In the Philippines, having a seafarer in the family is a source of pride and joy.
After all, seafaring is an excellent career that gives you good wages, travel opportunities, and long holidays. However, living the maritime life also means being away from your loved ones for long periods of time. Spending months at sea during long voyages also means less physical human contact, and this can affect your morale and mental well-being.
It's hard to shake off the feeling of loneliness, and that puts you at risk for extreme stress and mental health issues. To fight these, you need to strengthen your mental health with the following tips:
- Connect with other people. Working at sea means limited opportunities to communicate with your family and friends back home. But it's essential to stay connected with them through regular phone calls or video calls.
Also, take the opportunity to socialize and make friends with other crew members. Schedule fun activities with them, like games, sports, or movie nights.
- Maintain a routine. Having a daily routine keeps your mind busy, reduces your stress level, and makes you feel more in control of your life. Achieving your goals and tasks throughout the day also releases a hormone called dopamine in your body, giving your brain a boost and making you feel good.
- Make time for hobbies you enjoy. Engaging in purposeful and fun activities triggers the release of a hormone called serotonin in your body, which regulates your mood and happiness.
Find a hobby such as exercising, which will help lift your mood. You can also learn new skills, thanks to the many free courses you’ll find online. For instance, if you love photography, capture those memories and take photos of your time onboard.
- Don’t neglect your physical health. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. You’ll be better able to handle your mental and emotional issues if you have a healthy and robust body.
Here are some tips on ensuring your body is always in tip-top shape:
● Get 6 to 8 hours of sleep a day.
● Consume a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, fish, and lean meats. Don’t skip meals.
● Exercise and move regularly, even if it's just jogging or brisk walking.
● Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
● Do relaxing activities during breaks.
● Avoid drinking and smoking.
● Limit your intake of caffeine and carbonated drinks.
● Meditate for at least 10 minutes a day.
- Feeling overwhelmed? Take a step back and breathe. Allow yourself to pause and relax. Take deep breaths to calm down. Tell yourself, “I choose to see this challenge as an opportunity,” or “I have done this before, and I can do it again.”
Acknowledge that feelings of anxiety, sadness, and anger are normal, but they will pass eventually. You can write down these encouraging statements so that you can go back to them when you need a reminder and maintain a positive attitude.
- Free your mind from worry. You may be experiencing many fears, one of which is getting sick and being unable to work. Knowing that you’re protected from unforeseen health emergencies can grant you peace of mind during the time you are away from your family.
Getting a comprehensive life and health insurance plan like BPI AIA's Critical Care 100 helps you achieve this goal. It protects you from up to 100 critical illnesses until the age of 100, so you can have a long and happy life with your loved ones.
To find out more about Critical Care 100, submit this inquiry form or visit the BPI AIA website.