Mindfulness & The Superyacht Stewardess
The Superyacht industry is truly a unique place to work, and as such you can easily get swept up in the drama that can be associated with living in a bubble.
Mindfulness seems to be the ‘buzz’ word of this generation. His Holiness the Dali lama lives by it, Deepak Chopra teaches it and the Harvard Medical School students are writing research reports about it.
So why is mindfulness receiving so much attention these days, especially since the world is getting busier and busier.
- We make a plan for the weekend whilst watching TV and playing with the dog
- We fold the washing whilst watching the kids,
- We eat our lunch whilst sat at our desk for 8 hours without a break
- We drive our cars around on auto pilot
- We “do, do, do, do, do, do,” all day long without engaging our brains into the one single activity that we are actually doing at the time.
The super yacht stewardess does the all of the above, just in a different way. Her day is just as busy as the regular woman at home.
This article will explain what mindfulness is, how it comes to be and how we can master mindfulness in with our busy daily schedules.
What is Mindfulness?:
“Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgement” (Siegel 2009, Harvard Health Publications).
The History of Mindfulness:
The art of mindfulness has been around for generations with strong roots being founded in Buddhism, however every religion, prayer group and meditation practices, teach us to be aware of the present moment and leave the preoccupying thoughts behind. For those readers who are not religious at all then you will be pleased to know that science is now taking an interest in mindfulness as it helps to reduce the effects of stress on our bodies and minds, which results in a happier more positive outlook on life. Mindfulness also decreases psychological symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, sleep and mood disorders.
Mastering the Art of Mindfulness:
Mindfulness is being present in the mind at the present moment, it is being aware of your body, mind and spirit; it is paying attention to words, tasks, feelings, and atmosphere. Mindfulness is not some new age “mumbo jumbo” nonsense created by hippies and social outcasts to shame the rest of us for living extravagant lives; it is a way of thinking and a way of being that EVERYONE has instant access to regardless of your personal beliefs or religious followings.
We can cultivate and nurture mindfulness through various mediums, such as:
Basic mediation and mindfulness. Sit quietly and focus on your breathing, let the thoughts come in and out, do not judge these thoughts or put any pressure on yourself at this time. Practice a mantra out loud or quietly to yourself; the idea here is to systematically focus your attention on what you are doing and how you are feeling.
- Body sensations: Notice any subtle or strong sensations in your body, notice they don’t think about them or judge them, now let them pass.
- Sensory: Notice, smells, sounds, sights, colours, tones, taste and touch, do not judge them and let them pass.
- Emotions and urge surging: Coping with cravings can be challenging for us all; so the idea here is to notice how your body is responding to the urge. Replace the physical urge with knowledge, that in time it will pass. You are aware that nothing ever stays the same and life is a continual river of change. You have the power within you to resist the urge.
By practicing mindfulness techniques, daily you will slowly be empowered to take your life into your own hands without judging yourself or placing unrealistic expectations upon your personal goals. It is about being kind to you and giving yourself the tools to handle all of life’s little challenges in a calm state of awareness.
Mindfulness & The Superyacht Stewardess
The Mediterranean season is in full swing and for many superyacht stewardesses, this means long hours, difficult guests and draining colleagues.
It’s right about this time that the stewardess is not looking out to sea or enjoying the beautiful sunshine, but rather at the mountain high pile of towels in the laundry, dirty cabins and running from one of the yacht to the other, making sure that the guests have everything that they need and want.
Everyone desires a meaningful and fulfilling professional life. When you’re happy with your work, you feel more content, purposeful, and complete.
When you’re unhappy at work, the days seem long, you miss home, friends and family, and the daily stresses and negativity can build up and up until there is little room to conceal your feelings any more.
This can lead to poor decision making, a change in your personality, poor work performance and depression. The work of a superyacht stewardess can be mundane and boring, so it is right about this time that you may be asking yourself “What am I doing Here”?
Whatever your motivation or trigger is that has led you to the point of resignation, ask yourself the following questions before you throw in the towel.
Questions to Ask Yourself If You want to Leave the Yachting Industry
1. Why am I unhappy in this job?
Understand where your unhappiness comes from — is it specific to the type of work you do, who you work for, or is there a personality clash on board? This is a great starting point for understanding your unhappiness and a great place to make a change.
2. Do I need a job change or a life change?
Ask yourself: Is my unhappiness about my job, or life in general? Unhappiness in one part of life can have a cascading effect on the rest of what we do. Before taking action, make sure your focus is to resolve the primary cause of your discontent.
3. What are your professional goals?
What do you want to achieve professionally, and when? Are you currently on the path to achieve those goals? If not, what do you need to do or change about your current job and career path to get there?
4. What’s been missing for you professionally?
What are you lacking in your professional life? Recognition, compensation or advancement? When you know what’s missing, you can make plans to fill in the gaps, in your current position or elsewhere.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10? 20?
Envisioning your future self is a great way to keep the bigger picture in mind. A simple envisioning exercise: close your eyes, clear the mind with a few minutes of breath awareness, meditation, and then look ahead five, 10 or 20 years.
- Where are you working?
- What have you achieved?
- What does the rest of your life look like?
When you open your eyes, jot down what you saw. You can then take action to align your present life with the future.
6. What do you feel you were put on this earth to do?
This question is hard for many people but warrants deep thought if you’re considering a career change.
- What do you feel in your heart you’re meant to do?
- What work would bring you deep happiness and meaning to your life?
This may be something you can do outside of your current job – as a hobby or part-time interest. Or it might be worth pursuing wholeheartedly as a career.
