Social isolation has been identified as problematic for seafarers for many years and it is not surprising that if people feel isolated, their wellbeing is likely to be affected. By all means, whether onboard or ashore, it is vital to nurture relationships and connect with the people around, thus focusing on our social self-care, reports Safety4sea.
Focus on social self-care onboard
For effective focus on social self-care onboard, ship operators can
- provide quality internet connectivity to make communication with loved ones back home easy for seafarers
- encourage seafarers to talking openly about any difficulties experienced on board
- create a sense of community onboard with themed events that encourage interaction
- help crew members to feel connected and supported with others by identifying introverts, language barriers and cultural differences
8 ways to practice Social Self-Care
- Call a close friend and family members to feel refreshed, uplifted, and supported.
- Meet up with a friend for a walk and talk to connect emotionally and stay active at the same time.
- Pair up with a friend for a fun activity to take your mind off things that make you feel stressed.
- Play with your pet; pets can be a great source of healing and support when you’re feeling down.
- Set healthy boundaries; learn to say “no,” and give yourself permission to take a break.
- Write a thank you note and letter to express appreciation and your inner thoughts.
- Suggest a gathering; i.e. family dinner, play board games, bbq.
- Prefer to disconnect; make sure that distractions like news feeds, instant messaging, etc don’t interfere with your social time
Types of meditation that can help
- Deep breathing: Sit or lie down comfortably, slowly count to four while inhaling through your nose. Hold your breath for a second. Slowly count to four while your exhale. Repeat a few times.
- Mindfulness Meditation: Focus on your breath. Notice anything that passes through your awareness without judgement. If your mind starts to tackle your to-do list, just return to focusing on your breath.
- Visualization: Close your eyes, relax and image a peaceful place, like a forest. Engage all your senses; hear the leaves, smell the damp soil, feel the breeze.
- Repeat a mantra: Sit quietly and pick any meaningful or soothing word, phrase or sound. Experts say the repetition creates a physical relaxation responses
- Participate in a meditative form of exercise: Try tai chi or qi gong, which use flowing motions.
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