Isolated woman at home on phone staying connected

Retired NASA astronaut Captain Scott Kelly took part in four space expeditions and spent a record-breaking 520 days isolated in space, aboard the International Space Station. He’s talking to us from his own isolation spot in Austin, Texas with his advice on how to positively cope with the challenges of being in lockdown and feeling isolated.

Understand this is your mission

Captain Scott Kelly says that it’s important to look at this situation as your mission and something you must do to protect yourself and those around you. “Recognise we are brought together by the shared sense of mission, following the guidelines to fight this worldwide pandemic. It is our job. Our mission is important.” By looking at this as a mission, it becomes something to accomplish rather than bear with.

Don’t count the isolation days

Sometimes it is hard not to count the days on the calendar, but Captain Kelly suggests it’s better to avoid doing that. “Counting the days was not something I did, and I would encourage you to do that here.” Keeping track of the days can make it feel like we’ve been isolated for a longtime, so try to let them pass.

Keep a consistent pace

Time and time again we’ve been told that keeping a schedule is important, and Captain Kelly says the same. “Have a schedule that has variety during the week, and consists of taking care of yourself.” Maintaining a consistent pace through the weeks with a routined scheduled can really help you to stay on track. Taking care of yourself can include eating well and exercising at home.

Have a hobby

Lockdown has seen a lot of people taking up new passions and relearning an old skill. Captain Kelly advises that having something that is a “complete distraction” from feeling isolated will help keep you feeling positive. Hobbies are personal and can range from mindfulness colouring in to practicing yoga. Or why not try mindful baking?

Don’t look at too much news

News is a good way of keeping up with the world around us. However, Captain Kelly has said that sometimes too much isn’t good. If you’re finding that the news has an affect on you, you could set aside just one morning a week to check on the news instead of every day.

Looking to stay healthy during the lockdown period? We have some ways to stick to healthy food habits during lockdown.