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5 Proven Ways for Seafarers to Combat Homesickness

Oct 09, 2017

Seafaring is a noble and a rewarding profession but also challenging at it requires one to be away from his home and loved ones, be it for an inter-island or an international employment contract.

According to the study conducted by the students of Lyceum of the Philippines Laguna entitled “The Challenges of Filipino Seafarers Onboard: Basis for Work Life Balance” in 2015, one of the problems that seafarers often face onboard is homesickness. Researchers define it as “the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home." Hence, given the long periods seafarers spend in the ship amidst the ocean, this feeling of longingness is common especially to the apprentices and novices.

On the bright side though, specialists are able to address this challenge to help seafarers cope up with homesickness. Here are 5 effective ways:

Love your profession and you will eventually enjoy each day doing it.

Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Alabama's School of Public Health believes that a homesick person is not literally just missing his home but also what's normal, what is routine and the larger sense of social space because those are the things that help people survive. So instead of focusing on your loneliness, enjoy your chosen profession. As an old adage say “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” 

Engage in more worthwhile activities.

Most of the vessels nowadays have available recreational activities on board in accordance to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 that contains provisions on conditions of employment, hours of work and rest, accommodation, and recreational facilities among other.

Divert your attention and turn your isolation into a joyful moment by spending your free times on any of the available recreational facilities aboard.  Read Discover the Many Ways to Enjoy While Working at Sea for more tips.

Build rapport and befriend your colleagues.

This will make you establish or at least feel that you have a second family away from home.

Connect with your family as often as possible.

The internet is one of the fastest means to contact and communicate with your loved ones back home. But in case the internet connection is not available amidst the sea, vent your loneliness and longingness in a letter.  

SeamanJobsite also previously published an article about proven ways to be a great dad even while you are away. Click here to read.

Hold on to your faith.

Praying and talking to God is the best weapons to defy all life’s adversities. This and all of the above-mentioned approaches will surely make your seafaring experience worth-remembering.

Resist to give in to the negative effects of homesickness to achieve your future goals. It takes guts and courage to be a seafarer and believing that you can do it will make the journey even more rewarding.

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