A recent Harvard Business School survey found out that too much stress from an all-day work aggravates one’s misery, illness and sour relationships in life.
When a ship is on a busy trade, for example, a Filipino seafarer may be required to work for more than 14 hours a day. To comply with such physically demanding jobs, the value of eating meals on time, exercise, meditation and even fun shore excursions were often disregarded by the seafarer himself.
I asked a seafarer friend once what would probably make him happy after a tiresome day. He told me in jest that since he’s single and never get tired to look for the ‘one’, a Jollibee spaghetti and chickenjoy would make him jolly.
The famous bee can’t ease my dear friend’s suffering though since Jollibee delivery hasn’t reach Mid-Atlantic Ocean yet. Moreover, the guy has no better place to hang-out into where he can order spaghetti and share it with the ‘meat sauce’ of his life. Indeed, a shore-based is far different from a land-based job. Badly, burnout is often experienced and work-life balance is on jeopardy at sea.
While experiencing fatigue at sea is quite conventional, and perhaps a boring story for sailors who used to wear iron boots on, I tried to look for someone who has guts to win over the said difficulty.
And an audacious sea woman popped-up on my radar screen!
She’s a young PMS Engineer who hailed from Cebu city, Philippines.
“Life on ship is no bed of roses. It requires guts along with steady mental and physical strength. Many men think that women do not have the capacity to sail the high seas, but we have proven them wrong,” She said.
I understand that everyone has its own definition of work-life balance but to live a more meaningful life, here’s what we can learn from her.
- The pioneering research of psychologist Christina Maslach and several collaborators discerned three components of burnout as a syndrome. These are exhaustion, cynicism and inefficacy.
- It is important to recharge your physical and emotional energy regularly. Prioritize practices that boosts your energy and promotes well-being. Have good sleeping habits, eat a balanced diet, exercise, and enjoy nature and the likes.
- People, tasks and/or places that aren’t essential and which put you in extremely negative mood should be avoided. You might gain brutal experiences from any of them that would probably pluck down your morale and affect your performance at work.
- If stressors are inevitable since they play important roles in your life, try to set a less strenuous environment by fully addressing the root causes. But since productive people are willing to go out of their comfort zones, be amenable to reset your comfort zone when necessary, too. Lastly,
- American keynote speaker and executive coach Monique Valcor believes that rich interpersonal interactions and continual personal and professional development cures burnout, particular cynicism and inefficacy caused it. On her written article for Harvard Business Review (November 2016 issue), Valcor hinted that other people can help you rally positive relationships and learning opportunities in life. Consider them as your coaches and mentors. Seek for their advice to be able to develop the best version of yourself.
“Sure, it’s important to be happy at work. But if we look to our jobs as our sole source of satisfaction and joy, we can end up very unhappy indeed. Satisfaction at work is influenced by many things such as benefits, pay, travels and more.
“But all this boils down to two things: (1) having a life outside of work, and (2) having the money to afford it. If you have a job that grants you both, you might be happier than you realize. I guess I am a LUCKY one.
“Just remind yourself that it’s okay to enjoy life outside of work. You’re still young and work will be there tomorrow so don’t be hard on yourself and seize the moment! ”
– Engr. Maike Fritz Ligan
*Photos credit of MF Ligan