What is it we love about the Holidays? Well, the gifts … duh!
A lot of what makes the Holiday so special are the rituals and traditions we’ve created. Like listening to Christmas music, enjoying a glass of wine or egg nog while decorating the tree. Or preparing and enjoying an epic breakfast for the family after having torn open all the gifts.
For me, it was getting a new board game to enjoy on Christmas Eve.
But when you become a truck driver, your crazy schedule can completely disrupt your most favoured traditions.
And this can lead feelings of depression, anxiety and even resentment of all the people with “normal” lives who get to be home for the Holidays.
In this article, we’ll look at how to enjoy the Holidays even if you find yourself away from home.
What The Holidays Are Truly About
The first step in enjoying the Holidays as a truck driver is to understand that the Holiday season is what you decide it is.
For many of us, we’ve been conditioned since a very young age to look forward to one specific time of the year.
Depending on your schedule your Holiday could be the 23rd, 27th or any other day or series of days.
Yes, the calendar says that December 25th is Christmas. But that day was randomly picked to be the day when Christ’s birth would be celebrated.
So even though many people may be celebrating that particular day, if you’re scheduled to be home another day before or just after the Holidays, make that your special day.
If you have kids, it’s an easy sell to tell them you’re going to do an early Christmas when they get to open a couple of gifts.
And if you’re doing Christmas after the 25th, well what child wouldn’t want a 2nd round of gifts?
So decide which day will be your family’s special day and start building the excitement for that special day.
Share With Others
If you find yourself in some lonely truck stop over the Holidays, it would be easy to squirrel away in your truck, throw a blanket over your head and spend it sulking.
Instead, why not invite some of your fellow truckers to enjoy a Holiday meal with you?
You can share stories of the road, show off pictures of your families and just enjoy each others’ company.
Every truck you see parked on Christmas day has a trucker who’s in exactly the same position you’re in. So even if you can’t help but feel a little miserable, you know what they say about misery loving company.
If you know you’re going to be in a strange city on Christmas day, consider baking a tray of cookies before heading out on the road. Then when Christmas rolls around, share your cookies with others you come across during the day.
This Activity Can Lift Your Mood And Help Your Heart
If you find yourself in a strange town with nothing to do on Christmas day, consider volunteering at a local homeless shelter, church or animal shelter to help take care of those in need
Volunteering has been proven to have positive effects on your mood and has also been shown to decrease risk of high blood pressure in people 50 years old or older.
Stay In Touch With Technology
With today’s technology, we’re never truly disconnected from friends and family. There are many ways to be there with your family when you can’t physically be present.
With Skype, FaceTime or Facebook Messenger, you can use video to see your family and talk face-to-face. And of course there’s always texting or even something the old folks call a telephone ?
Another cool idea, especially if you have kids, is to use a geo-tracker like Trackr.
Every year meteorologists around the world track Santa’s movements by satellite, letting children everywhere know where he’s headed.
So why not use technology to do the same for your family. With Trackr, your family can know where you are and follow your travels to your destination and back again – building anticipation for your arrival.
Are You Feeling Playful?
A good way to spend some time with family while on the road during the Holidays is to play a game together.
You could set up a video chat and have your family place the computer or tablet at the game board so you can see the board. Designate someone as your official “dice roller” and let the game begin.
Or you could download a multi-player game app and enjoy a game of Monopoly or Chess with your loved ones.
Read A Book Together
I got this idea from a website dedicated to long distance relationships.
If you aren’t able to video chat, you could arrange to read a book with a loved one back home. Find a book that you both would be interested in and make sure you each have a copy. Take turns reading pages, or chapters. Then when you’re done reading, take some time to talk about what’s just been read.
This is a great way for couples to share something and generate conversation beyond the usual “how’s the weather stuff”.
I have a friend who, after going through a divorce, found himself alone every Christmas morning. Rather than feeling depressed about it, my friend would get up, brew a thermos of coffee … throw in some Bailey’s Irish Cream, grab his iPod and head out the door.
He would walk to a park nearby, find a quiet bench, and enjoy Christmas music while sipping his warm brew.
It became a time for quiet contemplation, and reflection – a time to consider all that he was thankful for.
Instead of staying in the truck, why not get up and go for a walk? Find a quiet spot to enjoy a warm mug of your own favourite beverage. Listen to music or simply sit and listen to the world around you.
As we approach the Holiday season, remember that feelings follow focus. If you focus on what you’re “missing out” on, you’ll feel miserable.
But if you focus on all that’s good in your life…
- The good you do by being a trucker
- The good people in your life
- The good that comes from having people who love you
… You’ll find the Holidays can be a wonderful time of the year – even when you’re on the road.
Leave a comment below and let us know how you make this time of year on the road a special time.