Truckers are usually away from home for about three weeks out of each month causing them to miss out on many celebrations and family traditions throughout the year. As a military significant other, I find myself empathizing with these men and women. I found great comfort in an Overdrive Magazine articlethat I recently came across in which therapist Buck Black offers advice to truckers who are caught spending time away from home this holiday season. Black says that “for truckers, the wintery weather, lack of sunlight and the possibility of not making it home in time for the holidays adds additional layers of stress to an already tense time of year.”

Here are some simple suggestions to combat the obstacles truckers face during the holidays:

Black suggests that instead of fixating on celebrating Christmas on the 25th of December, try starting a new family tradition and celebrate a few weeks before or after. Skyping during the holiday dinner, reading holiday stories together on the phone, and leaving small present to open while you’re on the road are also unique ways to keep from not feeling so far away.

Black also suggests connecting with other individuals who may also be alone for the holidays. Volunteering is a great way to surround yourself with others. Contributing to a cause and helping the less fortunate promises a rewarding experience for all. It is important to remember that although spending Christmas away from home is one of the hardest parts of the job, there are people without food on the table or a warm place to sleep this holiday season. Being away from loved ones is certainly less than ideal, but let’s not forget to be grateful that we have these amazing people in our lives to miss. Loving from a Distance is a fantastic website that offers simple ways to stay connected and appreciative of loved ones even when you’re not together.

The final suggestion made by Black in this helpful article is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is easy to become stubborn and uninspired to stay healthy during the slumps of distance. However, according to WebMD, stress may manifest in physical symptoms such as low energy, headaches, an upset stomach, aches and pains, insomnia, chest pain and rapid heartbeat. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial in any efforts to stay strong for loved ones while away during holidays, or any other time of the year for that matter.

Anyone who is involved in the transportation industry recognizes it as a staple in all aspects of not only the many lives of this nation, but lives all over the world. On a more personal note, I hope that truckers, especially those away from home during the holidays, keep in mind that they are making a difference in the world. Pride such as this can sometimes be the best medication.