Cruise ship jobs are known to be one of the most stressful jobs out there. They often include long work hours, new team members every day or week, and high standards of quality. Combined with this, crew members have personal responsibilities, perhaps paying off a loan, supporting a family back home, and even simple things such as doing their weekly laundry or studying for a qualification upgrade.
All together, these factors can present a very trying time for cruise ship crew. Having a contract that needs you to work seven days a week for six months at a time means you can hardly allow stress to affect you as much as it does on land. There are no weekends to relax on or calling in sick to perk yourself up.
Here are a few ways to beat the stress while working cruise ship jobs:
Getting organised each morning will give you a better perception of the workload expected through your day and help you get through it without confusion. Take five minutes out of the start of your shift by listing everything expected of you and work through each item one at a time.
After a few weeks on the job, and even from hands-on training at your cruise culinary institute, you will learn how long it takes you to do a particular job. When making your daily list of things to do, think about how long it would take you to do each job. If you find you have too many tasks, speak to a superior about it so the task can be divided with someone else or taken off you entirely. It shows commitment to get the job done right and work as a team.
Exercise & meditation
One of the cheapest, easiest methods of stress management on board is exercise and meditation. Cruise ships ensure that the crew have free gyms, swimming pools and / or exercise space for their leisure. Exercise produces endorphins in the body which are natural painkillers. They also promote sleep, which is a great stress buster. Try to learn a bit of yoga and meditation between contracts so you can practice on board before or after your shift. Even 15 minutes a day will do wonders.
Make reliable work buddies
Teammates change often. There is always someone coming and going, but being able to assess who you can rely on for small things during your work day will help take the load off you. Conversely, offer help when you can so others are more likely to help you when you are in a sticky situation.
All cruise ship jobs ensure downtime. Based on international labour laws, there is a certain amount of time that each employee must have off work. Use this time to catch up on sleep if you are feeling tired, or engage in an activity you enjoy. Read a few pages of a motivating book, catch up with your buddies over a beer in the crew bar, call your family back home, or talk about any troubles or issues you face with a trusted friend.
As far as possible, stay positive. When you feel the stress start to build, take a short break and think of the reasons why you love your job and the reason you are there. Think of any positive comments you received or achievements you have made. Avoid colleagues with negative attitudes and give yourself a small treat (even if it’s an extra scoop of ice cream after dinner) for little accomplishments.