Being out on the open water is a wonderful experience; many poets and sailors have left plenty of writings documenting that. However, that doesn’t lessen the toll of long-term sailing on a person’s psyche. As such, it is essential to mentally prepare for long-term offshore sailing.
Table of Contents
- Have a readily available hobby
- Try to form bonds with your fellow crew members
- Turn your living space into a home
- Do not be afraid to reach out for help with your mental problems
- Exercise regularly & improve your diet
- Learn about safety to feel safe
- Work out ways to stay in touch with loved ones
- Final word
Have a readily available hobby
The first way to mentally prepare for long-term offshore sailing is to pick up a hobby. Not just any sort of hobby, mind you! If you pick up golfing or another sport, you’ll only feel more mentally drained by not being able to continue with it onboard. You need to pick up something you enjoy doing that you can safely continue to enjoy once you’ve sailed out. Typically, reading and playing video games are the most easily accessible hobbies in this scenario. Especially because newer consoles have handheld modes that let you enjoy your favorite games on the move, the devices are very easy to store. Naturally, something more active or engaging is fine, such as doing yoga.
Start practicing these activities before sailing away so it feels natural to you once you set off to your boating trip. This way, you’ll be able to overcome those days when you feel emotionally drained or anxious because you’re away from your everyday life. You’ll have something “normal” to do that you do at home as well.
Try to form bonds with your fellow crew members
If you’re preparing for long-term offshore sailing as a crew member, one of the biggest problems you’ll probably encounter during your trip is a lack of intimacy. And we are, of course, not talking about physical intimacy. It is the sense of belonging and friendship between individuals that people tend to sorely miss when out on the water. Fellow crew members can seem like simple, unapproachable strangers. But it is precisely this that you need to work on overcoming! After all, the crew will be your only real option for socializing on the boat, even if the one you’re on has a ton of passengers on it. Some ships discourage mingling with the passengers, some outright ban doing it, and, in most cases, the simple demands of your job that cause making friends with passengers impossible. So, give your fellow crew members a chance, and you might be positively surprised by the results!
Turn your living space into a home
Whether you’re getting ready for your long-term offshore sailing as a crew member on a company ship or you’re sailing away on your boat, it’s important to turn your living space into a home. After all, you’ll be spending a few weeks/months there and it’s important for your mental health to feel at home during this period of time.
If you’re sharing a cabin with another crew member, you need to make sure that they are okay with the decoration you want to add. You can add a few family photos, cute lights or some small paintings that remind you of home. If you become good friends with your cabin buddy, you can even decorate together and turn a small cabin into your peace oasis on the boat.
On the other hand, if the boat is yours, your decorating options are limitless and you can do whatever you want to turn your boat into your second home. Be as creative as you can in order to turn your boat into a safe space you’ll want to spend time on.
As a plus, creating a home on the water will prepare you for life at sea if you plan on moving somewhere coastal in the future!
Do not be afraid to reach out for help with your mental problems
Yet another way to mentally prepare for long-term offshore sailing is to reach out to a professional. There is nothing wrong with needing actual help to overcome mental problems. That is why therapists exist in the first place, and just because you are sailing does not mean you can’t keep up with your sessions. Online therapy is a valid way to talk to trained professionals, and the distance does little to make their job more difficult if they’re properly trained. As such, you will always have access to the right help if you care to look for it!
Exercise regularly & improve your diet
People often don’t understand just how much impact their physical state has on their mental well-being. As such, one of the ways to mentally prepare for long-term offshore sailing is by working out regularly. By getting your body into good shape, you will be able to better deal with some of the demands of your job we’ve already discussed, and you’ll also discover your mood is generally better. Besides, if you pick the right workouts, this will also help you with the first advice we gave you and provide you with a hobby to pursue. And if you’re sailing away on the yacht, you may even have a gym on board!
The quality of your diet will have as much impact on your body and mind as regular exercise. Sometimes, it can be even more important. If you do not have a proper balance in your diet, your body can develop vitamin deficiencies which threaten your physical and mental health. If you suffer from unexplainable weakness and depression, a shift in your diet might just be what you need to turn things around. Of course, keeping a close watch on what you’re eating can be a bit difficult sailing, which is why you’ll need to prepare for any obstacles you may encounter while away on sea.
Learn about safety to feel safe
Understanding safety measures becomes vital for ensuring a sense of comfort during extended offshore sailing journeys. Just as seeking guidance from professionals aids in mental preparation, connecting with experienced sailors and participating in safety training equips crew members and boat guests with crucial know-how. Familiarizing yourself with navigation protocols, weather patterns, emergency procedures, and proper equipment use empowers you to confidently face the challenges of open waters. This type of comprehensive safety education ensures that, even amidst the vast ocean, your competence and awareness remain unwavering, reinforcing a reassuring sense of security throughout the voyage.
You also have to inform yourself about what you can bring with you on the boat and how to properly store it as there is a weight limit. So, make sure to learn about those limits before you start packing for your voyage. As for the storage organization, it would be best to consult with moving and storage experts who can help with organization and the safe transfer of your belongings on the boat. Verified Movers can help you find out exactly what you need to properly prepare for this type of safety measures.
Work out ways to stay in touch with loved ones
The final way to mentally prepare for long-term offshore sailing is by working to stay in touch with your loved ones. If you are sailing, you might even have to deal with the added complication of different time zones. However, affection is the best balm to mental health issues and ensuring that you can always contact the people you love the most is not that difficult. If you consult them and explain what you have to deal with, they will be much more open to helping you. Of course, just like when looking for a therapist, this requires you to be open with them and communicate your problems. Note, too, that you can suffer from these issues whether you are just another member of a crew or looking to hire a crew yourself.
Now that you know how to mentally prepare for long-term offshore sailing do not be afraid to follow our advice! Inaction will not help you in any way, shape, or form. So, take concrete steps to fix the problems you face due to your professional life.
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