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astronaut on a toilet seat

Mayday: An Astronaut’s Guide to Learning to Cope With Isolation

There are a select few who know the pains (both physical and mental) associated with prolonged periods of isolation. Astronauts like Scott Kelly, who spent time on the International Space Station, and D. Marshall Porterfield, NASA’s former Space Life and Physical Sciences Division Director, are all too familiar with the concept of coping with a life spent, periodically, at arm’s length (or longer). Here are some tips on how to live with those overwhelming feelings of loneliness—straight from the experts.

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woman sitting on white bed

Being Alone: The Pros and Cons of Keeping to Yourself

Many of us are currently sequestered indoors, away from our invigorating and purpose-driven routines. It can be argued that those who are confined with others, like roommates, family, or friends, are lucky in that they are at least allowed to engage in conversation with others and aren’t made to struggle with complete loneliness. Wherever you are, you should know that there are benefits to being alone. And, of course, some drawbacks.

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Mosuo women in Yunnan, China

Lugu Lake: China’s Progressive ‘Kingdom of Women’

Nestled deep in the hidden valleys of Yunnan, China, east of the Himalayas and abutting the blue waters of Lugu Lake, sits a community of inhabitants known as the Mosuo people. And like most members of this community, they collectively share several similarities—traits, ideals, morals, beliefs. What sets this group apart from the rest of their mainland counterparts is their surprisingly modern approach to Chinese tradition. In this mysterious and unspoiled region, known as the “Kingdom of Women,” men take a backseat.

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Merry cemetery detail

Merry Cemetery Offers a Whimsical Backdrop for Mourners

In the quaint Romanian town of Săpânţa, the local Merry Cemetery features a colorful tableau of more than 800 grave markers that manage to elicit emotions that are uncharacteristic of traditional burial grounds. Somber slate and graphite mounds are replaced with colorful wooden crosses—each depicting, in almost playful detail, the life and death of each of the town’s former residents.