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The importance of taking care of one’s mental health has been gaining traction in recent years. News about successful people taking their own lives like Anthony Bourdain, Robin Williams, and Kate Spade have opened our eyes on the need to pay attention to our overall well-being.
Seafarers face a lot of emotional and mental challenges. Aside from being away from their loved ones for long stretches of time, seafarers also face work, life and financial challenges. These may cause depression, feelings of isolation, anxiety, and more.
Seafarers need to be proactive in taking care of their mental health. The good news is that there are many options available. The better news is that seeking mental health support no longer carries a stigma and is, in fact, encouraged.
While there are conventional ways to care for your mental health like psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment, there are many non-traditional ways of healing. Here are just some of the mental health interventions available:
Yoga is a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline that involves breath control, mindfulness, meditation and adoption of specific body postures. Coming from the word yoke, which means unity of body, mind and spirit, yoga provides many health benefits including stress relief, better sleep, and pain relief, among others. There are several types of yoga like vinyasa (linking breath with movement), ashtanga (traditional Indian yoga), bikram (26 yoga postures and two breathing exercises), and more.
Aromatherapy is a popular holistic healing treatment to take care of one’s well-being. This technique has been used for thousands of years by ancient cultures in China, India and Egypt. It uses fragrance of essential oils that helps clarity, provide emotional balance, help focus, and other health benefits
Theta healing is a training method created by spiritual teacher and healer Vianna Stibal. It’s a meditation technique and spiritual philosophy with the purpose of getting closer to the Creator. It helps the mind, body and spirit clear limiting beliefs and live life with positivity. A theta session lasts for one hour where the healer works with the client to uncover and release these blocks.
Pranic healing was developed by Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui after studying the works of Kabbalah, Theoseophy and other similar systems. It is based on the principle that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. A “no-touch” healing system, a pranic healer utilizes “life force” or “energy” to accelerate the body’s ability to heal itself.
Reiki is a Japanese technique to reduce stress, promote relaxation and healing. Reiki is a combination of two Japanese words: rei (God’s wisdom of the higher power) and ki (life force). Similar to pranic healing, it is a ‘no-touch’ healing system, which uses “life force.” Life force is believed to be the energy that flows through us and what keeps us alive. Reiki practitioners believe that when one’s life force is low, it can lead to stress, mental health issues, and other physical illnesses.
With all the challenges of work and life, remember that your priority is yourself. The time to start taking care of yourself begins now.