From the very first step behind the four walls of a prison, it can feel hopelessly difficult. Despite these challenges there are many men and women who find renewed hope and purpose while incarcerated.
Find Your Purpose – It is vitally important that you find your purpose. Without it, it will be difficult to keep your hope alive. Your purpose is what will get you out of bed everyday. Your purpose helps to stay motivated to make it through your re-entry journey. From choosing to leave a better legacy for your children, to changing the direction of your life, your purpose will create guidelines for you to make it through your incarceration journey.
Discover Healthy Outlets – Your time spent in prison will be a new world. Your hobbies, interests, career, and other things that occupy your time are put on hold. As you spend time in prison, you will need to discover healthy outlets. Failing to do so may result in the time doing you; not you doing the time. From pursuing a higher education, to joining a club, there are many great ways to make the most of your time. Other healthy outlets may include exercise, chess clubs, or a support group.
Get a Planner – Every new experience will take some time to adjust. Making a daily planner is a great way to keep track of what’s going on throughout your day, and keep you looking forward to big events. A journal can help you keep track of planned family days, phone calls and other important events. Keeping a planner is also a good way to create autonomy in your life.
Stay Healthy – Staying healthy is crucial to manage your time in prison. Studies have shown your mental health is related to your physical health. As you plan your daily eating and exercise routine, consider your health goals. Most facilities have gyms, exercise rooms, and provide meals with dietary needs. Keep your goals in front of you as you stay healthy in prison.
Dig Deeper – It can be tempting to wait out your time instead of investing in your future. There are many programs, studies, higher education institutions and series that offer programs while in prison. Searching out programs like TYRO TV on tablets, or seeking out programs like TYRO are opportunities to reinvent your life. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to grow in this season.
Get a Support System – Whether it is a club, advocacy group or organization, there are many worthy of your time and investment. Finding clubs that align with your interests, goals and vision can help you create a support system that empowers you to make the most of your time.
Make no mistake, it will be a difficult journey. You and your family will go through many trials. But as you make the choice each and every day to make the most of your time, you can change the direction of your future. If you or your loved one is in prison (or going to prison), we hope these tips will help you stay focused and learn to dream once again.