Living In Isolation: Read. Exercise. Laugh.

Step-by-step advice for surviving isolation from an astronaut, a journalist, and a political prisoner, who each spent long stretches alone. Click on the links and look at the videos for elaboration.

Scott Kelly is a retired NASA astronaut who spent nearly a year on the International Space Station.

  • Follow a schedule
  • But pace yourself
  • Go outside
  • You need a hobby
  • Keep a journal
  • Take time to connect
  • Listen to experts
  • We are all connected
  • Wash your hands


Jason Rezaian is an Iranian-American journalist who served as Tehran bureau chief for The Washington Post. He was convicted of espionage in a closed-door trial in Iran in 2015 and was held for 544 days, including in solitary confinement.

  • Don’t spend all your time online.
  • Read books
  • Exercise (up and down the staircase if necessary)
  • Plan for the future
  • Laugh

Natan Sharansky was held in solitary confinement in a Soviet prison for nine years:

  • Remind yourself why you’re there: “This is a kind of war in which each of us is a soldier.
  • Don’t depend on outside events. Create your own world e.g. Read a book. Learn a language
  • Laugh and sing
  • Keep up with your hobbies
  • Feel connected

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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