Astronauts in Isolation

On the 12th of April, 1961 Astronaut Yuri Gagarin left our earth to enter the last frontier of our time-space.  There had been many unmanned launches into space in the past. But never in the history of mankind had a human ever left this earth. But as his space capsule took off and he left our atmosphere – it wasn’t guaranteed that he would ever return. His mission could only be achieved alone – but he knew that his mission was bigger than one person. So he took the risk for all humanity all alone. But even though he was alone physically, he knew that down there there were many people ready to support him.

Nothing will stop us. The road to the stars is steep and dangerous. But we’re not afraid…This isn’t the work of one man or even a group of men. It is a historical process which mankind is carrying out in accordance with the natural laws of human development

Yuri Gagarin

What can we learn from Astronauts?

The International Space Station is 400km (250 miles) from the Earth; with inhabitants spending on average six months living in cramped and crowded conditions – far, far away from their loved ones and a normal environment. Astronauts go through extreme sensory deprivation. These are the familiar experiences we take for granted such as the wind on our faces, the smell of grass, or the sensation of our feet touching the ground. 

  • Even in space, astronauts have a regimented day and routine; that also allocates time for exercise and personal care. Don’t let your work erode the important rest time and take time to move.
  • Astronauts aren’t just scientists; they’re responsible for the upkeep of the space station. You may live alone but it can help you in the long run to keep on top of even menial tasks. In Space, lack of repairs and missing day-to-day tasks can cause life-threatening situations. During isolation, doing things bit-by-bit will help them seem less daunting than if they piled up, as well as improving your mental health by distracting you.  
  • Talk about what’s stressing you. It’s important to be able to open up and talk about aspects that are making you upset or stressed.
  • Plan some time to escape. Even astronauts have virtual holidays or escape into a parallel universe. Whether it’s binge-watching all Star Wars films or jumping into a VR world, it can be good to take a breather. Many galleries and museums have opened up their doors and exhibitions for us to explore from the comfort of our homes. Just make sure to decide on how long you will escape for, so you can keep up your routines otherwise.
  • Get musical. Many astronauts have played instruments in space. Research shows that playing music or singing can reduce blood pressure and stress whilst making you feel less depressed and anxious. It can even enhance our immune response. Join in on an online choir practice or learn a new instrument.
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