisis, we understand how tough it is to keep the nation moving.

Through stressful shifts that stretch long into the night where reports have revealed some HGV drivers have been denied access to use toilets, alongside grief from the general public over missing shopping items from the shelves, there is a lot on your shoulders.

Stress and fatigue are two major contributors to the status of driver wellbeing, so it is important to pay close attention to how you and your colleagues are acting.

Use the below steps as a guide to protect your wellbeing as best you can:

  1. Where you can, try to exercise and get out into the fresh air. This will give you some headspace and give you something else to focus on, helping to dampen any worries that you may have for a few hours each day.

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  3. Make sure that you’re staying connected with your family and friends. We understand that you will be spending time away from your close relations to complete jobs and in the event of social distancing, so keep in touch and socialise online regularly.
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  5. Although staying connected through social media is important, it’s also important to limit this time, in particular when browsing. There’s so much content online talking about COVID-19, alongside a lot of fake news, which can become very consuming and draining. So, ensure that you stay updated on what’s going on, but make the effort to get away from it all too.
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  7. Prioritise your sleep. Poor sleeping habits can be detrimental to your overall health and especially as someone who works behind the wheel, making sure that you get enough sleep is critical to ensure the safety of other people on the road. So, make sure that you’re getting at least 7 and a half hours each day to relieve any stress or worries you may have, and to keep your energy high throughout the times you need to be awake.
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  9. Speak to someone. Do not hesitate to reach out to someone if you are worried about how you feel. Whether this be your partner, a friend or a colleague, getting things off your chest will make a huge difference. If it is affecting your work or you think that it has the potential to, it’s critical to confide in your employer.

Employers

HGV drivers are the backbone behind keeping the UK industry moving, and so maintaining a strong workforce is imperative.

We understand that in these unprecedented times, the main focus is to get the trucks out on the road making deliveries, and mental health may therefore not be at the forefront of your minds. However, as an employer, you should be doing everything that is within your power to ensure that employee mental health is on top form as right now, those continuing to go out and work are at a higher risk of being negatively affected.

Research throughout the years has shown that collectively, males are less open to talking about their feelings, with a substantial reason being how it is addressed by society, in some instances still being considered as a ‘taboo’ subject. As the logistics industry is largely male, this therefore highlights a key cause for concern for you as an employer.

A key step in combatting health issues mentally, is to create an environment in which drivers can feel confident enough to report it, without fear of judgement or a fear over job security. A simple ‘are you ok?’ followed by an ‘are you sure?’ really can make all the difference.

 

 

 

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