Psychologist's advice to the conquerors of space: how not to go crazy in quarantine

Space doctors and psychologists know better than anyone how to prepare a person for long-term isolation, as he doesn’t run wild without the usual daily communication, to get rid of the fear of the hidden future. With a request to share experiences and advice, which have become relevant on Earth today, we turned to the head of the laboratory of SSC RF “Institute of biomedical problems RAS” (IBMP RAS), doctor of medical Sciences, psychologist of all insulation projects of the Institute Vadim GUSHCHIN.

— Vadim Igorevich, you are now preparing for the continuation of the experiment, SIRIUS, the next stage of which is expected in the autumn in the walls of your institution. How will it be different from the previous ones?

In the experiment SIRIUS-2020-21 we are planning alternate landing “on the moon” all crew members (previously, it was the elected members). First, we model the lunar microgravity by putting the astronauts with the help of lifting mechanisms. Still it is planned to study the question of optimal crew composition, the study of the factor of autonomy. Recently I got a call from RSC Energia, creating new manned vehicle, and asked whether the astronauts individual cabins. And we are absolutely responsible answer is that these cabins are absolutely necessary. This answer is based on data from our flight and model experiments.

help the “MK”. International insulation experiment SIRIUS, which is held under the auspices of the Institute of biomedical problems RAS, Khoroshevskoye shosse, launched in November 2017. Every year, the crew of testers (6 people each) go to ground experimental complex where they are isolated from the outside world increasing: 17 days (2017), 4 month (2018-2019), 8 months (2020-2021 years) and 1 year (2021-2022 years). The experiment reproduces the main characteristics of a real interplanetary mission and includes the following stages: going beyond Earth’s orbit, the flight to the conventional planets, landing on her back to Earth. For experimental missions, crew members are prohibited to leave the pressurized facility, all problems arising on Board, they decide for themselves so how could this happen in real flight.

Spouses reconcile “visiting crew”

— Your insulation experiment began this week very important for all people in our country in connection with the forced isolation of the Russians in the apartments. Give advice on how members of the household not to bother each other in the long home insulation?

— the First. The experience of our space, long-term orbital flights says that exercise in isolation from the outside world is essential, not only for physical, but primarily emotional tone. You cannot lay on the couch and watch TV — we need to move to perform the exercises, doing through the body-workout your spirit.

Second. Increases the value of a close circle of friends. We had a happy time, not in a hurry, to communicate with loved ones. To restore, to deepen, to improve relations with those who live with us under one roof. Not with random “one-time” people we meet in social networks, transportation, for work, and it is with those who really matters for our lives.

on the one hand, this advantage, and on the other test. The experience of prolonged isolation test in our Institute suggests that the process may at some point go does not a peaceful scenario, conflicts can occur. Before we could escape, slamming the door and “missing” at work. Now it won’t work. We must learn to develop common values, to compromise, to daily stay close to avoid any tension.

— What is the most difficult for astronauts?

— to find a common language, tolerance, tolerance in the calling psychophysiological stress limited. The significance of this approach say all who have been in long-term space missions. About weightlessness, hard work are rarely mentioned.

Insulation experiment “SIRIUS-2019” included various activities, including the cultivation of plants. Courtesy of IBMP.

— And if the tension still appears and inflames the conflict?

— sometimes it Happens. In the isolation experiments we were. In one of the international experiments “Sphinx” comes to us as scandal. The only woman in the crew considered harassment new year’s kiss on the cheek from the Russian test. Causing an international crew and the Russian fenced off from each other, “went to their rooms”, refusing to interact further. We as psychologists have observed, who behaved with dignity, and who stirred up hatred.

But you also have to reconcile them, how did you do it?

— On the space ship where a quarrel broke out, was sent the visiting crew headed by Valery Polyakov, a world record for staying in space. He was able to explain both sides of the conflict, flying, even simulated, is primarily the work it should do. And look for blame in terms of “space flight” is useless. What to do with them then? Do not throw it overboard, in the middle ages.

Listened to the testers Polyakova?

