Antidote for People Fatigue?

Nancy PredainaNancy Predaina Member Posts: 2
I wonder if crew who have lived on the ship for a significant length of time (more than a year) ever get "people fatigue" -- tired of having so many people around all the time. If so, what did you do to counteract that?


  • Rob CairncrossRob Cairncross Member Posts: 1
    Absolutely Nancy, especially if you tend to be more of an introvert (get your energy from being away from people).

    I lived onboard the ANA and then AFM with my family from 2006 to 2014 and finding a balance and a rhythm to life is one of the most impirtant things you need to do during your first couple of years onboard. It's easy to feel you need to be involved in everything, help every person, see every sight go on every trip etc, but the truth is if you are on board for 'the long haul' you really have to listen to God and be sensitive to what He wants you to do whilst you are part of the ships' community. Focusing on those things that He wants you to do frees up time and energy for the things you need to do for yourself to stay healthy. Maybe finding a quiet spot on the upper deck where you can switch off for a few minutes, or a close friend you can pray and hang out with. Maybe getting off the ship once or twice a month to a local beach to have those times of solitude and quiet.

    For me it was generally taking a quick walk on the dockside, looking at the people He had brought to us who needed our help, whilst also seeing the Africa Mercy - the amazing tool that He has blessed us with as the means to help them. That and sometimes locking myself in my cabin to avoid the hundreds of daily hallway business conversations :-)

    We all have different ways of coping with the business and pressures of community life The quicker we recognise what those are and build them into our lives the healthier, happier and longer our service can be. God truly does provide the Grace for the life that He asks us to lead.
  • David RolstonDavid Rolston Member Posts: 6
    I once heard someone say that the first question on a Mercy Ships application form should be, "how do you feel about living with 500 roomates?"

    I've never lived on board but I've spent time on the ships and I think that while that question might be just a bit over the top it can be an issue.  It depends a lot on your own personality and how willing you are to seek out ways to make sure you (and possibly your family) have appropriate space and private time.  My sense is that for most people they are able to do that.
  • Peter KoontzPeter Koontz Member Posts: 15
    Unlike Rob, I am an extrovert.  However, even as someone who is energized by being around others I found it important to be intentional in setting time aside to be alone.  Honestly, being intentional about it is a lot easier than finding a place to do it.  The ship doesn't have a lot of areas where you can actually be alone, and going ashore alone isn't encouraged from a safety/secutiry standpoint.  I would build on Rob's suggestion to head to a local beach or something similar by saying that it could be helpful to find a couple of like-minded people who will tag along but be happy not interacting much. 

    Personally, I loved going out to shoot some hoops in the ports where we were blessed enough to have a basketball hoop on the dock.  
  • Melissa CliftonMelissa Clifton Member Posts: 4
    A couple of things I did during my 4 years onboard were go to the exercise room or seculde myself to my bed for a little time.  Seems strange, but sometimes your bed is the only place you can get alone. Even then, you may have a roommate or friend come by.  I'll just say, it can be challenging, but it is possible to get some alone time.
  • TerriMooreTerriMoore Member Posts: 10
    In the evening I used to find a quiet place on the top deck, plug into my favourite music and watch the port working, or the stars.
  • Lynne HolmesLynne Holmes Member Posts: 1

    It is hard, I would read a book on the deck as when you read people generally don't bother you too much. I think you do get use to it and when you get home it feels very strange.
  • DaviTrottiDaviTrotti Member Posts: 2
    I'm definitely an introvert living on the Africa Mercy.  And finding a quiet place with no one else near by on the ship can be difficult.  But I found over time that the distance needed between me and "someone else near by" changed.  There are a number of tables outside on deck 7 that can be the perfect place to have some quiet time early in the morning.  At first, if anyone sat at any of the other tables, I moved on to find another "quiet" place.  By the end of my first field service, as long as individuals respected my space and quiet time, I was happy to share my table space. Everyone tries really hard to be respectful of others' needs for space and quiet, because we all need it at some point.  It can be a little dificult at times to find those quiet places, but they are there!  

    The flip side of this is that when I go home on personal time off, I find that I deeply missed being able to go up to the cafe or dining room and find someone to hang out with at almost any time of the day or night.  
  • Ivanna FigueroaIvanna Figueroa Member Posts: 13
    I've been on the ship for almost 2 years, and I still haven't figured out how to deal with my "people fatigue". I do avoid the dining room and prefer to find other places to eat. To me, it's the most unnatural thing in the world to eat with 200 people 3 times a day. I just can't do it.
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