For the 33 Chilean miners now trapped below the earth, surviving the cave-in might be the easy part.
Since it will take months to dig them out, NASA has been brought in to help the miners keep thier heads as they wait for the drill to reach them. After all, who better to deal with being confined to small spaces for long periods than astonauts?
Some tips from the experts:
- Break your time into chunks - like breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Exercise - even stretching and jumping jacks can help.
- Get them involved - as psychology professor James Thomas suggests "Send them mini-thermometers, weighing machines... Have the day begin at 8:30, make Saturday and Sunday different." I guess sticking to a work week helps people stay sane? Seems to have the opposite effect on me.
- Act like a team - if one person feels isolated the whole group will suffer.
- Have fun - Dr. Jaime Manalich who is working with the miners offered "singing, games of movement, playing cards. We want them to record songs, to make videos, to create works of theater for the family."
For now, they are just asking for supplies, specifically things like peaches, beer and toothbrushes. What about you? If you were in for a long wait, what food and comfort item would be a must?