Dealing with Stress & Anxiety onboard


Today’s topic is something that’s near & dear to my heart.

Working onboard yachts is a pressure cooker environment and at some point, we all deal with excessive stress. I am totally in the group of people who are slight workaholics, and in the past, I have struggled with taking on too much and that resulting in rather stressful situations.

I’ve teamed up with the knowledgable Karine from @the_crew_coach to discuss practical ways to navigate through stressful situations. I’m going to be sharing my tips for dealing with stress & Karine will be sharing her tips for dealing with Anxiety.


Get outside! My 2nd Stewardess and I would walk for 30 minutes every day on our lunch break when we were on the dock. Getting active, getting outside and being able to have some girlie time made a huge difference to my afternoon.

~ Give yourself some boundaries. If you finish work at 5 pm, do NOT work past 6 (if you can help it!). Give yourself a schedule for after work, whether you are going to have a quiet face mask & move night or you are heading off the boat to shop, pre-plan it. Then when your day gets hectic, you know that there is something positive to look forward to afterward.

~ Confide in someone. As soon as I share my stress/worries with someone else, I’m able to let it go a lot quicker. Often just by speaking about it, I can come up with a solution or I’m able to see the situation with a new set of eyes.

~ Allow yourself time to get emotional if needs be. Some of my Chief Stew’s used to allow themselves 10 minutes to cry if they felt too overwhelmed and when the 10 minutes was over, they moved on.

~ Write a list of everything you need to accomplish and tick it off throughout the day. If you’re anything like me, then lists are your best friends. When it all gets a little too much, being away from your partner, missing a wedding at home, dealing with intense requests from the boat, write a list of everything in your life that brings you joy.


  1. Small acts of courage –  instead of avoiding situations or people that make you feel anxious try and address these anxieties by approaching a situation that creates the least amount of anxiety for you. This is called systematic desensitization – the purpose of this method is for you to gradually confront your fears thereby increasing your sense of confidence to challenge your biggest fears. I recommend that you seek the guidance of a qualified mental health practitioner. The Crew Coach offers a counseling service which you find here alternatively contact your local GP for further recommendations.
  2. Challenge negative self-talk – how you think influences how you feel and the choices you make. Search for the evidence to dispute your unhelpful thoughts.

  3. Allocate worry time – dedicate a certain amount of time for worry. It is impossible to be completely worry-free. Use your worry time productively by writing down all your fears and worries. You’ll find that our worries circulate repeatedly in our heads by getting them down on paper reduces the inundation of thoughts.

  4. Build a relationship with your anxiety. Keep a journal of when you feel anxious and think back to what triggers the onset of your anxiety. This is an effective way of exploring any patterns that may be occurring and is also useful if you are or intend to work with a counselor in the future.  Mental health professionals will help and support you in learning strategies to combat anxiety independently. By approaching anxiety with curiosity rather than fear you are likely to build on your sense of resilience and are in a better position to manage diversity.

  5. Find a support group – talking with others who also experience anxiety or who are going through something similar to you can inspire connectedness, understanding and help you feel less alone.

  6. Self-care equals self-love. Remember that you are not less than anyone else because you have anxiety. You are not ill. Anxiety is a part of life that comes and goes.


At the end of the day, I think it’s crucially important to know that you are not alone in your struggles and you completely have the power to overcome this.

Sending you lots of love if you are dealing with stress or anxiety.
Big hugs,
Gem xox
Follow me

Related Posts:

Get inspired! Pop your email in to get our cocktail recipe cards!


Download and print off our recipe cards and take them with you to all of your boats, so next time a guest asks for a cocktail and says “Surprise me”, you’ll have some delicious go-to recipes. By signing up, you’ll also get our weekly “Happy Hour” email with a different cocktail recipe each week, helpful stew tips and the latest exciting updates from The Yacht Stew.

Thank you for subscribing! Please check your email for a confirmation link!