When "Washington Post" Journalist Jason Rezaian was held in an Iranian prison for 544 days, he did not think his experience with solitary confinement would one day benefit millions in the U.S. But now, with so many people stuck in their homes, advice on enduring isolation is a needed commodity

On Tuesday, Rezaian wrote a piece for the "Washington Post" titled,“I survived solitary confinement. You can survive self-isolating,”to help those struggling with the new collective reality under the coronavirus. In the article he suggests the keys to surviving isolation are not spending all your time on the internet — and instead, reading books, exercising, planning for the future, and, most importantly in his opinion, laughing.

“It never occurred to me that this might be something that was going to be applicable to so many folks,” Rezaian told Jim Braude during an Interview on WGBH News’ Greater Boston Wednesday. “I thought to myself, maybe there’s something I can share with my readers.”

For many stuck in isolation now, it is all to easy to get swept up in news stream with constant breaking updates on the internet and television. Rezaian encouraged people not to fall into this habit.

“Our tendency often is to go and look for the most extreme circumstances, the most extreme things that are happening in the world, and obviously we are living in extreme times,” he said. “If you want to calm your mind and limit your anxiety levels, being on the news websites, or watching cable television… I wouldn’t advise anybody watch it 24 hours a day.”

Instead of focusing on the news, Rezaian recommend reading, “The Gulag Archipelago,” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

“It can remind you, as bad as things might seem to you in your life right now, they could be a hell of a lot worse," he said.