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World Mental Health Day

Shaped by the Sea Talks Mental Health

Hello Everyone,

Today is World Mental Health Day, I wanted to talk about Mental health in yachting. Yachting can be a very hard place to be when you aren't feeling yourself. It's very easy to isolate yourself from the crew because you "just aren't feeling well" which becomes incredibly lonely and a little scary. We live at work and work at "home". In reality, it's not home, there isn't the support system you may need from your loved ones when you are feeling low, anxious, stressed or unwell.

You probably reading this thinking how would Mel know her life is all Bananacoladas and sunshine sailing?

A Girl Post Surgery
Looking Well Post Surgery

My Personal Expereince

This time last year I was in a place where I was struggling with my mental health and unable to admit to myself what was really going on in my mind. I threw myself into work and ignored how I was feeling which made everything worse.

A few months previously, I had been off work for an extended period of time due to having a medical emergency which resulted in a surgery which was pretty serious and left me with a large scar on my stomach from my belly button to my bikini line. I am incredibly thankful to the medical team that did a great job at keeping me in this world, but I couldn't help but feel self-conscious about how I looked and how much strength I'd lost in one surgery. I was off work for a few months to recover.

I struggled to come to terms with how the surgery had affected my body and how it had caused an extended amount of time off work which set me back in my plans for my career. I returned to work not feeling like myself, weak and anxious. I kept this to myself.

I knew in myself I was struggling with my mental health but I didn't know how to ask for help or where to ask for help. I spoke to my family and some friends who suggested I do more exercise, take up yoga, and have weekly chats to talk about how I was feeling, All of which helped a little but It wasn't addressing the real issue, that I wasn't happy in myself.

It took me a few months and one Atlantic crossing later to realise that I was incredibly unhappy and it was time to take time off work and work on myself. That's exactly what I did. However, 3 months too late, and that's what I want to emphasise in this blog. You shouldn't wait until you are crying on the floor of your cabin and you don't know why, to ask for help or help yourself. Don't wait until you are anxious on a daily basis.

I left the situation I was in and flew home to spend some time with my family, started writing my feelings in a journal and spoke to my mentor in yachting about what were the next best steps for me.

I worked on myself by exercising, talking about my feelings, working on how I looked at my body, identifying where the anxiousness was coming from and learning how to deal with it and how to not put myself in situations where this was occurring.

A very Happy Lady
A Happy Mel With a Mr Potato Man

Who can I talk to about mental Health?

It's okay not to be okay

I began to write this blog with the intention that one person reading it might connect to my story, see themselves in what I've shared and identify that they might need to ask for help or take some time away.

As always, keep smiling, Laughing and loving the sea xo

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