Mental health is an incredibly important topic for everyone, now more than ever. As our roads start to become busy again and Uber drivers get back in the driving seat, it’s natural to feel anxious at the prospect of returning to work.
There are many ways you can help to protect your physical health from coronavirus, including wearing a face covering and frequently deep cleaning your vehicle. However, it’s important not to forget about protecting your mental health too.
It’s completely normal to feel that your mental health may be affected as lockdown starts to lift, due to concerns about whether it’s safe to go back to work. Anxiety can cause uncontrollable worrying and physical symptoms such as shortness of breath or heart palpitations.
Long, lonely hours on the road, especially when passenger numbers remain lower than usual, have the potential to affect your mental health. You may also be facing more stresses and concerns caused by the lockdown period – fears for your health and that of your loved ones, uncertainty about the future, and financial worries.
We understand the difficulties you face and want to support you. You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to speak out about mental health and should take measures to improve your mental wellbeing. That’s why we’ve put together a free guide containing tips, advice, and resources that will help you protect your mental health not just during this time, but in the future too.
This guide collates advice from various recognised outlets including the NHS. Please remember that if you need help with either your mental or physical health, you should contact your doctor right away.
Please share this guide with your friends and fellow drivers.
It’s important to remember that you are not alone. There’s a great community of Uber drivers out there who are facing the same concerns and circumstances as you. Connecting with others is one of the most effective ways you can protect your mental wellbeing. We run a private Whatsapp group where drivers often share updates on how they are feeling and what it’s like on the road. If you’d like to join, please email us at [email protected].
Here are some of the top tips shared by other drivers on returning to the road safely, and how to spend your time while waiting for passengers:
— Many passengers are looking for rides before 9am, so consider changing your working hours to start earlier. At the moment, there isn’t much difference between weekdays and weekends so you can spread your working time out over the week.
— A lot of pickups are happening at people’s houses and supermarkets, especially while traffic in and out of train stations and airports is lower, so don’t confine yourself to one particular area when working.
— Wear a face covering and insist your passengers do too – Uber has now made this mandatory.
— Consider doing deliveries or courier work. INSHUR customers are automatically covered to do this.
— Take your book or tablet in the car with you so you can read or watch shows during downtime. If you’re currently studying this could also be a great opportunity to get your head down in an assignment.
— Take healthy snacks to keep your energy up.