Retired astronaut shares tips of how to manage isolation

Posted at 6:51 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 19:51:02-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Staying at home isolation or quarantine wasn’t an easy task for everyone. Lots of people have struggled with it over these last couple of months. So how do some people successfully deal with isolation for long periods? One astronaut from Nebraska is sharing some advice.

Clayton Anderson is from Ashland and has since retired from a 30-year career with NASA. His career included a five-month say at the International Space Station in 2007. Now in 2020, he sees similarities to what we’re dealing with today.

“I think that the similarities of living in an aluminum can in space, is a lot like what people are going through today when they can’t leave their house,” said Anderson.

Lots of people struggled with isolation and quarantine here on earth, and Anderson dealt with that for more than 150 days while in space. He says during that time, exercise was vital for his mental health.

“You should focus on exercise, and when you’re done with that exercise, try to do it early in your day and clean up, take that shower, put on fresh, clean clothes. It invigorates your psyche,” said Anderson.

He says he was always busy, and having things scheduled helped to stay organized and productive.

“Stay on a schedule if they can, and that’s also something you can do with a little bit of forethought,” said Anderson.

He says being open-minded helped him while in space and that people should focus on milestones, even if they’re simple.

“Maybe it’s as simple as getting through the week and getting through a project at work, complete that project and then take a breather,” said Anderson.

Anderson, who now lives in Texas, also says keeping in touch with loved ones is critical during this time, not just for you but for them. It’s also essential to think about the good stuff that will come out of this and not dwell on all the negatives.