Written by: Lynne Edwards and Renata Balla
Navigating downtime: How to find calm in the chaos
For yacht crew, the summer season is a challenging time, there is a lot to juggle, and burnout can be rife (see our previous blog post on how to avoid this as crew). It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life onboard between charters and guest trips while still maintaining the everyday running of the yacht that any time for you can be forgotten.
But even in summer, there should be moments of time out. It is vital for your well-being and productivity. Downtime in the summer season is hard to plan, but our specialist trainers Lynne and Renata have some tips for utilising downtime.
Nurture your self-care rituals
As mentioned, downtime can be incredibly rare and a precious commodity on a busy yacht in the summer, the wisest thing to do is to focus on self-care. Finding time for anything other than work, particularly as a HOD, is challenging, and unless you consciously set time aside for yourself, your precious “me-time” will have disappeared. It takes focus and discipline to prioritise yourself, but it shouldn’t be considered selfish – rather self-restorative.
Having this time for yourself is necessary to maintain a healthy physical and emotional body to function optimally in the crazy world of superyachts. A few ways to do this is to enjoy and nurture your self-care rituals, such as enjoying a hair and face mask while listening to guided meditation, doing some yoga or stretching, taking a short walk ashore, drinking your favourite tea, giving yourself a manicure while listening to an inspiring podcast. These small gestures may not seem like a lot, but they can be a great way to use limited downtime while being restorative and rewarding. Once your own cup has been filled, other tasks will become easier.
Explore new surroundings
Sometimes there will be pockets of downtime that can be used to get off the yacht. Within a summer season, you will likely be spending a lot of time onboard, even when you have breaks, so it is important to use any longer periods to take a break from the yacht’s surroundings and get ashore to explore.
Whether you have an hour to explore the port you are docked in or have a weekend off where you travel somewhere else, any time to explore can benefit your well-being. Exploring a different country is part of the magic of being a crew. Although you may not have much time, getting off for a walk can do wonders for you, grabbing a late afternoon ice cream on the beach or exploring the nearest city for an evening.
At LH, we love meeting our crew community worldwide, so if you have some time off and want to connect with us, check out where our trainers are with #LHTravel!
Plan for the future
While you may not have a lot of spare time to do what you want now, you can look toward the future – what will you do this winter or between the seasons? On one of your breaks this season, why not sit down and think about what you want to be doing after this busy season ends?
Professionally speaking, you can use your spare time to plan your next steps. If you had a seasonal position, is there an opportunity to stay onboard? Will you be looking for your next yacht? Perhaps a Caribbean season? What are the yacht’s plans if you are in a permanent role? Will you have the opportunity to take time off to do some training – maybe you want to step up to a head of the department role, and you want to upskill and take a leadership course to do so.
Personally speaking, you can also use any time you have to plan fun things to do after the season – a break away from your role onboard is the perfect time to plan a holiday. Planning a holiday is relaxing and rewarding and gives you something to look forward to after a busy period onboard.
Maintain your hobbies
Maintaining your hobbies during busy periods is essential for personal well-being and balance. When time is limited, it is important to prioritise and make intentional choices to ensure you can indulge (even for a short time!) in the things you love to do.
You must find ways to integrate your hobbies into your schedule, even if it means starting with small increments of time. For example, you can set aside a few minutes of your daily break for activities like reading. Some hobbies are easier to maintain than others. If you are a keen photographer, being on a yacht can support this hobby while you are floating around picturesque bays, or if you love yoga, there is always space to roll out a mat for some stretching onboard. Other hobbies may be harder to maintain onboard, but working with what you have is key.
Take that break!
Although it may not seem like it when you are extremely busy onboard, taking a break will actually help your productivity, it will recharge your energy, ignite creativity and maintain a sense of joy in the busy times.
It is important to look after ourselves and each other during a busy summer season onboard. Good luck with the rest of the season! You’ve got this!