SEAS THE MIND, the mental health training provider for the maritime industry are back with their monthly blogs that are dedicated to promoting an environment that cultivates a strong sense of healthy wellbeing onboard. SEAS THE MIND was started by two ex-yacht chefs who recognised the need to start a more transparent conversation around mental health within the industry, and they have worked to create a training program specifically for Mental Health First Aid onboard.
In this month’s blog, they share five ways for you to re-energise ahead of, and during, the med season. Read on to see what they have to say about keeping yourself mentally and physically rejuvenated whilst working onboard…
For when it gets too much. Re-energise.
We all know how hectic it can get during a busy season. You are running on less sleep than usual, eating mostly on the go, or inhaling food in 10 minutes before the guests return to the boat. It’s busy and the entire day is go, go, go from when you get up in the morning until you go to sleep in the evening. So when the time comes, it’s essential that you take care of yourself, replenish your energy, and re-energise between one season and the next. Look after your wellbeing just that little bit extra, so that you go into the next season feeling more ready than ever.
You might already know exactly what to do to boost your mood, make yourself feel happy, relaxed, and re-energised, but if not, here are 5 ways you can do it. If none of these appeal to you, stick to the things that you know work. We are all different and need to take care of ourselves in different ways.
1. Take time away from the boat to unwind and gather your thoughts
This could be a day of solo traveling around where you are docked, a holiday home, or visiting a place you’ve always wanted to go. Breaks in between seasons are vital for us to keep performing at our best level for long hours and long periods of time while staying happy, positive, and motivated.
2. Make time to exercise
Spend time outside. Plan your workouts so you can go for a swim after if there’s a beach close by – or do them before work in the mornings if you don’t want to miss social events in the evenings. Make time to release the endorphins and get that ‘feel good’ feeling going throughout the day.
3. Do something wholesome that’ll fill your cup
This can literally be anything that you don’t get time for on charter but that you know for a fact makes you feel relaxed, taken care of, and at ease. Some examples could be reading, going on a hike, going to an exercise class, FaceTiming friends and family, listening to podcasts. The list goes on. Find what it is for you and make time for it now and during the season.
4. Rest and nutrition
During the season, sleep and nutritious meals might not be the most important thing on your mind. So make sure you get lots of rest and eat balanced and nutritious meals to fuel your body and re-energise, ready for the season ahead.
5. Limit caffeine
You might have upped your caffeine while on charter to give you that extra little boost of energy for late night tender runs or busy breakfast service. Now is the time to opt for a green tea instead and try and limit yourself to 1-2 cups of coffee a day.
Rounding off: small changes make a big difference
All of these are great ways to replenish in between seasons – but it’s vital that you implement these during the season too. It might not be in big doses but 10 or 15 minutes here and there makes a massive difference. So make it a priority. Challenge yourself to see how well you can look after yourself even in the season when it’s busy and you’re running around nonstop.
In between seasons are usually a busy time where shipyards might be happening, or crossings, or both! Managing your time is crucial in looking after your own wellbeing. If you do, you’ll be more resilient in showing up for your team and being a positive and happy crew member to be around – whether it’s in the middle of a busy season or socialising on a Caribbean beach afterwards. Always take care of yourself and re-energise before the next busy season starts.
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