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Helping to set realistic and actionable New Year’s resolutions with your incarcerated loved one can be that one thing that helps to shape their year and positively turn their life around. It can help them feel connected to you and send a message of reassurance that they’re not alone. This blog article will discuss “7 Best Ways To Help Your Incarcerated Loved One Start Their New Year.


Although, to make this highly effective, you must ensure that these New Year’s resolutions do not come off as you are being judgmental and dictating to them. This means you must present proposed resolutions in a way that they’re able to clearly see the positive impact it could have on their life.


When your incarcerated loved one sees these resolutions as an important part of their new year, you can create a safe space for them, which can allow for vulnerability, trust, and real development in key areas of their lives.


Here are the 7 best ways to help your incarcerated loved one start their new year:


1.      Teach Them That Their Mind Is The Most Valuable Asset


Regardless of what their incarceration situation might be, it should not stop them from living a meaningful life in or out of prison if they do get out. It is all about staying focused in the midst of the hurdles and teaching them to know that their mind can do amazing things if given the right knowledge, resources, and motivation.


According to a report published by News Medical Life Sciences: “imprisonment is a traumatic experience for the person, as it restricts one’s liberty of movement.


Prisoners are under huge stress mentally and physically, leading to psychological changes that can lead to depression. Researchers consider prison as “a powerhouse of mental problems”. Prisoners already having mental problems often become more ill, and those without any mental illness are likely to develop it during their imprisonment.


Knowing that your incarcerated loved one might be experiencing these, especially around holidays, the goal for you can be to help them realize that their life is just as important the next person’s, irrespective of if they’re in jail or prison or not.


Encourage them to start this by writing a letter to their future self, the better and wiser man or woman they see themselves as or becoming. This should focus more on the positives. Once this is done, you can encourage them to start journaling. This is how they can reconnect with themselves, and others, and take control of their thoughts and actions to build focus and start the new year well.

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2.   Help Them To Understand The Legal Aspect Of Their Sentence


This may be a bit sensitive for your incarcerated loved one, so you may have to approach this with warmth and care. Try not to come off like you’re opening wounds they’re trying to close or heal. The goal for them here is to broaden their legal knowledge through due diligence, research, and connecting with others who have successfully maneuvered through the penal and legal system. Doing this can give them more insight and details about their incarceration, which can give room for possibilities of a release, shorter sentence, or any other factor that benefits them.


3.   Motivate Them To Take Their Well-Being Serious


This is more of a show-and-tell or lead-by-example scenario that requires you to be more open, vulnerable, and comfortable around your loved one. This is not the time to give room for awkward silence. Before you take a deep dive into suggesting to them a ridiculous physical workout routine just for the sake of it, you need to know that they are at the center of everything you’re doing.


Tell them about the time you ran out of breath using the stairs when the elevator stopped working or the time you had to chase your dog through the park and were out of breath. Something funny should suffice. This way, you’re able to keep them updated about your life and inspire action from a genuine standpoint.

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4.   Teach Them How To Control Their Thoughts


There are days when your loved one in prison may feel overwhelmed by their reality and get pushed into a dark place, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and unstable mental health. In the report published by News Medical Life Sciences: Some of the main factors that can lead to anxiety and depression in a prisoner are as follows:


“Memories of illegal acts: During their time in prison, the offenders tend to relive the moments of their crime. This can make them feel guilty and remorseful. Constantly having these thoughts may result in severe depression.


Prison: Prisoners are confined to a restricted space. Prolonged stay in the prison may lead to intense depression, which can persist even after their release.


Missing loved ones: Prisoners feel loneliness, as they are isolated from their family and loved ones. They recall the days spent outside prison. These thoughts of loneliness create the mental conditions of anxiety and depression.


Life with other prisoners: Living with other prisoners who may be violent can raise serious feelings of insecurity and fear in the mind of the prisoner”.


Knowing these can help you identify the ways to help incarcerated individuals take control of their thoughts and fend off the negative emotions they may experience. This can be done by highlighting 10 reasons why you’re happy to still have them alive. You must reinforce their sense of purpose to help them cope with incarceration.


5.    Keep Them Updated About The World


It is very easy for loved ones in prison to get disconnected from reality. In most cases, this is not done consciously. Their absence makes it easy for us to look past them at times, but you can help your incarcerated loved one stay in touch with the outside world by giving them a detailed update on trends, culture shifts, movies, books, songs, and other things they’re passionate about. If or when they do get out, it won’t be so hard integrating back into regular life just because you’ve taken the liberty to keep them in touch with society. Also, scheduling regular visits around the holidays with family, friends, loved ones, and their children can help to boost or keep their spirits up.

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6.   Help Them Create Personal Development Goals With A Plan


Nothing beats starting the year off right like setting clear and specific personal development goals. This can be as little as appreciating life more or being a wiser and more effective and productive version of themselves. You can help them break it down into tiny achievable steps, which you can invest time in.


7.   Lastly, Help Them Use Their Brain


It’s so easy for your incarcerated loved one to get lost in prison life that they may barely even think about anything anymore. You can help to turn things around this New Year by working together with them to stimulate their thoughts by talking about current events, unique and creative ideas, and/or anything that is legitimate, valid, lawful, and mentally stimulating to them that can help them grow.


It is important to know that helping your incarcerated loved one start the new year on a positive and great note begins and ends with them. Their feelings, state of mind, desires, motivations, etc., begins and ends with them. All you can do is play your position and hope that they head in the direction that best helps them to serve their time and fits their future, not just at the start of the new year, but throughout their lives.