4 Lessons from Astronauts - How to become your better self while in isolation

Most people employed in the IT industry are currently working from home, which results in some serious adaptation. The ones with family at home are seeking for “me, myself and I-alone time”. It looks like we will stay in isolation for some time longer in order to "flatten the curve" and reduce the spread of the coronavirus. So the question arises “How do you remain sane while in isolation”?

Astronauts are known to be familiar with social isolation due to their long missions isolated in space. After researching several articles with various astronauts, some ideas to consider:

The 4 tips from astronauts to become your better self while in isolation.

1. Communicate directly and effectively Everyone experiences stress and fear and it is important to have an open conversation about it. Communicate clearly what your needs are and how another person can help you. A conversation goes both ways. It means that you can talk, but more importantly, you also need to listen. Actively listen. A kind of listening that you let the other person speak and make them feel heard. Don’t rush people into telling you their feelings and thoughts, show your compassion.

2. It is A-Team time When living in a household, it is important to step up your A-team player game. First of all, accept that you don't get to pick your crew. Like astronauts, this is your reality and you have to make the best of whatever situation. Along with good communication, actions are needed to keep the unit running smoothly. Stay alert on the mental well-being of the members of your team.

3. Schedule your day

When in space, astronauts have a clear and structured schedule. While in isolation, a schedule can keep you aware and conscious

of your presence and goals. A schedule is not filled up with merely tasks for work or running the household. It is balanced with dedicated time for physical exercise, playtime and connecting time. During playtime, let your creativity take the lead and find a new hobby. Maybe something you can do as a family. Connecting time is not only with others through social media but can also be by starting to write in a journal. It is even more important while in isolation that you take breaks - why not use the break time to go for a walk?

4. Reframe, relax and have some fun

The COVID-19 pandemic confronts us with emotions of stress, fear and insecurities. Therefore it is important to reframe your focus on positive thoughts. Fear, insecurities and stress will not change the current situation or help you in any way. So focus on the things that you do enjoy, that you can do now. For example, more quality time with your family or doing that home renovation that has been on your to-do list for so long. And take some time to relax. Whether it is to read a good book or have a Netflix binge by yourself or with your family. Most importantly, create your own joy and happiness while in isolation. Resources: Interview with Samantha Cristoforetti, Italian astronaut Interview with Peggy Whitson, NASA astronaut Interview with Scott Kelly, NASA astronaut