— Listen, found the strength to continue working even though their relationship until the end and not recovered. As they say, spoons were found, and sediment remained.

— Can be in such difficult situations that sometimes arise in families also arrange a “visiting mission”?

— I think even in terms of the General exclusion will not condemn you for the invitation to tea of a good friend or girlfriend, if we are talking about preserving peace in the family. Naturally, at observance of all sanitary rules

“Effect” Blooms Zeigarnik

What to do with the enormous amount of free time when there is no possibility to go somewhere? Well, if people are still working in the remote circuit, and if the spouses and their children in terms of these holidays? In such circumstances, to force myself to keep in shape, not to plunge headlong into the reading of social networks on the Internet or watching TV?

— And here is the third main point of isolation. It is necessary to work! Even if the job you are not provided the employer, find it yourself. You can write books, compose music, do cleaning. Real, nice thing dreamed of, but that we deferred when we were head loaded main job. Go look around the apartment: broken things, shouldn’t move the furniture? Or maybe, it’s time to sift through the mountains of junk? You will be surprised if I will tell you what he was doing the other day, sitting at home. I read a lot, have thrown in the room of books in random order. And one day it dawned on me: I have time to arrange them! Took and spread! Yes, even by category.

I Have a student who won’t finish his thesis. And she’s always up with his “important”, and urgent business, but would not write a paper. So now these people are already difficult to dissociate itself from the present bustle. Now all the most important things is time. And there’s no more excuses. The main thing is to move, not to hover in one place, then the insulation will be easier to survive.

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— it Sounds very nice, but how to do it technically? How to give myself a kick?

— As I said, it is time for the important things, to distract us from whom nothing can.

Coronavirus makes you think about your home and start to act. First, define these things, arrange in order of priority, and then startthose to work. At the end of the day, be sure to summarize the schedule and made plans for tomorrow.

And then there is the so-called Blooming effect-Zeigarnik — psychological effect, namely that man is much more concerned about interrupted actions than completed. Unfinished business begins to haunt the mind, and it will finish. In the brain, there is stagnant center of excitement, and you can’t escape from him.

Zoom-bachelorette party

would Not long isolation the separation of people?

— will Not, if we wisely use the Internet and its handy program. For example, friends who wanted to meet and chat, can easily make it through the program virtual Zoom (as it is now teachers communicate with students).

— And yet very tempting to walk down the street…

— Do this early in the morning and evening, when it is least crowded. Admire the beautiful sunrise and sunset.

— is There a need for regular solitude from the family?

— Previously, this issue was more relevant. In today’s world we very often retire with gadgets. Try as I have said, to reach a new level of communication with relatives.

— especially in the networking is now so much panic!

— why to go there? Are the holidays — go to the net to congratulate your friends and close. That’s why you need extra information about how many people died from the coronavirus? Sit yourself in warmth and comfort in your house and do not inflate gloomy thoughts.

Where else but on the Internet, you learn quickly about price increases? People want to know about it, to be safe just in case.

— you Can read the latest official news, which are not painted too emotionally, and exit.

by the Way, how do you recommend astronauts to cope with panic on Board?

— here is a perfect example with a hole in the ship “Union” which is found in space about a year ago. What on Earth has begun! Nerves and emotions: the whole air will flow out! And at that time make the crew? He quietly, consistently exploring the areas of the station, finds it a technological hole, and then seals it, and then control the situation.

At least the Russian part of the crew behaved with dignity, quietly. While there were those who urgently required to obtain permission to land… Here it is not necessary to do when you are in a space ship! This is not the place to make hasty emotional decisions.

by the Way, you don’t know, there’s the culprit, powerlevel hole?

— This is the case, when figuring out, “cheated on his wife or not” not constructive.

the Official reasons we do not know. We only know that it ended well, work on the ISS continues over the side no one throws. Also at home, in their families, try not to bring the matter to a serious conflict. Imagine that apartment is a spaceship, from which, as from a submarine, nowhere to go, and try to find each other a common language. And appreciate the new opportunities.

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