I thought the article below is worth sharing. Certainly something to think about. It comes to me from Robert Jenkinson, a respected counsellor. I’m not sure who the author of the article is but they deserve our thanks for sharing something absolutely worth listening to.
As you read it think of some of the things you might need to do, or discuss with whoever you are locked down with to get through this week in particular…I’ve made some suggestions after this article.
“Back in NZ when I was a Probation Officer, I was a Home Detention specialist – managing offenders ‘tagged’ to stay at home, (up to 12 months) who would otherwise have received a prison sentence. I managed a wide variety of people, but they all went through distinct stages of their sentence, that I monitored closely.
Since we are all now effectively on Home Detention – I thought it worth sharing these stages so you are aware of the very real impact this sort of confinement will have – I know I’m feeling it & have a genuine appreciation for what my ‘offenders’ went through.
- First two weeks – bit of a novelty, settling in & doing lots of odd jobs round the house – becoming aware of the domestic relationship dynamic (at least other household members were able to come & go) – getting used to the ‘territory’ restrictions – some were accepting – others really resisted & argued & pounded the ‘fence line’.
- Week Three (this is key! & happened pretty much like clockwork) – a real malaise hit ( acute confinement depression) – this was the week I really had to watch as people would all cope with it differently- a real despair & feeling like a loss of their entire world – defeat would set in.
- Week Four onwards (this is also very key!) Adapting – The penny would drop about all the new opportunities that presented themselves from this new way of living – I saw creative minds start mapping out a more productive future- studying – business ideas – self improvement- relationship challenges – finally addressing the internal issues that got them where they were etc etc. This was when the ‘good work started’ – & their nearest & dearest really started to notice significant change.
The planet has been given a ‘wake up call’ – we’ve all got the opportunity to dig deep & examine the issues that got us here & how we can expand more as individuals- lets all make it count.
Just watch out for Week Three people, & look after & support one another.”
Things you can do for yourself.
Practice appreciation. When you get up, when you go to bed, and maybe at a point in the middle of the day, appreciate what you have…a roof over your head, a warm bed, good (hopefully) health, food, a toothbrush, a friend or two, family…maybe. Appreciation might help offset some of the negative or hopeless thoughts that one up in this time.
Mindfullness. If you find negative thoughts cycling, bring your awareness to your body…maybe to your breathing…do something mindful, like make a cup of tea or coffee and focus intensely on all the sounds, sights, smells and physical feelings (the way your muscles are moving and the sensation of the fabric on your skin) as you do this…. One little mindful exercise I do is to hold my hand in front of my face and move my fingers, feeling all the muscles and tendons in my arms working as I do this.
Reach out. Now we have all been sent to our rooms we can utilise technology to connect. Maybe use this time to talk to family who are overseas or reconnect with someone you have lost touch with. I struggle to do this myself as I always feel like I am disturbing the other so I send a text…”free for a Skype chat” and we are off. There are many electronic platforms that allow us to connect with others.
Keep busy. Dedicate some time each day to focusing on something purposeful that requires you to concentrate Read a book, do a puzzle, clean the windows. Avoid binge watching…it simply drains you. You might be better off selecting several series’ and watching one episode of each per night…so you have something to look forward to tomorrow.
Exercise. The connection between physical and emotional wellness is well documented. At this time this may be really hard to do. If you are struggling, maybe you can rope in some assistance…take a child or partner with you on a walk.
Living with others. This is a week where things might go wrong…niggles might flare into fights.
Talk about what is going on for yourself with the other. It’s not about blaming them…it’s about acknowledging and sharing your feelings…”I’m feeling angry about…”, “ I’m feeling hopeless right now.”, “I just can’t be bothered…”. It’s not about changing anything…it’s about being heard.
Try to sort out the small stuff, and hear what it is like for the other. Leaving teabags in the sink, socks on the floor, half drunk cups around the place may be points of tension. If you were to ask the others for some thing (not a list) you could do for each other that might lower tension and focus on getting that done, tensions might reduce. If the other person doesn’t get their thing 100% right every time, try to let it go…appreciate their attempts and successes, not their failures.
Hope this helps and week 3 goes smoothly for you.