Today, I read an article on the Wake Up World website called “7 Ways to Increase the Good Vibes in Your Home”. For yachties, the boat is our home, but unfortunately we can’t have salt rock lamps and essential oils burning.
Despite that, there are many things we can do on board to raise the vibes and make it a fantastic place to live and work.
1. Attitude. It’s always said that attitude is everything, and it’s true. Everyone knows that depending on your mood, you will see a situation either one way or the other. In yachting and life you will get much farther if you check your attitude. Is it one that radiates positivity, or do most things look bleak and feel like a drag? If it’s the former, you will not only get farther in life but you will actually enjoy the ride. Nothing makes you naturally feel positive and have a great attitude like taking care of your health.
2. Take care of your health. Your diet should consist of at least 90 percent healthy, whole foods, heavy in fruits and vegetables. The reason for this is that you want the cleanest burning fuel in your body as possible. When your body gets this, it rewards you with a light, happy energy.
It’s also important to sweat almost every day and stay committed to it. Drink 2-3 liters of water. Get 8-10 hours of sleep starting no later than 10 p.m. (earlier is better). Get enough vitamin D, iodine and B12. Have healthy relationships. And refer back to No. 1.
3. Learn what it takes to be a great crew member. Great crew members follow the rules of the boat, keep themselves and their personal areas clean, do things to make others crew members’ jobs easier, and fill a room with positive energy.
Looking for something to do to make someone happy on board? Maybe refill someone’s water bottle and put it in the fridge for them, so when they come inside for it, it’ll be cold and feel great. Or go out of your way to make someone feel recognized for something they did well. Spreading these kinds of crew relations is key to a happy boat.
4. Keep your personal space and crew space clean. As mentioned in No. 3, keeping your personal space clean is essential to being a good crew member. It will also raise the good vibes of the boat by having crew who care about where they live and work.
A messy crew mess and crew cabins are the window into the attitude of the crew on board. Keep your space clean and set a good example for others.
5. Have a life outside of yachting. Having a life outside of yachting is sometimes difficult but it may just mean that you keep up with your other interests. If you are an artist, for example, don’t let those skills sink into the background of your life until they are non-existent.
You may not make the connection but if you forgo all of your other interests, your happiness level could start to drop. Plus, more time working on your passions means less time spending money at the local crew pub, and everyone can benefit from that.
6. Bond with your crew. Crew bonding is critical for increasing the good vibes on a boat. Even if the crew don’t seem to have anything in common, doing something together as a crew can be the start of a great professional relationship.
To really bond, do something healthy outdoors and maybe have a challenge of some kind. Do something that prompts many laughs and can be discussed the next day. Of course, bonding at the pub can also be a good thing, but your relationships will feel a lot more meaningful if you do something together that is active and healthy.
7. Radical Honesty. This is a difficult necessity but a necessity all the same. Radical honesty means that if you have a problem with someone on board, you speak to them diplomatically, right away. (But wait until your emotions have subsided and you can think and act clearly.)
The captain should be emphasize the importance of this, but many captains don’t do it themselves. Be the one who starts this and, if it’s appropriate, approach the captain and suggest it. Nothing will keep a crew together and happy like a commitment to Radical Honesty from an entire crew.
Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from entries in her blog, The Yachtie Glow (www.angelaorecchio.com), which offers tips for crew on how to be healthy, fit and happy on board. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.