5 Effective Tricks to Combat Homesickness

A career in seafaring can be a challenging yet rewarding occupation. For many Filipinos, it’s a great opportunity to provide better for their families and secure their future.

But like any other job that requires you to be away from your loved ones, it can take a toll on a seafarer’s emotional disposition once the sense of isolation and homesickness kick in. It might even reach a point where he will be faced with a towering regret by choosing a life at sea. These feelings of extreme longing can easily overcome a seafarer’s state of mind, thus, affecting his performance of important tasks onboard. Needless to say, it is a career for the strong.
While it’s perfectly normal to feel loneliness upon missing the family you left behind, giving in to it will only disable you from achieving your goals when you first decided to sail the sea.
With these tips, you can beat homesickness and keep you going:

1. Exercise

Not only is exercising an excellent way to keep the physique in tip-top condition, it helps sweat off the stress from work and homesickness, plus, it makes the mind and body feel motivated for the long days ahead. Simple exercise routines will do like a quick 20- minute run on the treadmill, a 10-minute push-up work-out or stretches that they can squeeze in between duty.

2. Make friends and socialize with other people on the ship

The sea is a hostile place and the best way to be sane and safe in the middle of it is to stick with the people around you. Since seafarers basically live with the same people they work it, it will be in everyone’s best interest if they all get along nicely.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and make a new friend. Mix around, socialize and share meaningful conversations to one another. Every one of you more or less share the same reasons for choosing seafaring and a bond created in this similarity might even last a lifetime.

3. Communicate with your loved ones

With the advent of technology and social media, it’s actually quite easy to keep in touch with loved ones even if you’re in uncharted waters. And if you’re lucky to have internet connection on board, connecting with everyone back home on a regular basis is a breeze.

Now that’s one sure way to reduce the longing and relax your mind.

4. Meditation

Your mind is cluttered with so many thoughts of home and work and this is driving you away from seeing the bigger perspective, as well as being at ease with your present life. Meditation or Yoga might be able to solve this issue. Simple techniques such as breathing, yoga exercise and voice-aided meditation will retain the sense of calm and will have you focused on far more important things. Doing this before your duty will send you off on a high note.

5. Pick up a hobby
In addition to their essentials, seafarers should make it a habit to bring other things that will serve as recreational materials for them to enjoy while out at sea. A good example is a guitar that you can play and sing to, along with other seafarers.

Watching movies is a sensible past time and might require a laptop, if a DVD player isn’t available at the seafarers’ cabin. They can store movies before they leave and enjoy them during downtimes.
Another good leisure activity for seafarers is reading books. Many commercial vessels have a library full of fiction and non-fiction books and magazines that can take the mind away from the lonely feeling. Listening to music also makes for a good relaxation.

A life at sea is demanding and it needs full concentration to get through all the days that has to be spent while on a ship. This is achieved in having a sound mind that fuels the motivation. Remember who you are doing this for. Make them your inspiration, not a distraction. Don’t forget that you’ll return home soon enough but for now, you have work to do.