Shipowners’ Club in cooperation with ISWAN released an information booklet, aiming to support seafarers’ mental health. Namely, as the report says, managing stress and sleeping well at sea is an integral part of positive health and well-being on board.
The guide aims to help seafarers understand stress and its effects, and offers practical to recognise stress and cope effectively.
The booklet also advises seafarers how to manage fatigue at sea and benefit from their sleep. Factors such as rota management and crewing numbers may be largely outside of seafarers’ control but the guide provides tips and advice to reduce the risk of fatigue and take care of seafarers sleep health.
In order to address the effects of stress, the report suggests the following:
- Controlled breathing: Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose into the bottom of the lungs, filling them.
- Exercise: Exercise can clear your thoughts, and get into a better state of mind to deal with your problems.
- Rest well: Take time for yourself, relax or connect with others on board.
- Socialize: Spend time with others. This can give anyone a sense of time out and can be a good distraction.
- Identify what is causing the stress: A list of stressful can relieve some pressure, while talking it over with someone trustworthy can also be beneficial.
Furthermore, in order to cope with fatigue, sleep is more than crucial. Lack of sufficient sleep can increase fatigue and the only real way to solve this is good quality sleep. Prioritise your sleep health and get the sleep that you need.
In order to achieve a quality sleep that will get you rested, the report outlines some actions that will help achieve just that:
- Do not eat heavy or spicy foods in the few hours before going to bed;
- Set an alarm at a regular time each day;
- Do not use your computer, phone or any electrical devices when you go to bed;
- Use your bed mainly for sleep;
- A warm shower is beneficial;
- Go to bed when you are tired and ready for sleep;
- Try quiet activities before sleeping;
- Try relaxation exercises.
1. Maximum hours of work must not be over:
- 14 hours in any 24-hour period;
- 72 hours in any seven-day period.
2. Minimum hours of rest must not be less than:
- 10 hours in any 24-hour period;
- 77 hours in any seven-day period.
For more information on how to achieve well-being on board, click in the PDF below