NASA astronaut who spent nearly a year in space offers advice on COVID-19 quarantine

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — We are now in our second week of social distancing here in North Carolina and we’ve still got a long way to go. The kids are home, the stores are closed and there are no sports, but we have no room to complain.

Retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who lived on the small, isolated international space station for nearly a year might have some room to complain, but he’s not.

Recently, Commander Kelly offered up some tips on living in isolation, things that got him through his marathon space adventure.

CBS 17 Chief Meteorologist Wes Hohenstein reviews some of that advice from Scott Kelly and from astronaut Christina Koch, who recently returned from a long stay on the International Space Station.

Follow a schedule

Commander Kelly says maintaining a plan will help you and your family adjust to different work and home living environment.

Go outside

For an astronaut, going outside is easier said than done and it is dangerous, but research shows that spending time in nature is beneficial to our mental and physical health.

There are restrictions now due to coronavirus, but you can still enjoy the great outdoors.

Get a hobby

Books were Kelly’s diversion in space, but during the coronavirus outbreak, he’s actually learning how to play the guitar online. My family has been playing board games, but find something good for your household and do it together.

Take time to connect

Even though he wasn’t on the planet, he still had a chance to video conference with family and friends.

Technology makes that so easy today, so reach out, write a letter, but don’t live in isolation.

Listen to experts

Most problems in life are not rocket science, but when they are, ask a rocket scientist!

Trusting people who were smarter than him kept commander Kelly alive every day on the ISS and we need to listen to smart people now as we battle COVID-19.

Astronaut and North Carolina State University graduate Christina Koch wasn’t up there as long as Scott Kelly, but she spent more than 300 days in space.

When she got back to earth in early February, she was asked about living in small isolated spaces for a long period of time.

Koch said “Constantly focus on the things you have that you will never have again, rather the things you don’t have. That’s a lesson in life that could be helpful and it definitely helps up there for a long duration. It helps you recognize every day how special what you have is which in turn makes you feel like you have to bring your best.”

Great advice from two people who are a lot smarter than we are. Let’s bring our best in the coming days and weeks. Take care of yourself, take care of each other and stay healthy.

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