Editorial. (Lakes District News file photo)

What astronauts can teach you about distancing and stress

On Oct. 21, NASA astronaut, Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin returned to earth after spending 196 days in space, living and working in Earth’s orbit on the International Space Station.

My first thought when I read this was that these astronauts spent most of the pandemic, socially and physically distanced from Earth and what a blessing that must have been for them. But then again, that is their way of living. They expect and know that they will be away from everyone for long stretches of time but that doesn’t mean they must be immune to loneliness and anxiety from separation from rest of the humanity.

While there are a few things astronauts have said through their interviews and books over the years, like keeping yourself surrounded by memories of the loved ones, communicating with loved ones, having a mission in life that will keep you going, exercising and eating meals by breaking bread together with someone, there is one particular book that I recently read called An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, that is really inspiring.

I came across the book through something I read about Serena Fan, the founder of the Hong Kong Children’s Discovery Museum who was so inspired by the book that she not only started implementing some of the suggestions in her day-to-day life but also in her work and during Hong Kong protests. If a book has that many applications for our lives, we must pick up it, right?

The autobiography is a great tool to look into the lives of astronauts and to understand some ways of dealing with anxiety, loneliness and stressful situations. It is not just someone coming up with logically sound arguments on how to deal with stress but lived experience of someone who faced stressful and unforeseen circumstances on a daily basis. Having checklists, practising for worst-case scenarios often, having different solutions ready after having thought of the different types of problem that could arise out of a situation are just some of the many gems in the book.

How do astronauts manage to stay so calm and composed in the face of disasters? How are they able to make the right decisions in extremely life and death-defining moments? These are some of the questions, the answers to which could help us all not just during a pandemic, but even in every day lives.

What kind of inspirations have you come across in the past eight months to help you get through every day. Write to us and let us know of what moves you.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist


Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Questions around rail safety, firefighter safety, cleanup near the rail yards and tracks, whistle cessation, etc were raised during the RDBN meeting with CN. (File photo)
‘Lot of our concerns are still not being heard,’ say RDBN directors on CN’s response

Frustrated over lack of solutions, despite communicating their concerns to CN

Barbara Patrick. (Submitted/Lakes District News)
Former Burns Lake local to play the first Indigenous character in a Hallmark movie

Barbara Patrick, a former LDSS student takes a huge step for the Indigenous community

The Burns Lake RCMP is supportive of having a ticketing bylaw in place even though there would be limitations on what they could ticket on. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake might be getting a ticketing bylaw

Will help extend RCMP’s authority to attend to noise complaints

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan announce $5 billion emergency fund for COVID-19 unemployment and other relief, B.C. legislature, March 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
Carole James stays on to advise B.C. Premier John Horgan

Retired finance minister to earn a dollar a year

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

A pedestrian makes their way through the snow in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Wild winter, drastic swings in store for Canada this year: Weather Network

In British Columbia and the Prairies, forecasters are calling for above-average snowfall levels

NDP Leader John Horgan, left, speaks as local candidate Ravi Kahlon listens during a campaign stop at Kahlon’s home in North Delta, B.C., on April 18, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

Most Read