NASA astronaut Scott Kelly shares his tips for getting through self-isolation

After nearly a year living on the International Space Station, the now-retired astronaut opens up about ways to cope.
4:42 | 03/23/20

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Transcript for NASA astronaut Scott Kelly shares his tips for getting through self-isolation
Now to our "Gma" cover story, advice from someone who knows a lot about living in isolation, astronaut Scott Kelly. Our man spent nearly a year living on the international space station. He wrote about it for "The new York Times" sharing his tips on how to deal with isolation, and commander Kelly is talking about it first here on "Gma," joining us live from his home in Houston, Texas. So good to have you here with us, and we really appreciate your insight and the article that you wrote was very enlightening. Some people, we've only been in isolation for a very short amount of time. You were in it for so much longer. How was it? Well, you know, it's not easy, right, but I think if you have the right expectations, and in my case when I flew to the space station, I knew how long I was going to be there but it was so far away into the future that my expectations were, this is where I live now and I have to deal with it, and some day it will be over. I think that's what people need to have that kind of mind-set. We all know it's going to be over at some point but as you just said you knew how long you were going to be there. Everyone dealing with it now doesn't. Yes. You know, that kind of uncertainty can be stressful and a challenging thing to live with, but we can get through this if we work together, if we support each other, if we stay connected. There's a lot of things you can do in isolation that can make it a lot easier. From a practical standpoint, what are your top tips for getting through the day to day of being in isolation? The first thing, like I said, is have the right expectation. Since we don't know how long this is going to be, you have to think, hey, this is my new reality. This is where I live. This is where I'm going to be for so knows how long and I'm going to take it very, very seriously. Those things are having a schedule. A schedule is so very important. When I got to space the first time I was on a long flight, it was hard to get used to being scheduled five minutes at a time, sometimes an hour, sometimes for eight hours if it was a space walk. What I found as I got used to it, I actually needed it. When I got home, I missed it. So having a schedule is critical to helping us get through this. You need to schedule things like work, rest, taking care of your environment, you know, your space station, whether that's the house you live in, the apartment that you live in. Take time to go outside if you can. Sunlight and nature is so very, very important to our health. You also mentioned writing in a journal. That's something that other people thought would be very helpful as well. Why? You know, you put your feelings in a journal and if you're feeling a certain way, writing it down, being honest with yourself about it is the best possible thing you can do. Then when this is all over some day, we can look back at this time, one of the most challenging times in our country, and you can have a record of what it was like for you and what you did. Did you -- were you helpful, did you rise to the occasion? Hopefully that will be the case for everyone. But if you didn't, at least you have that outlet. You'll have something to do on a daily basis that's part of this regular schedule of getting through this. And I know you were with just a few other astronauts when you were up there on the space what advice can you give us when we're in close quarters with just a very few people, our family mostly, how to keep the peace? You know, first of all, I think the first thing people need to recognize is everybody is different. Everyone has different skills. Everyone has different things that they're bad at. Even astronauts are bad at certain things. Sometimes you can help elevate people, but sometimes it's just not in their DNA to act and behave a certain way, so you need to understand, first of all, who is your crew on this mission. It's your family, it's the people you're in isolation with. They might be young, they might be old. Understand what their traits are, what they can add to the team, and then where they need help. And then communicate. Understand that we're all in this together. If you're feeling stressed, talk about it. That's how we work through these things. Commander Kelly, we want to thank you for elevating our conversation about isolation. We really appreciate you and hope that your family is safe down there in Houston. Thanks, Michael. Thanks, guys.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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