Astronaut Chris Hadfield Shares Keys To Having A Productive Self-Isolation Without Losing Your Mind

Astronaut Chris Hadfield

Getty Image / Bill Watters

Boring weekend, I hope? If everything went as planned, most of your weekends were spent cooped up inside watching movies and self-isolating, which is something that astronaut Chris Hadfield knows a thing or two about.

Hadfield was the first Canadian to walk in space, he’s flown two space shuttle missions, and he was the commander of the International Space Station. The man knows how to navigate a life of isolation and he’s sharing some tips on YouTube for anyone out there grappling with the confines of self-isolation.

His tips are solid. Even if they aren’t able to apply directly to your current situation I’m willing to bet that there’s someone close to you in your life who would benefit from hearing this. Here’s the clip with a quick recap below:

His first tip is ‘understand the actual risk.’ He says ‘don’t just be afraid of things’ and we should all go to credible sources (WHO, CDC, BBC, etc) and read up on the actual risk that we are facing, the risk our families are facing. By doing this we’re no longer facing an invisible monster.

The second tip is ‘choose goals‘. He says we should define our goals and objectives right now, whether that be ‘stay the fuck home’or ‘launch a new project’. Hadfield says we should be defining our goals for this afternoon, this week, or throughout this entire self-quarantine period of time. Define goals so we can feel a sense of accomplishment once we attain those goals.

The third tip is to define our ‘constraints’. Take a look at who’s telling us what to do, what financial obligations we might have, work constraints, family constraints, etc. He says once we understand the risk, our mission and sense of purpose, and our constraints, then we can take action.

The final tip is ‘take action’. This means start doing things like reading books, learning a new language on YouTube, take up a project around the house or apartment, learn to code, cook a meal that you’ve never made before, create something new, write your thoughts down, and just take this opportunity to keep your brain active in a time that you’d otherwise feel very constrained.

This is ‘a chance to do something different’ that we might’ve never done before. And he says once we’ve done that, we repeat it all over again. That’s how the astronauts stay productive, active, and sane on the space shuttle and International Space Station and these tips are very helpful while we’re all stuck at home.

As for me, the walls are beginning to creep in a little bit but I’ve been maintaining my sanity by reminding myself that I live in a house and not the tiny ass SoHo apartment I lived in for years. That apartment was so small that people would often ask if we even had a shower because the door to the bathroom blocked the shower when the door was opened. Seriously, what the hell did my friends think we were doing? Showering at the gym? Sure, the location was sick and I only had a 6-minute walk to the BroBible office but did they think I was willing to forego showering for a sick apartment?!

My plan was to start reading books but I have a toddler who turns 1-year-old this week and GOOD GOD does that little dude not want to sit still. I’d be so happy if I could just sit in bed and watch a movie but that sure as shit isn’t happening with a 1-year-old at home. That’s why I’ve started waking up at 5am to bring you gentlemen articles like this and buy myself a few hours of productivity before he wakes up. The only way I’m going to get through this self-isolation is by stretching the hours in the day.