Undertaking self-exploration work will allow you to understand what you need to be more fulfilled professionally. If you have financial obligations and other considerations that preclude making a significant job change, look for ways to incorporate what you learned about yourself in other areas of life.
Take action. Move towards the activities, interests, and people that resonate with you, and fulfilment will follow.
How to Manage Superyacht Crew Uniform
A lot of companies provide their staff with uniform workwear, especially if they have to perform some physical tasks or be in constant contact with guest and this is so true with superyacht crew.
Uniforms can make work personnel look more professional and it helps businesses appear more established and trustworthy. However, having all your crew wear uniform can be costly if not managed properly.
The establishment of specific applications such as a uniform inventory management program in superyachts can help reduce and even eliminate misuse and wastage of uniforms. It may even enhance the overall efficiency work operations.
The basic stock control system
A superyacht should have a uniform and even linen inventory management system in place. Large establishments use the bar code system in keeping their inventory updated and this can also be used in huge yachts, especially if the owner maintains more than one boat.
However, even if this type of system is quite effective, it can be very labour intensive because the success of the program relies on workers scanning every uniform on an individual basis. Unless this entire task is completed, you can never have a reliable inventory file.
It also requires a sizable amount of money because the boat owner has to purchase scanning equipment in order to track the uniforms effectively.
Super Yacht Crew Uniform:
Changing crew what to do with the old uniform
There are large establishments which designate a uniform manager who takes care of the purchase, distribution, and handing out of uniforms. On a super yacht this is usually managed by the chief stewardess or the chief housekeeper on a mega yacht.
For the purpose of this chapter I will refer to the manager as the chief stewardess. The chief stewardess, in effect, takes care of the image of the yacht by making sure the crew wear the right uniforms and that these work clothes are maintained and are kept neat and clean at all times.
The chief stewardess, should conduct uniform inspections and check new uniforms when they arrive. She also tracks the number of uniforms needed and places the order for them.
She is in charge of stocking for future distribution. Most of the time, she also takes care of laundering, repair, and other maintenance jobs in connection with uniforms.
The Old Uniform
This is where a little common sense and good judgement comes into play and it is a bit of a no-brainer.
- If the uniform is in good condition keep in and return it to the uniform stores.
- If it is worn, then use it for down time.
- If it is really worn then cut it up for rags.
Choose a Uniform Supplier
Whenever there is a need for new uniforms, the chief stewardess will buy them. She meets with clothing manufacturers and tailors to check for swatches and customize uniforms to the yacht’s specific standards.
This may include considerations regarding employee comfort when working at different temperatures and textile performance under strain. Especially when on board a boat. There are many uniform suppliers that can offer their services.
Please refer to the Yachting Pages for a full list of uniform suppliers in your area.
How to Store Uniform with Limited Space
The smart use of space on board is sometimes ignored in the boat industry. Making sure that you have enough space for storage can have a huge impact on a yacht’s efficiency. Making sure that you have ample room for uniform storage inside the boat can lead to a harmonious and productive staff.
Modern boat manufacturers make use of furniture to provide extra space. Most furniture inside super yachts serves more than one function. Sofas can be used for seating and storage as well. Deck benches can also act as stowage for shoes, towels, and a lot more. As with all stowage, make sure your inventories are kept up to date.
How much uniform should I order?
This is a question that I get asked A LOT, and to be honest, it really depends on so many variables, for example, the uniform requirements of a 30 m sailing yacht will be a lot different to that of a 120 m mega yacht.
Other factors to consider are as follows:
- Is the yacht private or charter?
- How often does the crew change?
- How often do you change the style of the uniform?
- How much storage do you have specifically for the uniform?
For general purposes, let’s look at a 50M private superyacht:
- The uniform style stayed the same for a few years.
- The crew changes on average every 2 years.
- The owners are on board a moderate amount of time.
I understand that many other people would issue much more uniform, however, I think it is important to consider the crew’s living space, therefore if you pack the crew cabins with uniform then ultimately the uniform will get squashed and pushed around to accommodate personal belongings.
In the end, you will find that giving crew too much uniform will just make extra work for the stewardesses.
Note: The on charter uniform will vary with ties, epaulettes etc. per the yachts uniform design.
For a general overview, I would issue the following:
- 4 Polo shirts
- 4 Shorts/skorts
- 1 Pull over
- 1 Day shoe
- 1 Night shoe 3
- Night shirts
- 2 Night trousers/skirts
- 1 Spray jacket
- 3 T-shirts
- 3 Shorts
- 3 trousers
- 1 Shoe
- 1 Gilet
- 1 Fleece
- 1 Spray jacket
Concerning the engineers and the chefs. It is important that they have the same uniform as everyone else, as well as their technical uniforms. I would lessen the amount of general wear to 2 pieces each IE shorts, polos, T-shirts and issue them with the specific technical uniform that they require.
Super Yacht Crew Uniform
Below are just a few uniform suppliers to get you started, however, there are many places that you may visit to find that perfect crew uniform.
For a comprehensive listing start by visiting The Yachting Pages,
In addition to the above, if you would like your uniform business listed here, please email email@example.com and we will list it on this page free of charge.
|Antibes:||Dolphin WearSea Design||www.dolphinwear.comwww.sea-design.com|
|Rome:Varese:||Just Uniforms Crew – JIT ItaliaFloating LifeStyle||www.uniformcrew.itwww.floatinglifestyle.com|
|Mallorca:||Deckers Ocean Attire||www.uniforms4yachts.com|
|Mallorca Clothing Company||www.mallorcaclothing.com|
|Ft Lauderdale:||Haute Yacht Wear||www.hauteyachtwear.com|
|Antibes Yacht Wear||www.antibesyachtwear.com|
|World of Yachting||www.worldofyachting.com|