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A year in Space: how do we overcome isolation?

Mar 26, 2020

“I spent nearly a year in space: here are a few tips on living in isolation”, so said MR. Scott Kelly a retired NASA astronaut, on a New York Times article about his experience on the International Space Station.

Being stucked home is a challenge. Same for Scott Kelly: living and working on the International Space Station wasn’t easy. So Scott decided to share some useful tips on isolation, considering that we are living a difficult time due to the spread of COVID-19.

Follow a schedule

On the International Space Station, Scott followed a strict schedule: maintaining a program will hep you and your family. A pre-established program can better mark the time you spent at home, both on a work and on a family level.

Pace yourself

Scott, who lived in Space for a long time, had the chance to rediscover the pleasure of sharing. He and his colleagues were used to organize movie night. Who is craving of watching Games of Thrones twice? Don’t forget to have a fixed bedtime schedule. According to NASA scientists, the quality of sleep is fundamental to deal with a long period inside the Space Station. But, even if we are not astronauts, the quality of sleep is essential to maintain mood, cognition and interpersonal relations.

Go outside?

Due to the recent government solutions, it is forbidden to go outside for a walk or a run in public places. What Scott missed most while he was in Space was going outside and enjoying nature. Being in confined spaces can increase the desire to go out and have the feeling of the sun on your face. Scott’s colleagues were used to play a recording of Earth sounds. Have you ever thought of doing the same? There is no need to exercise for two and half hour like astronauts but moving once a day should be part of our routine.

Hobby

Right now, having a bobby can be an opportunity that would allow us to go through the day easily and happily, better than what we have planned. You need space for something that is not keeping the environment tidy or work-related. Same as Scott, you can read and enjoy the feeling of having a book in your hands. Many book shops offer delivery services: we can both growing a passion and helping local businesses. Scott suggestion is also to learn how to play an instrument.

 Keep a journal 

NASA studied the effect of isolation on astronauts for decades and discovered that keeping a journal can help to overcome stressful period. Especially right now when we are forced to stay home, it can be therapeutic to describe which are your feelings and emotions to keep things in perspective.

Time to connect

Isolation can affect both your mental and physical health. It is essential to have time to connect to family and friends that we can’t see every day: even Scott was able to connect to his family while he was in Space.

Listen to the experts

Scott, during his stay in the Space Station, listened to the opinion of the experts and all of those who had lived the same experience before him. Today we are living in a time where fake news are shared easily through social media: it is essential to select real news. Choose wisely yours sources to be up to date.

We are all connected

What COVID-19 is teaching us is that we are all connected. The whole world is living the same situation, for better or for worse: what we share is much more important of what keeps up apart. If we work as a team we will overcome this period faster.

The only way to win the fight is working together!