This is rather an appreciation message than a feedback on the [program] onboard [vessel name]. When we were given the orientation seminar about the “Wellness Program” back in Manila, two things came in to my head. First, this program is “impossible” to implement and, no one will ever dedicate so much time onboard for this program. I was proven wrong. Enough number of people were really engaged on the program, and the ambassador’s enthusiasm made this program as effective as it can be.
Here are my following thoughts on the different aspects on where this program hit me:
Physical- Have you ever seen a busy and filled gymnasium onboard ships? Most of the time there will only be 2-3 people onboard who gives the gym a visit. But not on [vessel name]! This program convinced almost half the crew to be more engaged in the gymnasium. Simultaneous activities like playing singles/doubles on table tennis, doing the treadmill and the stationary bicycle as well as lifting weights makes the purpose of the gymnasium onboard quite a feat. Though, I must admit I didn’t really fare well on this aspect and not as enthusiastic as others are (because of various reasons).
Mental- I have so little knowledge and didn’t care so much about improving my mental health until my participation on various challenges/session regarding mental wellness. The most significant lesson I’ve extracted so far on this program is how to set a correct mindset to overcome difficulties.
Social- I have never been so good at socializing. Maybe because our generation is more focused on our social media status rather than socializing with actual people. Ever since I was a cadet, I would go straight up in my cabin after meals (dinner) as I enjoyed my own time watching movies all by myself and socializing on social media platforms instead. But man, I didn’t know what I was missing! One of the many challenges in the workbook was to stay a few minutes after dinner and spend some time talking to your colleagues. I have heard a lot of interesting stories, interesting topics and even learned things just by simply talking to people for a few minutes. There are also days where we will gather in the dayroom and indulge ourselves watching movies, singing in the karaoke and at times, just simply talking about life. All these bonds kept us closer and more comfortable to each other and subsequently, work was easier.
Emotional- Being so far away from home and family sometimes takes a toll on us. The kind of environment this program molded on this ship gives me or most of us enough comfort to talk about problems, may it be personal or work-related, serious or petty. But we also talk about achievements as much as we talk about problems. Achievements and good news from home are shared and genuine compliments are given. THIS SHIP ROCKS!