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Sailors’ Society Wellness at Sea – advice for when it feels life is spiralling out of control

Seafarer wellbeing has been a focal topic for Standard Club in recent years, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic and we are proud to be working in partnership with Sailors’ Society’s Wellness at Sea programme, sharing helpful advice and resources over a period of 27 weeks.

What happens when life spirals out of control?

From time to time an event or series of events can leave us feeling depleted and overwhelmed. Whether something happens to a loved-one or yourself – a sudden illness, an accident, living within a pandemic, or natural disaster – these are all traumatic experiences which can provoke powerful and disturbing emotions in us which generally settle in time.

Immediately after such an event it is common for people to feel shocked, or numb, or unable to accept what has happened. You may also be in denial – acting as if the event never occurred.

Because you are so unique, you will react in a unique way. You will go through your own process to get to grips with what has happened.

In this time, it is normal to experience mixed feelings. Being scared, feeling powerless, angry, guilty, sad or even ashamed and embarrassed – these are all normal. Physically you may struggle to sleep, have night terrors, headaches, changes in appetite, fatigue and more.

Have a listen to this podcast as it explores what you can expect when going through a traumatic experience including how it can affect your body, mind and relationships, as well as the help available to get through it.

Here are 8 things to keep in mind if you or a family member are affected by a traumatic event:

1. It takes time

To get to grips with such an event can take weeks or months. Learning to live with the new reality after such an event is an ongoing process.

2. Connect with others who know what you’re going through

Sharing your feelings and story with someone who truly understands because of your shared experience can make your load lighter. Learning from how they are handling the aftermath of the event can be very helpful.

3. Ask for support

Asking for support in not always easy. Trust friends and family to help where needed – you are important to them. Make use of resources like Sailors’ Society’s Crisis Response Network (CRN).

4. You are important

Being strong for others is important but to play that role and to heal your own wounds, you need to take time for yourself. Focus on you! You are as important as those you support.

5. Small steps

Do things bit by bit. Set small objectives and celebrate achieving them.

6. If you feel it can help, find out what happened

Facts can help us heal. If you have uncertainty about the events that occurred, try to clarify it. Be aware that exploring the facts can bring about powerful emotions. Ask someone you trust to do this with you.

7. Routine helps

Eating, sleeping and exercising are key building blocks of how we feel. Make sure you get into a routine as soon as possible and do these basics right.

8. Challenge yourself to do ‘normal’

Sometimes getting back to the things you did as part of your everyday life is a challenge. Try to identify ‘normal’ things that you are not doing anymore. Challenge yourself to do these one at a time until you get back in the swing of things.

Stay tuned to this space as more resources from both Standard Club and Sailors’ Society will be shared regularly.
Source: The Standard Club

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