Helpful techniques to stay motivated and resilient while being away at sea
Mental health is an important part of our wellbeing and we sometimes underestimate its significance. We all have bad days when we feel physically or mentally drained without necessarily having a mental health problem. But when we feel isolated, lonely, hopeless, helpless, short tempered and have trouble focusing, we may need to check-in with ourselves and see what we can do to feel better. The key to having positive experience while being away at sea is staying motivated and resilient. But how can that be achieved when the circumstances are challenging?
It has been proven that physical activity is one of the best ways to beat stress and stay motivated. A quick 20 minute run on the treadmill or around the ship could be very helpful. When it comes to exercise, the most important thing is to actually enjoy the kind of exercise that you have chosen.
Read a book
A bit of bedtime book reading can help one sleep better as compared to falling asleep with a smartphone or laptop. Research shows that spending time on electronic gadgets before sleeping can adversely affect your sleep quality. On the other hand, reading can be very relaxing and is the perfect recipe for good quality sleep.
Write a journal
Journaling is another great way to relax and get in touch with your inner self. Write down your worries and concerns but also the things that you are grateful for. This way, you can feel more in control and find the motivation to change the things that stress you out.
Listening to music
Research has shown that listening to music has a positive impact on the mind and body and is a great way of staying motivated and relaxed. The mind drifts away, and you can think about all the happy memories you have with your loved ones as well as dreaming about your reunion.
Seafarers share a unique relationship. Work and home are one. That’s why it is very important to socialize and make friends onboard. It is in your best interest to have friendly relations with everyone on board. If you can connect well and be very good friends with at least one person on board, your experience will change positively. Having someone to share your ups and downs can be a great way to stay relaxed, motivated and resilient.
Communicate with your family
Make it a point to get in touch with your family at least once during the day by whatever means possible. Perhaps a quick telephone call or a short email. This daily ritual of connecting with your loved ones can go a long way in keeping your mind at peace and helping you get though rough days. Simply listening to the voice of your loved ones, will give you strength and courage to carry on.
Eat healthy food
Eating unhealthy food can make your mind and body less able to handle stress. When a person suffers from chronic stress, there is a rise in his/hers cortisol levels. This hormone may suppress the immune system, it may increase blood pressure and glucose levels in the body, while also decreasing libido and cause acne among other effects. This is why it is vital to manage work-related stress. Let’s not forget that when feeling happy and stress-free, it is not only great for our health but also for our performance at work. Therefore, we have to break the bad cycle; and we can do that by consuming the right foods.
Contrary to popular opinion, mindfulness isn’t about “turning off your thoughts”. It’s about paying attention to each thought that comes to you, and simply observing how it makes you feel. When your mind wanders, you gently bring your attention back to one thing. When you practice that, you are strengthening your ability to focus and concentrate better and for longer periods of time. This will turn into a precious tool for you. A way to calm your mind and body and a way to improve your health and wellness.