Don’t let someone convince you otherwise: driving a delivery route can be stressful.
Sure, there are a lot of good reasons to work as a courier, but that doesn’t mean your stress levels as a delivery driver are always light.
Driving to new locations and meeting new people gives you a lot of variety in your day. However, if you can’t find the address, are stuck in traffic, can’t find the package, or spend too much time backtracking on your route, the stress level can skyrocket. And, unlike a physical issue, a delivery driver’s stress isn’t always visible.
It’s important, then, to keep track of your physical and mental health, and to take action to remain safe as a courier both at work and at home.
Do you know how to spot the 7 early signs of stress on your delivery route? Take a look at the following:
- #1 Chronic Fatigue
- #2 Regular Frustration
- #3 Isolation
- #4 Weight Gain
- #5 Changes in Mood
- #6 Difficulty Sleeping
- #7 Gastrointestinal Problems
#1 Chronic Fatigue
It’s true that driving can be exhausting, particularly if you’re driving for long periods of time. There has been a connection discovered between long hours of regular driving and increased job stress. As a result, accidents can occur.
Although we all have those long days at work now and then, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs that exhaustion is becoming a bigger issue.
The following are signs that you may be suffering from chronic fatigue:
- On a daily basis, you’re tired.
- Being tired, even though you had a good night’s sleep the night before
- Irritability has increased.
- Concentration problems
If you’re experiencing these symptoms on a daily basis, it’s time to take action.
Chronic exhaustion and difficulty concentrating are symptoms of stress, which can be harmful to your wellbeing and lead to other problems. They’re especially dangerous for a delivery driver who has to make fast decisions all day long on busy roads. You must concentrate on your job while still enjoying it.
Here are a few strategies to help you deal with fatigue:
- If necessary, take breaks during the day to allow yourself to relax. When traffic is heavy, this could mean stopping for a few minutes at lunch and getting out of the car for some fresh air.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend at work to allow for more “me” time.
#2 Regular Frustration
If you’re a courier for all the right reasons (being your own boss, enjoying the freedom of driving, exploring the city, and so on), then frequent dissatisfaction with your job could indicate stress.
Not on the one day when something went wrong. Every day at work, I get irritated.
It will assist you in getting to all of your destinations in the shortest period of time possible. While on your way, you can easily adjust your schedule by adding, removing, or re-optimizing multiple stops. It also includes hands-free voice entry to help you save even more time.
Your stress levels could be minimized if driving and delivering are simpler and faster.
For the majority of the day, delivery drivers are on their own. That can be a factor in deciding whether or not to work as a courier, particularly if you prefer solitude, don’t want a boss hovering over your shoulder, or are irritated by coworkers who won’t leave you alone.
However, if you feel alone all of a sudden, it may be a sign of stress. Maybe you’re unsure of your skills, or you just want to talk to someone who knows what you’re doing.
Here are a few pointers on how to deal with isolation:
- If you work for a corporation, you will have coworkers who do the same job as you. Make contact with other drivers to see if they’d like to meet up once a month for coffee, lunch, or dinner. Isolation can be alleviated by forming a support network.
- If you’re self-employed, look for other ways to connect with people. One example is driver groups on Facebook or other online communities. Other online or local forums where you can connect with peers who are familiar with your work can exist.
- Speak with a partner or a close friend who can act as a sounding board and encourage you to discuss your work.
#4 Weight Gain
A sudden change in weight may indicate that your delivery route is under stress. Weight gain can be a challenge for drivers because they spend so much of their time behind the wheel. Also courier pickups may not be enough, and extra weight can lead to other health issues.
There are a few ideas that may be of assistance. Regular exercise, for example, will help you cope with stress, sleep better, and make meaningful changes in your weight management. Plan your route so that you have time before or after work, or at lunch, to go for a brisk stroll. Plan longer workouts on your days off.
Another issue while working as a delivery driver is eating properly. Frequent fast food meals can lead to a variety of health problems, including weight gain. Make your own meals as much as possible to take with you.
#5 Changes in Mood
If you’ve found that you’re easily irritated, have road rage, or get upset at home, those mood swings may be a sign of underlying tension. And those feelings might get in the way of safe driving, causing problems for you and others on the road.
Relaxation strategies, like those for other symptoms of stress, may be beneficial. Keep track of whether you’re frustrated or upset, and use meditation or deep breathing to calm down. When driving, listen to music or podcasts that you enjoy. Tobacco, too much caffeine, and too much alcohol can all make it worse. If your moods don’t change, seek treatment, just as you would for any symptoms of stress.
#6 Difficulty Sleeping
Another symptom of stress is difficulty sleeping, even though you are exhausted when you go to bed. We’ve all had a poor night’s sleep now and then, but if it’s happening on a daily basis, you should be concerned.
Sleep deprivation can cause you to lose concentration, which can be a problem when you’re on the road.
Here are some suggestions to help you get a good night’s sleep:
Take some time to unwind, particularly before going to bed. And if you just have 15 minutes, consider listening to a podcast or reading an enjoyable book or magazine.
A cup of chamomile tea, for example, is said to have a soothing effect that encourages relaxation and sleep.
Plan your path at the end of the work day if you’re worried about work when you go to bed. You won’t have to think all night, because you’ll be good to go first thing in the morning.
#7 Gastrointestinal Problems
Stress may cause problems with your gastrointestinal system, such as stomach upset, diarrhea, or constipation. Sitting for long periods of time, eating fatty or greasy foods, or drinking a certain food that hurts your stomach, such as coffee, can all cause problems.
You can see the doctor if you keep track of what you eat because it doesn’t seem to matter what you eat. It’s uncomfortable to bring up, but bowel health is crucial. Irritable bowels may be a sign of a greater health problem, so it’s important to address it.
Every career entails some level of anxiety. Delivering packages has its own set of obstacles that can lead to stress, concern, and even anxiety. Stress is a natural reaction, and how you deal with it is what matters.
Keep an eye out for these early signs of stress. If you’re suffering from any one of these and it’s not improving, it’s time to seek treatment. Don’t wait for things to get worse before acting. Since your wellbeing is your highest priority, seek medical help and ask for assistance.
You will protect yourself and others on the road and after your driving day is over if you know what to look for.