If your loved one is new to prison life, it will take some adjusting. It’s not easy. It’s a huge change. To live, as well as possible in prison, a person needs to develop some mental toughness and know-how.
Advise your loved one to focus on positive things and to work on internal issues. Setting goals and creating daily routines can help them get through each day.
Encourage them to adopt an exercise routine to help build physical well-being. Not only can physical fitness make them more capable of handling themselves and less of a threat for being picked on, but it can also help their overall wellness. Endorphins that are released during exercise can help a person feel more at peace.
Your loved one should also be finding encouragement in the right reading materials. Focusing on growing their spirituality and building their education can help them thrive, even when they’re behind bars. As they continue to work on themselves, help them plan for the day they will be released. Even if that’s a few years away, doing the research now can help you both better plan for when the time comes. It can also help your loved one focus on better days ahead.
Suggest that they learn about what programs are available in the prison and seek out the ones that could benefit them. In addition to being involved in programs, they should seek other ways to stay productive.
Advise your loved one to be cautious when making friends. They should be careful about who they connect with and not make direct eye contact with others as some may react violently to this. It’s best to avoid conflict, to show others respect and to have control over attitude.
Encourage your loved one to stay connected with friends and family. This will help them keep a healthy focus. Remind them that even if there are those who don’t respond or have cut them off, there are still many others who love and support them. You may be able to put money in their account so they’re able to call home more frequently and purchase mailing and writing materials for letters.
Your loved one is going through a hard time right now. It may be a long, difficult road, but there are things they can do to get through it. Provide them with some of these tips and continue to show them your support so they know there are still people who care about them outside of the prison walls.
[Monalisa Johnson is a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel and a certified life coach as well as a mother and entrepreneur. In no way is anything that she writes, speaks or shares considered medical advice or clinical therapy. Consider all that you receive to be life coaching and guidance.]