By Anton John de Arca, Deck Cadet, Thome Group Cadet Program
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought huge effect on the economy and humankind around the globe. Seeing a continuous increase of victims and deaths is detrimental to mental health. In these most difficult times, we must try to stay positive for our own sanity and to overcome this out break
In the maritime sector, crew changes become a challenge, and sometimes impossible. The global supply chains and economy seem to have reached their lowest ebb. Extreme health hazards are everywhere, making the seafarers vulnerable to get infected by COVID-19.
Given the situation, how can we stay positive onboard despite having to stay for extended periods?
There is no definite answer to that question for being optimistic is a choice. It is important to choose being optimistic for our own peace of mind and for the well-being of our families, company, and shipboard organisation as well.
As a seafarer, most of our day-to-day activity entails time, effort, and massive attention. Attending to your daily tasks and taking part of various social activities onboard are somehow enough to alleviate negativities. Moreover, building friendships and good camaraderie would help us overcome the situation. If we decide to stay positive, the people around us will likely follow our lead.
Refrain from fake news. Though we need to remain aware of some negative news in the internet, we should limit our exposure to them to avoid anxiety and fear getting the better of us.
Install motivational applications on your mobile phones as it helps boost self-esteem and keeps you motivated, happy, and focused.
Keep strong connection with your family to help ease loneliness and isolation. As seafarers, being away from our families amid COVID-19 concerns can really magnify the sense of isolation and disconnect. Our families can offer us real strength and courage to continue whatever lies ahead with enthusiasm and positivity.
Stay grateful. Think about how fortunate you are that you’re alive, blessed and make every second of it worthwhile. The pandemic makes us see that while things maybe difficult right now, it’s also an opportunity to appreciate the blessings that we fail to pay attention to. Reflect on things to be grateful for – health, job, family, friends, and so much more.
As seafarers, we commit to contribute to the world in the form of our job to keep the continuity of global supply lines open so that our families and all of humanity will not experience exiguous supply of basic necessities such as food, fuel, raw materials, medical supplies and manufactured goods. How we see our work is something that needs a stable mindset to keep us going. There’s nothing more fulfilling and rewarding than offering ourselves in the service for others amidst this global crisis.
And lastly, pray without ceasing, pray with all your heart. With prayers, things will surely get under control and return to normal gradually. This pandemic will surely pass.
Remember, we’re all in this together. Stay safe, healthy, and positive.