Chris Hadfield and other astronauts share self-isolation tips during coronavirus

If anyone knows how to not go crazy while spending a lot of time alone, it's an astronaut. Chris Hadfield, Scott Kelly, Peggy Whitson and Buzz Aldrin have a few suggestions.

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Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
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Astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield knows a lot about self-isolating while in space. 

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Self-isolating and social distancing to help slow down the spread of coronavirus isn't easy, but for astronauts like Chris Hadfield it's completely normal. Working in close quarters with limited supplies while far from family and friends is what astronauts must get used to while working for months at a time in space. 

On Saturday, Hadfield posted a video called Astronaut's Guide to Self Isolation to help those struggling with working from home or just feeling stir-crazy during the pandemic. 

Hadfield offers ways to cope with self-isolating that he learned from his time spent in space. "Understand the actual risk, don't just be afraid of things," Hadfield said in the video. "Go to a credible source and find out what is truly the risk that you're facing right now."

Hadfield recommends you have a mission and make goals during this time. Decide what you want to get done and what you need to accomplish. He suggests people start a new project or study something new like how to play guitar or learn another language

"Take care of yourself, take care of your family and friends, take care of your spaceship," Hadfield said. 

Hadfield isn't the only astronaut with tips on self-isolating during this difficult time.

On Monday, astronaut Peggy Whitson -- who broke the record for most cumulative time spent in space by any NASA astronaut -- suggests that "It's very important to interact well with the people you're living with. You have to be able to communicate effectively."

Astronaut Scott Kelly also had some tips on Saturday in an op-ed piece he wrote for The New York Times


Astronaut Scott Kelly is in the midst of spending a full year aboard the International Space Station to help NASA understand how the human body reacts to long periods in microgravity, like during the months-long trip to Mars.


"You will find maintaining a plan will help you and your family adjust to a different work and home life environment," Kelly wrote. "When I returned to Earth, I missed the structure it provided and found it hard to live without." 

But Kelly thinks it's also important to relax a bit while working from home. "Take time for fun activities: I met up with crewmates for movie nights, complete with snacks, and binge-watched all of Game of Thrones twice," he wrote. 

NASA  astronaut Buzz Aldrin said he was "lying on my ass and locking the door" to protect himself from the virus. Sage advice, indeed.

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