Life is full of happy moments, but it can also present us with many challenges. The prolonged pandemic, recent political upset, and economic upheavals have triggered an epidemic of sadness across the United States. Coupled with personal problems, these hard times can affect our mood and emotional wellbeing. However, staying positive and mindful can help us cope.

Example: When a Loved One is Incarcerated

There are endless examples of hard times, like a family member’s death or a recent divorce, but navigating your emotions when a loved one is incarcerated comes with its own unique challenges. For example, grieving may involve reflecting on their behaviour, the time spent without the person, or setting up a plan for what to tell your family, friends, or noisy neighbours. 

Beyond all the advice given in the article below, you can choose to stay in touch with your loved one if you decide that’s the best course of action. There are multiple ways to contact an inmate.

Staying in Touch with Your Loved One in Prison, e.g., in New York

Correspondence is encouraged and permitted in prisons, as long as you don’t send any restrictive material, or the letter doesn’t include criminal or sexual conduct. Visiting hours in New York typically end in the afternoon. For example, Wende Correctional Facility allows visitation rights to vetted family members or friends until 3:15 PM from Monday-Sunday under normal circumstances. Loved ones can receive phone calls from inmates and send them money.

5 Ways to Be a Source of Positivity During Negative Moments

A positive mindset won’t change what’s happening, but it can give us a perspective of what’s good in our lives. Use these psychology techniques to minimize the feelings of grief and stress.

1. Don’t be so Hard on Yourself

It’s a common coping mechanism to beat ourselves up when something goes wrong because when we blame ourselves, we feel in control of a bad situation. However, doing this can cause you to think poorly of yourself, even during happy moments. Start by replacing one negative thought with a positive assertion. Eventually, this process will become second nature.

2. Express Gratitude Out loud or in a Journal

Depression and tough times can make it challenging to find positives in our lives. In fact, long-term moments of sadness and depression will make us feel less grateful as our minds can’t fathom a time beyond our suffering. To help get out of this loop, start looking around your home to find things you enjoy now or enjoyed before times became tough. Then, capture these thoughts in a gratitude journal, so you can reflect on these positives if you feel sad again.

3. Create a Support Group of Positive Friends

During times of grief and sadness, we often look towards others for support. Your support group should be full of people who love and support you; they should want to see you get through this difficult moment in your life. If you have negative people in your life, avoid them for now. At this moment, you need to practice positive thinking, which can only manifest around positive people.

4. Commit to an Exercise Routine

Stability and routine can do wonders for any affected by loss. In times of deep personal stress, it’s common to avoid our own needs and focus on others as a way to cope. Try to keep a regular eating and sleeping schedule, but be sure to add an exercise routine. Exercise releases natural endorphins, which help our body and mind recover from stress. Even a twice-a-week yoga regiment can help you fight negative thoughts that prevent you from bouncing back.

5. Find Acceptance and a Solution

Not all problems have a direct solution, but sometimes a change in behaviour can prevent a similar outcome. For example, if you recently lost your job, your first solution is to get back into the workforce, but what if you hate the career you’re in? Consider going back to school or learning a new skill to see actual change in your life, or learn to accept the cards you’re dealt.