Tips for keeping sea sickness at bay

Adventure 3 min read

Nothing kills a fun day on a boat faster than about of motion sickness. Here are some tried and true remedies for sea sickness that might help to keep those woozy, no-good, nauseous feelings at bay.

We’ve all felt it. That sinking feeling as a wave of nausea washes over you. You try to ignore it and pretend it’s not happening. Maybe you keep your eye on land or try to nibble on a cracker. But the swaying motion of a boat is too much for your equilibrium to handle. And you’re seasick. Ugh.

Go with ginger

A go-to anti-nausea remedy, ginger comes in all shapes and sizes. You can chew on a tablet, sip ginger tea or ginger ale (but try to avoid the sugary stuff), or enjoy a tasty ginger candy.

Pop a peppermint

Similar to ginger, peppermint might be a gentle, natural way to alleviate seasickness, as it’s known to settle the stomach. Try taking a whiff of peppermint oil, drinking peppermint tea, or sucking on a tasty peppermint candy.

Ice, ice, baby

If you don’t have any ginger or peppermint handy, simply sucking on an ice cube might help to calm your stomach. Holding an icepack behind your ear or dipping your feet in a bucket of ice could also stave off seasickness. This could be because focusing on the chilly sensation gets your mind off those icky nauseous feelings. But hey, it’s worth a shot!

Rock a wristband

Wearing a wristband designed to apply pressure to a specific spot on your wrist, called the P6 point (you’ll find it three finger-lengths down from the base of your wrist), can help to stave off motion sickness. If you don’t have bands handy, try applying pressure to your P6 point with the thumb of your opposite hand.

Give anti-nausea medication a whirl

When in doubt, take an anti-nausea medication before hopping onboard. There are plenty of over-the-counter options available—both homeopathic and traditional—but it never hurts to check in with your doctor about what might work best for you, first.

Find a distraction

If all you’re thinking about is how sick you feel or the never-ending motion of the ocean, you’re not helping the cause. Try to busy yourself with other activities like sipping water, nibbling on a bland cracker, engaging in conversation, or even jumping in the water. Getting your mind off that icky, woozy feeling could prevent you from getting worse.

Talk yourself out of it

The mind is a powerful tool. It might be possible to convince yourself that you aren’t getting seasick. Tell yourself that you’re fine, that the nausea will go away, and that you’re going to feel better. Try taking deep, purposeful breaths, and focus on feeling stable and clearheaded. I know this might sound a little out there, but it really can work!

Embrace the placebo effect

Simply doing something to fight off a bought of seasickness—whether it’s sucking on a ginger candy or jumping into the water for a refreshing swim—will probably make you feel better. Even if the remedy itself doesn’t actually, technically work, the placebo effect might. And in the end, it doesn’t really matter why a remedy works—just that it does.

Things to avoid…

Rather than focusing solely on the things that’ll make you feel better, remember to avoid the things that might make your seasickness worse, too. Hanging out below deck, staring at a fixed object (like a book), looking through binoculars, or consuming food and drinks that are hard on your stomach can contribute to motion sickness.

If you do end up getting seasick, try to remind yourself that it will go away eventually. For some, seasickness will pass within a couple of hours or once you get back to land. For an unlucky few, it may hang around for a couple of days. Either way, you’ll be OK. Even the most seasoned sailors have succumbed to the occasional bout of seasickness.

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