Occupying yourself during periods of isolation

This timely guest post is by Guy Saunders, who has researched people’s experience of solitary confinement.

dr guy saunders

This post is aimed at providing some ideas about what a person can do to occupy themselves during periods of time in isolation. This post is based on research I carried out looking at people’s experience of solitary confinement. I carried out interviews with former hostages and political prisoners about their use of imagination and how they got through time spent in isolation. There were common themes in their responses and some of these seemed to me to be relevant to what it is like to get through periods of social isolation.

Part One: Experiences of social isolation

When people first experience social isolation, they tend to feel disoriented for a while. When someone experiences another period of isolation, this early disorientation does not feature. It seems that we can learn how to adapt to such a condition and that this gives us the skills we need to deal with…

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