Being prepared for isolation is a giant part of an astronaut’s training. They’ve got to deal with living in confined spaces, with the same few people for weeks or months on end, and also have to eat canned tuna even when they really wish they could cram their faces full of pizza. They have to not only be rocket scientists and physicists but also know how to cope with stress and not getting to go outside to run around in the summer sprinklers. So here are a few tips from those who have not only survived living in isolation but have also done it in zero gravity while researching intergalactic wonders.
Keep A Positive Attitude
Astronauts have to not only live in extreme places but also have to maintain a good attitude no matter what the circumstances. Working together with those you are in isolation with is key to efficient problem-solving. So while you may not have to figure out which wires will reconfigure your warp drive, you can remember to keep your chin up when your sweetie eats the last of the ice cream. Remember your attitude helps determine how you interpret a situation, so having a good one is half the battle.
Communication and Routines Are Essential
Remember pre-virus days when you were just so, “crazy busy” and you couldn’t find time to brush your hair, let alone have time to self reflect. Whereas now you’ve got so much time with yourself or your family, you might be going a little bonkers. Two things that are key to help manage that are creating very clear communication among those living in the house and keeping a solid schedule. When you have needs make sure you have the person you’re talking to even repeat your requests so that there is no confusion. This will also allow you to talk through any points of contention that may come up. And keep a schedule even if you’re not currently working. If that means scheduling when you eat breakfast, exercise, speak with friends, clean out your closets, or watch an episode of Star Trek. Schedule it. Tracking even small accomplishments throughout your day helps to give you a sense of purpose, balance, and connection to your surroundings.
Stay Connected To Others
Make those phone calls. Send ridiculous memes to friends. Use video conferencing in all its illustrious forms. Or, here’s a novel idea, You can keep your conversations short, but make sure to keep reaching out to people. You may be lonely, but it’s guaranteed that some of your pals are feeling the same thing. So finding ways to connect even with social distance walks, will help you to feel less isolated.
So use these tips and take it one day at a time. And always remember, we are in this together.