Thriving in the yachting industry often means engaging in lots of social activity. When seeking work, it is often incredibly helpful to chat to people within the superyacht community, in order to scope out job opportunities and keep an ear to the ground for any possible work. But when we are in work, and perhaps traveling afar, sometimes social lives can fall by the wayside, and the connections we harnessed on land can start to feel very distant.
Working on superyachts often comes with the benefit of being a part of a large crew of fellow seafarers. We may be lucky enough to develop genuine true connections with our onboard family, but with so much time spent away from what is familiar to us, loneliness can also set in. Or, perhaps, we simply don’t connect further than a working relationship with others onboard.
Loneliness cannot be defined simply by being alone, sometimes we can feel at our loneliest when surrounded by others. Loneliness is often cited as a pandemic all of its own, and of course this was exaggerated by the Covid-19 pandemic that caused communities to withdraw from one another for months on end.
If we are experiencing hardships in our personal life, we may instigate our own loneliness by withdrawing from interacting socially. Unfortunately, loneliness can be a vicious cycle of consistently withdrawing, and then experiencing anxiety when we do eventually socialize – because we are out of the practice of social interaction. This is something that many of us may have experienced when trying to reinstate a social routine into our lives after the pandemic.
Whilst it’s important not to blame ourselves, we must also recognise that we have the control in our lives to make the changes that will hopefully inject more happiness into our experiences, both at work and at home.
In order to reintegrate meaningful social interactions back into our life and develop new connections it’s important to slowly but surely begin to break away from unhealthy patterns that we may have fallen into.
Here is a short guide that may be helpful if you are experiencing loneliness onboard:
Try to make new connections within existing relationships
Naturally, we all judge others pretty much as soon as we meet a new person. We are constantly seeking familiar traits in others that we can relate to or aspects of their personality that we may recognise in our existing friends. However, friendship with those we work with is not always an immediate guarantee. Oftentimes in yachting, we are working with people from all corners of the globe, so adding some perspective to our relationships at work is important.
Try to ask more questions to someone you may have written off as incompatible with yourself, in order to seek a further connection. It may surprise you what you have in common with someone you thought you were completely different from.
Join a new group or start a class
Its not always easy to maintain healthy habits and regular routines when working at sea, but if you do find yourself in one port for a longer while, perhaps seek out a new activity or exercise class. Exercise is an excellent way to find new connections with others, and it establishes a healthy way to socialize. Likewise, consider what your true interests are and seek out a class or group that caters to this. Whether it’s a sport like Rugby or a hobby such as Dancing or Cooking, you’re sure to be able to find something that sparks your interest and can in turn exercise your social muscles at the same time.
Stay connected to your roots
Not all of us are lucky enough to have solid relationships with our family, or to enjoy the luxury of spending time with them. But, if you are someone who values family time or has long-lasting friendships in other countries, it’s important to put proper time aside to cater to these relationships. It’s not always easy to find the time or energy to do so, but you may be surprised at how much better you feel after a conversation with someone that is important to you. These connections can keep us anchored to our true selves also.
Should you feel a sense of loneliness on board please don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself and utilise the free 15 min counselling discovery call. You can contact me on email@example.com
The Crew Coach