And…Relax! Finally, the long, busy and scarily hot Mediterranean season has ended. Here are a few tips to help you decompress after weeks of guests, whether you’re planning to go straight into winter mode, store the yacht and head to warmer climates, or (for the lucky ones) take some time off.
Sleep, remember this? It is the magic prescription that helps everything. While on charter during the summer, you may not have had enough of it or good enough quality, but it isn’t too late. If you have struggled to sleep, look after yourself physically and calm down your body’s systems, tap into some meditation, take a yoga class or even book in for a massage somewhere to help unwind and relax.
Andrew Roch, CEO of The Crew Academy, suggests “putting your phone down at least an hour before bed.” This reduction in screen time can help. I recommend calming teas, such as Camomile, or even the use of lavender oils in your cabin.
And no, this doesn’t mean buying the latest form of crypto with your latest charter tip; this means investing in yourself. You have just spent many weeks looking after everyone elses and seeing to their needs to ensure they are happy. Now it is time for you. It is now when you need to take off the pressure on any tasks you need to get done and focus on yourself.
Emma Ross, a mental health first aider and Co-Founder of @seasthemind, suggests, “enroll in a course to expand your mind, anything that interests you, fill your brain with facts, this can give you a facet to your life that doesn’t involve boats.”
Have you still got unread WhatsApp messages from July? Being busy onboard during a season may mean you have switched off from your life entirely outside of the boat. Reconnecting with friends and family is so important.
Ross emphasises “connect with people, not online but in real life,” she further explains to “deeply connect with your people, and you’ll find you will find connection within yourself.”
Take time off entirely from the boat; whether it is one night, one week or a whole month, be sure to get completely away from everything. Working and living with the same crew within a busy period can cause even the best team strain. It is important to use this downtime however you want; whether you relax by taking an adventurous break away or a Netflix binge, both are beneficial if it allows you to switch off from work.
If you have been eating and drinking well throughout the season, well done! But if you have succumbed to the midnight on-watch snacks, or can’t quite make it to the laundry without tripping over a snack basket, this one is for you… Your diet impacts your level of physical energy and consequently your mental and emotional energy. The more nutritious things you put into your body, the better you will feel. We all know that foods high in sugar, fat, and salt are not healthy for us. Although it may seem tempting to indulge in an unhealthy drop-off day dinner, it may be better to balance it out.
Whether stretching out those end-of-the-night service aches or the desire to run as far from the yacht to get rid of your cabin fever, moving your body in any way that feels good will help you recharge. Roch suggests “do one physically active thing each day for at least 15 minutes.” He also emphasises how breath work and stretching are essential to relax and do within short spurts of “me time moments.” As well as physical benefits, moving your body has many mental benefits.
As much as you love your job role onboard, doing it back to back with guests consistently may get somewhat tiresome. If your crewing schedule allows it, it is good to switch up tasks and job roles onboard. Whilst it may not be easy or practical to get the Captain ironing or the Chef with a chamois, fostering some variety within departments and switching up tasks is great.
Stress is a big one in today’s world. Onboard during a season, tensions can run high, and even the calmest crew member can be ready to explode at any minute. The list of implications stress can have on your mind and body is enough to stress you out on its own, so it is crucial to reduce stress and relax. If something has caused you particular issues with your job role or another crew member, it should be addressed. And the sooner, the better.
A busy yachting season can take its toll, perhaps you have tried eating healthy, taken a night off the boat, caught up with friends and family and have a newfound love for yoga, but sometimes this isn’t enough. For crew, there are increasing resources to chat to people if you or anyone you know is struggling – for example, Yacht Crew Help, Seas the Mind and The Crew Academy.
The benefits of taking time off after a busy season cannot be underestimated. Creating a work-life balance can be challenging for the crew, but without it, burnout can occur, and you may find yourself unable to work. So, relax, rest and recharge ASAP!
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