One of the most difficult challenges I faced when I first joined yachting was the fact that 95% of the work was manual labor and not the most mentally stimulating of responsibilities. My mind would race all day thinking about how boring my tasks were or how the day was dragging. This went on for months until finally I learned how to distract and detach myself from work. I was able take something negative, make it beneficial and put this free time to use in a positive way. You don’t need to be a yachtie to utilize these tricks. You put these to use while doing the everyday mundane: cleaning your home, doing your laundry, or going for a run.
Listen to Podcasts
Listening to podcasts has become a sort of meditation for me. It relaxes me and it is a great opportunity to learn new things. I listen to all of my podcasts on Spotify because I can listen to them offline for those times when I’m at sea and haven’t seen land for days and Wi-Fi is a bit spotty.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Stuff You Should Know- This podcast covers everything about everything. Literally. I’ve learned things on every topic ranging from assignation attempts on Hitler to how different types of cheeses are made.
Criminal-This is a crime based podcast where you get to hear from real people about their stories. It’s not all murderers and detectives but it’ll definitely keep you on your toes.
Deliciously Ella-Ella is an absolute delight to listen to. She turned her life around by going plant based, has her own company, and encourages us all to be the best version of ourselves we can be.
Lore-From stories about werewolves to haunted photographs, Lore will transport your mind to another dimension. His stories are as dark as they are creepy and I would not recommend listening to these at night.
Nutrition Facts with Dr. Greger- This a no bullshit kind of podcast. Dr. Greger will give you the cold hard facts about nutrition. I learned so much about health and nutrition in his book How Not to Die that I followed his advice, gave up meat, became pescatarian, and haven’t looked back since (except for Chik-fil-a…you have to look back for Chik-fil-a).
I have to admit that this one is a bit more challenging for me. I have always preferred to flip pages of books rather than listen to them being read. But I know so many people who listen to them during road trips and love it! If you’re a member of a local library, you can rent out audio books for free with the Overdrive app.
Music is good for the soul. Studies show that listening to music can lower stress-related hormone levels like cortisol. That’s because music actives the neurochemical systems that are connected with mood regulations and positive emotions. Choose your music wisely though; another study found that choosing the wrong music can induce negative emotions, stress, and even sadness. My personal favorite is a good old fashioned Queen Playlist.
Practice a Language
I took Spanish for seven years and can still barely speak it so this was a great opportunity to practice. There are hundreds of apps out there that can help you practice a language and there are podcasts too (one of my favorites if Coffee Break on Spotify). Or maybe you can simply put on some talk radio and learn that way. No matter which option you choose, giving yourself a goal is way better than just scraping by.
What are some ways you distract yourself?