Surviving In Close Quarters: Advice From A Submariner

A man who used to work on submarines has offered some advice on how not to go crazy in close quarters with your family or roommates. His name is Jon Bailey – here’s what he wrote:

– During my time in the Submarine Service, I – along with many others – endured many weeks and months cooped up in a steel tube under the waves. I just thought I’d share a few coping strategies for many of you now facing a Covid-19 “patrol”.

– Life at sea is dictated by shifts and routines. You can tell what day it was by what was for dinner. Make a routine now & stick to it. Divide your day up into work, rest, exercise, meals, hobbies, etc. Do the same for kids.

– Privacy: the only place private at sea was your bunk. Make a dedicated private time and place in the routine. Even if you timeshare the front room, get everyone a couple of hours alone. Do whatever you want: watch films, pray, yoga – whatever gets you through.

– Eat: A good mix of “feast & famine” will stop the pounds piling on – we would have big meals some days. On other days soup & bread was enough.

– Exercise: 20-30 minutes a day of movement as a minimum. It’s a natural antidepressant, breaks up the day and keeps you healthy. Get outside when able. (* On a submarine?)

– Clean: Put time in your daily routine to clean and stick to it.

– Connect: Even during radio silence we still got a weekly telegram from loved ones back home. This was a weekly highlight. Keep in touch with your people.

– Perspective: Like all other patrols, this one will end. It’s better than dodging barrel bombs. Don’t obsess the news or Twitter. Bring your world closer, focus on little things that you enjoy & make plans for the future. At least you should have a window!