The pandemic covid 19 has turned the world into possibilities of the ‘New Normal’ that has found its way into the new age vocabulary. The seafarers are the most impacted as they have been working round the clock keeping the supply chain robust. Everyone thought of expressing gratitude to the essential service providers but somewhere forgot our warriors of the seas; who were quietly doing their duties. In addition to this they’ve faced challenges and concerns relating to being away from their families. Thinking about the wellbeing of their loved ones and seeing no signs of crew change as most countries have closed their borders leading to delays in sign offs. These have impacted thousands of seafarers worldwide. Crew change is being done but not in a systematic way. There are far too many seafarers working beyond their contracts to be covered in this manner. There needs to be a more planned and well thought of crew change policies probably by all shipping companies participating in it following guidelines from the IMO; as maritime industry is very different in nature and requires to be handled differently too.
Coming to the families of the seafarers; these incidents have caused them stress and anxiety. It is but natural for them to feel so as they see other people around them being with their families; spending time with their near and dear ones. These are no ordinary times and call for the families to demonstrate extraordinary courage too. Not just keep calm but also communicate with their seafarers with love, understanding and compassion. Seafarers are commended for their dedication towards their work in these extremely difficult times. The Sailor queen too needs to be strong and be the equal partner to her man; keeping his morale high at the same time assuring him of the safety and wellbeing of his family. These are the testing times for her, but then she has faced all these and more as a shippy wife. In these times she needs to summon all her courage and manage her home front and family and do the following:
It’s not a choice but the only option she has. She may find herself in the midst of a storm; so what? She was ready to face them the day she decided to be the spouse of the man who goes to the sea. She is called the better half and these are the times when she needs to be just that stay positive and remain strong. Strength is contagious when she demonstrates that to her sailor he automatically gets energised.
Use all your communication skills
Communication is a strong tool that bridges gaps and brings out the best in people. If not used well it can do just the opposite. Stay connected with your man; use all your communications skills verbal or visual; as video calls are a possibility and a big boon now. This helps in not only keeping his morale high but also feeling the connection closer home.
Be an active listener
Best way of keeping people’s mood swings in check is by allowing them to vent. You are the one who can let him bring out the smoke by giving him an ear. Being non judgemental just hearing him out and using encouraging words to motivate him.
Savouring happy memories
Savouring is a happy feeling and adds to a person’s well being. It brings back happy feelings and memories that you cherish. Share those moments with him and let him know how you long to recreate them once he is back home.
Mask unpleasant news
There’s so much being shared in the media and social media, some is true and some is just created to grab eye balls. There’s no need to share all of that and discuss such things with your man; it does more harm than any good. Keep unpleasant things away unless you discussing them is going to solve them.
Read between the lines
When talking to your man read between the lines as he may not share all with you as he doesn’t want you to start worrying. If you get the hint of what he is going through just be supportive of him. Empathy is a great quality and it does miracles use this as the magic wand, be present with your man with all your senses. You relay that positive energy to him, he connects with you on a much deeper level and that can make things easier for him.
These are no doubt tough times but people have the potential to get past them. Take them as pebbles on the pathway that you are going to cross no matter what! These helped me while I waited for my man to be back home and I am certain that every sailor queen waiting for her husband will find them handy too.