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Sailing and Lockdowns – Same but Different
Seasoned sailors experience all kinds of crazy adventures. From hiding away from modern-day pirates (yes, that is a thing) to fighting cabin fever due to the isolation of months at sea with minimal social interaction – sailing can be challenging. But, sailors are a unique tribe of people who take on these challenges and roll with them. Where the average person would think that endless days at sea means loneliness and isolation, most sailors look at it as escape and exhilaration. This unique outlook and the experience they have being secluded out at sea, is what made them better prepared for the Covid-19 situation.
How Months on the Ocean Prepared Sailors for Lockdown on Land
There are many similarities between sailing and lockdown. Both require planning and stocking up. And this not only applies to meals, you have to think of things like light bulbs, cleaning products, board games, spare socks etc. Sailors know all this already. They have experience with preparing to be far away from society for long periods of time. Of course, crossing the ocean is not exactly the same as being in lockdown during a global pandemic. For one, sailing is a choice and lockdown is enforced. Also, sailing for days (or months!) means total isolation, during lockdown at least people could still go to shops and doctors. In some countries, you could still get groceries or takeout meals delivered. Out on the ocean, there is nothing like that so you have to be 100% prepared before you set sail.
Tips from Sailors for Staying Sane in a Lockdown
Because of all the similarities between cross-ocean sailing and lockdown, sailors are in a unique position to give excellent advice on how to stay sane during a lockdown. Although most of the lockdowns around the world have been lifted, we are still living in highly uncertain times. With reports that a second wave of infections could happen in fall, it’s better to be prepared. Here are some tips from experienced sailors on how to stay on top of your game and sane if you find yourself in another lockdown:
• Shop effectively. Plan meals and shop accordingly. Take a walk through your living space and actively look at what could be needed in the coming weeks.
• Exercise! This is essential for mental health and achievable even in a small space. Try some YouTube classes if you’re not sure of what to do.
• Learn something new. If you have extra time on hand, why not use it to upskill?
• Make sure you have dedicated spaces for work, leisure and rest, even if they’re small. Being confined in a small space for a long period of time could make things cross over and mess with your work/life balance.
• Get as much fresh air and sun as possible, the benefits of this are immeasurable.
Finally, it’s important to keep your eye on the horizon and know that there is an end to it. It’s only a matter of time before things either return to normal, or we begin to adapt to how the new normal will be defined.