How to cope with lockdown at sea

According to the UK P&I Club, some common signs of anxiety and depression that people may be experiencing include:

Physical signs:  

  • Headaches, neck tension, gastrointestinal problems
  • Sleep issues
  • Decreased or no appetite
  • Decreased energy, fatigue

Psychological and emotional signs:  

  • Worrying about your health and the health of your loved ones
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed by events, powerlessness
  • Negative thinking or negative perception of daily events
  • Feelings of discouragement, insecurity, sadness, anger

Behavioral signs:  

  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Difficulty carrying our daily tasks
  • Irritability, aggression
  • Crying
  • Withdrawal
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs and/or medication

However, instead of worrying about when this will end, you can engage in activities that will develop a sense of cont ol and empowerment.

Albeit, not all practices may be helpful or practical, keeping an open mind and experimenting with whatever works for you, will help alleviate the burden of the lockdown at sea.

Some common practices include:

  • Stay informed by using reliable sources to get information
  • Limit the time allocated to seeking information; overload of information can aggravate anxiety and stress
  • Be aware of your feelings, thoughts and reactions. We may not choose the way we feel but we can always choose how we react to those feelings
  • Practice gratitude and kindness with your colleagues onboard. Research suggests that kindness improves your wellbeing, evokes positive feelings and gives you a sense of self-worth and purpose
  • Connect with others with care and compassion.
  • Stay in touch with your family and friends via social media, phone, email, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, Instagram etc.
  • Choose a ‘touchstone friend’ – a person that you trust and with whom you can freely voice your feelings, thoughts and reactions of what you are experiencing
  • Establish a daily routine; this action is of paramount importance during lockdown! This includes daily physical activity, regulated sleep schedule and eating healthy meals
  • Engage in one pleasant activity every day, like listening to your favorite music, reading a good book, watching funny movies, playing board/card games or doing puzzles with a colleague.
  • Practice Positive affirmations. These are positive statements we tell ourselves in order to shift our mindset especially during difficult moments when negativity prevails. By affirming to something we are stating it to be ’true’.
  • Choose positive affirmations that are powerful for you, and repeat them throughout the day. You may also like write them down in a journal and read them aloud.

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