Comment: Mental resilience in the transport industry

By: Emma Godwin, Sector Administration Manager, Photography by: Supplied

In the fast-paced world we live in, where daily challenges can feel like relentless crossroads, mental resilience has become a vital asset


In the fast-paced world we live in, where daily challenges can feel like relentless crossroads, mental resilience has become a vital asset.

This is particularly true for individuals working in the transport industry, where the demands of the job often intersect with the complexities of everyday life.

It’s no 9–5 job with work-specific hours. Balancing the demands this brings with spending time with family, catching up with friends, and fitting in time to do things for yourself — whether that be exercise or taking time for your hobbies — is difficult and can challenge one’s resilience if they’re not on top of their life’s needs.

Understanding mental resilience as well as being able to identify and apply the building blocks of resilience both in general life and within the unique context of the transport sector is crucial to leading a happy and balanced life.

What is mental resilience?


Mental resilience refers to one’s ability to adapt and bounce back from adversity. It’s the psychological courage that enables individuals to face setbacks, stressors, and uncertainties with a positive and proactive mindset.

In our lives that are made up of many working parts, the need for mental resilience is evident in various aspects, from personal relationships to professional endeavours.

Working in the transport industry presents a distinctive set of challenges. Long hours, tight schedules, and the responsibility of navigating large vehicles through unpredictable conditions create an environment that demands mental courage.

Drivers not only contend with traffic congestion and unpleasant weather but also experience extended periods away from home, contributing to feelings of isolation and fatigue.

For drivers, it’s important to find ways to overcome and manage these factors so let’s take a look at some methods to overcome and build the resilience this industry demands.  

Building blocks

1. Mindfulness and self-awareness

Developing mental resilience starts with cultivating mindfulness and self-awareness. In the transport industry, drivers benefit from being present on the road, managing stressors effectively, and understanding their emotional responses to different situations.

2. Social support systems

In both general life and the transport industry, fostering strong social connections is essential. Having a supportive network of friends, family, and colleagues provides
a safety net. Companies in the transport sector can contribute by promoting a culture of camaraderie and offering resources for mental health support.

3. Adaptability and problem-solving

Resilient individuals excel in adapting to changing circumstances. For transport professionals, this means honing problem-solving skills to navigate unexpected roadblocks and challenges. Embracing change and seeking solutions actively contribute to mental toughness.

4. Physical well-being

Mental resilience is closely linked to physical well-being. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep play essential roles in maintaining overall health. In the transport industry, companies can support drivers by promoting healthy lifestyles and providing resources for maintaining physical well-being on the road.

The role of employers

Employers within the transport industry have a crucial role in encouraging mental resilience among their workforce. Putting in place thorough mental health programmes, offering counselling services, and providing training on stress management are proactive steps that can contribute to a healthier and more resilient work environment.

Challenges unique to the transport sector

While the principles of mental resilience are universal, the transport industry has its own set of challenges that require targeted approaches. Companies can introduce initiatives such as flexible schedules, rest areas with mental health resources, and training programmes specifically designed to address the unique stressors faced by drivers.


With the multiple aspects that contribute to our lives, mental resilience is the thread that binds our ability to overcome challenges and thrive. In the transport industry particularly, nurturing mental resilience is paramount.

By fostering self-awareness, promoting social support, embracing adaptability, and prioritising physical well-being, individuals in the transport sector can navigate the roads effectively and safely and also the difficult situations life throws at us, with greater strength and resilience.

Employers play a crucial role in creating an environment that supports mental health, ensuring that those who keep our world moving forward are equipped to face the journey ahead, both on and off the road.

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