Chris Hadfield spent nearly five months aboard the ISS (CSA)

Settling in to a new regime of self-isolation isn’t going to be easy for any of us, but if there’s someone who knows what it’s going to be like it’s Commander Chris Hadfield.

The Canadian astronaut spent almost five months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) thousands of miles from human civilisation and any kind of normal life.

Astronauts go through extensive training on physical and mental wellbeing during their time in space. They’re confined in a very small space and only have immediate physical contact with a couple of other people. The rest of their interactions take place through phone and video conferencing. Sound familiar?

Commander Hadfield has recorded a YouTube video sharing the essential measures we must all take to stay sane while self-isolating at home.

The tips are sensible, but it also helps that he has a calming and soothing aura; he’s like our collective space-faring grandfather.

You can watch the video for yourself above and thankfully Cmdr Hadfield is very succint about what to do. His first piece of advice is to understand the risk – read up on the coronavirus and the official guidelines to understand exactly what you can and can’t do. We’ve got more information on that right here.

Secondly, the veteran astronaut says you need to have an objective to accomplish while you’re in isolation. This may mean carrying on as normal a routine as you can – so trying to work, socialise, exercise and be creative as much as you can.

After you know your objective, you need to understand and take note of your constraints. The obvious one here is that you really shouldn’t leave your house, flat or apartment for any reason other than what’s totally essential. Seeing friends and family is off the list as is any kind of shopping other than for food or medicine. You can still exercise but again, there are constraints there. None of this is fun or ideal, but it will save lives.

Isolation may be a good time to take up a new hobby like playing music (CSA)

Finally, and most importantly, Hadfield says you need to take action. Sitting around doing nothing isn’t going to help the time pass faster or more comfortably. So, whether it’s implementing a stay-at-home exercise regime or getting better at a hobby like music or writing: now is the time.

If you want a bit of inspiration, check out our new mini-series My Quarantine Routine which details how regular people are adjusting to life on the inside.





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