An Astronaut’s Story on Adapting
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This week I am extensively writing on ways to get back to the normal in the wake of unlocking the pandemic forced lockdown. Today, I am writing an out of the world story, literally.
Turn Fear into Focus
A befitting example of getting back to the normal than a story of an astronaut. This is the story of Christina Koch, the first woman astronaut who stayed in the space for eleven months. This is about her journey home and how she got back her normal. She recounts her initial days in the space as scary. Astronauts are trained to turn fear into focus on their work. It is an interesting approach to conquer the fear of the unknown. Divert your attention to the work in front of you. Occupy your mind with the tasks and keep at it.
The Baby Step
Koch recalls the moment when they were about to land on Earth as beautiful. The feeling of breeze against the skin and the sight of trees, the blue sky rather than the empty space was an unforgettable feeling. But readjusting to Earth was not easy. The space crew had to get used to Earth’s gravity. The first few days Koch had her neck muscles paining just from the weight of her head. It felt like a baby where you have to relearn to walk and handle your body. The world we live in is also going through some major transformation. We will have to re-learn things. The easy way to get through this phase is to take baby steps, one at a time and not rush into things.
Lean on Nature
The first few weeks on the Earth for Dr. Koch was difficult. In order to feel normal again, it took almost two months. Even the mundane chore of buying groceries looked like a herculean task for her. Recovery is a process and like any other process, it takes time. But here is something remarkable about the human body and brain – it adapts to its environment easily. The astronauts staying in the space for months get used to space and have to re-learn the norms of earthly life upon returning. Similarly, given enough time the body re-adapts to the Earth. This is how the body and the mind are designed. Sometimes you just have to lean on the natural course of your body and mind. It is meant to readjust and adapt itself.
Christina Koch’s story is taken from this podcast.
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