The world has shut down, with billions of people all over the world locking themselves in behind gates and other barriers. Its tough on everyone – children locked out of school and their normal social intercourse, workers stuck at home elderly people barricaded in retirement villages. The world is in isolation and the 7.5 billion people that live on the planet are, to an extent living apart from each other.
While this is an entirely new experience for most people, it is not unique. Several different, well-known professionals that spend most of their time in isolation for work say it difficult, but it can be done. Here are five ways to keep sane in isolation over the coming weeks.
With billions of people around the world suddenly adjusting to social distancing.
1. ‘Have a schedule’
Scott Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut, spent nearly a year aboard the International Space Station. He told French news agency AFP that mindset was crucial.
“People need to have the right expectation, we don’t know when this is going to be over,” he said.
“We could be in this for the long haul so your mindset needs to be: I’m living a similar thing to living in space for a year, I need to have a schedule, I need to get up at a regular time, to go to sleep at a regular time.”
He also said exercise was key for both physical and mental well-being while confined.
“You need to schedule time for exercise. If you cannot get out if you don’t have a garden, raise the window shade, open the window and stick your head outside, make that part of daily routine.”
2. Find your mission
For Vincent Larnaudie-Eiffel, a former commander of a nuclear submarine, working well in confinement means finding and investing in your own personal “mission”.
Just like onboard the sub, “stuck in our apartments, we all share a mission and that is to protect others, medical workers and successfully navigate this ordeal.”
He said it was important to establish a daily routine and stick to it.