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8 lessons from astronauts a year living in space: Limiting social contact is just a small test to overcome loneliness

Staying indoors and limiting social interaction can be a difficult challenge for many of us, in this epidemic era. And if you need more advice, sharing from an astronaut would be extremely helpful. Scott Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut who spent a year on the International Station, has 8 tips to summarize you about restricting social interaction. This article has been translated and posted on MXH Lotus.

The feeling of “stuck” in the house is not easy. I have lived at the international space station for almost a year and it was really difficult. I go to bed at the place where I work and when I wake up, it is still there. Working in outer space is probably the job you don’t want to quit.

However, I learned a lot during that time and wanted to share it with everyone. I know this is the time when people need those skills when the Covid pandemic puts many people at home, whether at work or living. The following lessons will partly help people to live in isolation, loneliness and sometimes to boredom.

Follow a timetable

8 lessons from astronauts a year living in space Limiting social contact is just a small test to overcome loneliness | Live

At the space station, my time is very well arranged, from the time I wake up until I go to sleep. Sometimes, I have to walk in space for about 8 hours, other times busy with simple tasks like checking the flowers I planted in space test to get any results. Maintaining a plan will help you and your family get used to a new working environment. When I return to earth, I still try to maintain a daily schedule to limit free time in vain.

Schedule leisure and rest time

8 lessons from astronauts a year living in space Limiting social contact is just a small test to overcome loneliness | Live

When you live and work in the same place (like in a bedroom, for example), work sometimes takes up all your time. In outer space, too, the workplace is also a place to live. Therefore, clearly define working time and take some time for yourself: You can turn off the computer at 5 pm to exercise, read, listen to music or do something.

Don’t sleep without bluff when the bed is next to the desk. Please sleep at the same time as the normal work. Changing your sleep schedule, like sleeping too much, can have a negative effect on your mood.

Go out for a walk

8 lessons from astronauts a year living in space Limiting social contact is just a small test to overcome loneliness | Live

One of the things I miss most about living in space is when I go out for a walk and explore the world around me. After being trapped in a confined space for a few months, I started to go out and look at everything – the green of the trees, the smell of the dust and the feeling of the sunlight on my flesh. The flowers planted in space actually had more significance than I thought. Some colleagues often turn on sounds from the earth like birds, rustling leaves, even the sound of mosquitoes. It made me feel like the familiar Earth was around.

For an astronaut, traveling outside is not easy when you need to prepare a few days. Therefore, I really appreciate the time when I can go out. You should avoid contact with people but you can go out for a walk with safeguards, not to crowded places. Going out to nature is a good way for both mental and physical health.

You need to have a hobby

8 lessons from astronauts a year living in space Limiting social contact is just a small test to overcome loneliness | Live

When in a small space, you need to do something to entertain, the activities you really enjoy and can spend time with.

Many people were quite surprised when I said I brought a book into space. A quiet space, nothing to bother you is the ideal environment to read books. Look at your bookshelves, how many books have not been read? This is the time for you to ponder over the book you’ve ever bought. If not, try other hobbies: Playing instruments, drawing, learning English …

Keep a daily journal

8 lessons from astronauts a year living in space Limiting social contact is just a small test to overcome loneliness | Live

NASA has studied the effects when people must live separately, and one of the surprising discoveries they found was the importance of taking notes every day. For a whole year, I had a habit of recording my daily diary. Keep track of your emotions, the tasks you do, the lessons you learn, and new discoveries when living alone. Even if you do not intend to write a book based on those daily notes, having such a diary will help you to look back on yourself in the future and understand your thoughts in past.

Take time to connect

8 lessons from astronauts a year living in space Limiting social contact is just a small test to overcome loneliness | Live

Although I was busy with the job of a space station chief, I still took time to call family and friends. Scientists have shown that living separately not only has a negative impact on your mental health but is also bad for your physical health, especially the immune system. Technological development has made it easier for people to connect with each other. Don’t forget to take some time each day to talk to friends and relatives far away – that’s also a way to help you repel Corona virus.

Listen to the experts

8 lessons from astronauts a year living in space Limiting social contact is just a small test to overcome loneliness | Live

Living out of space taught me a lesson about the importance of choosing the right people to trust, who really knowledgeable about a particular field, whether it is science, medicine, technology, etc. with illness as well as managing space; You cannot rely on your emotions or ask online experts to “catch” yourself. That may have to be sacrificed by life.

When you live alone or isolated from those around you, find authentic and accurate sources of information as a basis for treatment of illness or daily activities. Any wrong choice puts you at risk, especially when you have to separate from your loved ones.

We live in a connected world

8 lessons from astronauts a year living in space Limiting social contact is just a small test to overcome loneliness | Live

Seen from outer space, the earth has no borders. The spread of Corona virus gives us a lesson that if we work together, sharing will create greater power when people share. Mankind lives in a highly connected world; the more we work together to solve the problem, the faster it will end.

For myself, looking at the earth from outer space makes me more sympathetic to everyone. I understand the deadlock when they can’t do anything because of “stuck” in their homes – just as I am “stuck” in this space station; but at the same time, people are doing everything they can to connect and help each other: Grandmothers read stories to me on the phone, charities donate online, young people help family members in the area populated when they couldn’t get out. When living separately from the world, we understand the importance of connecting and seeing the good things in people.

The development of the COVID-19 epidemic in Vietnam is increasingly complicated, and in the near future, our country will enter a real challenge. The message that the Government, the Ministry of Health and other local authorities put forward is that: People without duties, if really not needed should stay home because of the risk of cross-contamination among the community. Copper is very high.

Stay still when your country needs it. Love your country, love your people, stay where you are, stay there. And me, I’m at home! Because at home now, it is an action to show a sense of self-protection, join hands with the community to fight the disease.

Doctors around the world are spreading the message “We go to work for you, please stay at home for us”. As a citizen consciously, putting health safety first, spread the call to #toionha to quickly push back #CeVyĐiGo to you!

8 lessons from astronauts a year living in space Limiting social contact is just a small test to overcome loneliness | Live

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