5 Quarantine Tips from an Astronaut for Living in Isolation

Here are helpful quarantine tips for keeping a healthy mind and body during the coronavirus lockdown.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to millions of people suddenly living in relative isolation. Whether due to nationwide recommendations or edicts from state governors, like New York's Andrew Cuomo or California's Gavin Newsom, more people are staying at home than ever before history. But how do you keep a sound mind and body while living in isolation? It's almost like living in a space station for an extended period of time. So who better to give you quarantine tips than an astronaut who's done just that?

Astronaut Anne McClain, who joined NASA in 2013, posted her thoughts on on Twitter, reflecting on her experience on the International Space Station. Then NASA put McClain's thoughts together in a single article.

Here are McClain and NASA's five quarantine tips below:

1. Keep communication clear, frequent, and honest.

Share information and feelings freely. Talk about your intentions before taking action. Use proper terminology. Discuss when your or others' actions were not as expected. Take time to debrief after success or conflict. Listen, then restate messages to ensure they are understood. Admit when you are wrong.

That means if you are living with others during this time, don't assume that you each immediately know what the other is thinking. Err on the side of sharing your thoughts and feelings, without oversharing if your fellow housemate is sensitive to the situation. And if you are alone, call friends and loved ones or use FaceTime or Skype.

2. Know when to take the lead and when to follow.

Accept responsibility. Adjust your style to your environment. Assign tasks and set goals. Lead by example. Give direction, information, feedback, coaching, and encouragement. Ensure your teammates have resources. Talk when something isn't right. Ask questions. Offer solutions, not just problems.

This falls right in line with communication. Put yourself in others' shoes and aim for as much empathy as possible. Pick your battles and know when to be decisive and when to go with the flow.

3. Be aware of your own feelings and how they affect others.

Realistically assess your own strengths and weaknesses, and their influence on the group. Learn from mistakes. Identify personal tendencies and their influence on your success or failure. Be open about your weaknesses and feelings. Take action to mitigate your own stress or negativity (don't pass it on to the group). Be social. Seek feedback. Balance work, rest, and personal time. Be organized.

This is self-explanatory, but don't try to be a hero and pretend that everything is OK. And also don't take on more than you can handle.

4. Practice patience and compassion.

Demonstrate patience and respect. Encourage others. Monitor your team for signs of stress or fatigue. Encourage participation in team activities. Develop positive relationships. Volunteer for the unpleasant tasks. Offer and accept help. Share credit; take the blame.

Take the high road and be a team player, especially if you see a conflict brewing!

5. Work together and keep calm.

Cooperate rather than compete. Actively cultivate group culture (use each individual's culture to build the whole). Respect roles, responsibilities, and workload. Take accountability; give praise freely. Then work to ensure a positive team attitude. Keep calm in conflict.

Remember, we are all in this together. Take care of each other and know that we will benefit from being united.

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