Pandemic Survival Guide For the Emotionally Neglected

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Let’s start with a few questions about your own personal experience with social distancing during the pandemic.

The Questions

  1. Are you having strong feelings that you feel alone with? Are you wondering what you’re supposed to do with all the feelings you’re having?
  2. Are you feeling hemmed-in, hurt, harmed, helpless, irritated, annoyed, or otherwise overly affected by the people you are sheltering in place with?
  3. Is spending more time with your partner or spouse raising some problems and/or questions about the relationship?
  4. Is all the home-time with your kids magnifying behavior problems, making you doubt your parenting, or leaving you feeling at sea about what to do?
  5. Are you concerned about your parents but avoiding calling them?
  6. Do you wish you were able to speak up and state your feelings and needs but find you don’t know what to do or how to do it?

The Answers

Read my CEN Pandemic Survival Guide by clicking on the link or the picture below. I hope it offers you ideas, solace, helpful advice, and care.


Childhood Emotional Neglect is often invisible and unmemorable so it can be difficult to know if you have it. To find out, Take the Emotional Neglect Test. It’s free.

Learn about Childhood Emotional Neglect, how it happens in the life of a child, and how to heal it in the books Running On Empty and Running On Empty No More.


Whatever negative events you may have imagined happening in your future, the coronavirus pandemic was probably not one of them.

It seems that the current state of our world, replete as it is with quarantines, stay-at-home orders, closed businesses, virtual education, lost projects, and social distancing leaves probably about 90% or more people feeling alone, uncertain and lost.

As a psychologist who specializes in the effects of Childhood Emotional Neglect or CEN on adults,
I can tell you that scores of people had already brought a big dose of those three feelings forward from their childhoods and have been quietly coping with them for years.

And now, in this current situation, we are handed an extra measure of “alone, uncertain, and lost,” plus a whole lot more.

If you grew up in a family that ignored the emotions of its members (CEN); if you are stuck at home, feeling stressed, lost, confused, terrified, alone, helpless or hopeless, sad, worried, or angry, I want you to know that there is a way to turn this around for yourself.

The Importance of Control in an Uncontrollable Time

Much of this situation is truly out of your control, but not all of it. It is possible to reframe your current situation into an oppor- tunity. An opportunity to do things you were never able to do because of time, stress, and all the life demands that you’ve always been juggling.

I believe you can survive the challenges of this pandemic. But I want you to do better than survive. I want you to find yourself growing in surprising ways during the pandemic. I want you to thrive.

So I have put together this guide to help you cope and grow in the various areas of your life that are being challenged the most by the current state of our world. In this Guide you will find understanding, awareness, help, and support, as well as concrete steps you can take to care for yourself during COVID-19.


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carol - November 2, 2021 Reply

Weirdly, I’ve found not having to interact with anyone outside my home oddly freeing. Not having to try and understand how others are feeling and trying to have some emotional connection to them has lessened my stress levels. It’s tiring trying to appear connected when you have no idea what it’s means to be connected

    Jonice - November 7, 2021 Reply

    Dear Carol, you’re right, trying to appear connected is very exhausting! I encourage you to do the work of becoming more connected in a real way. Then you can actually get energy from your connections. The process of doing this is the process of feeling your emotions and using them to guide, inform, and fill you. It’s the path of recovery from CEN.

F Sweeney - November 2, 2021 Reply

All my life I’ve had feelings of loneliness of not belonging. During lockdown I stayed with a friend. I felt less lonely but couldn’t get inspired to do anything different. After lockdown I returned to living alone again and find the loneliness unbearable.
After completing one of your courses ( can’t remember the title) I felt elated, at last I had found what my problems were. I felt reborn. I tried twice to get on the “Fuel Up For Life” programme but frustratingly my debit card was declined each time. Sorry to bring this up now but I couldn’t find any other way to communicate.

    Jonice - November 7, 2021 Reply

    Dear F, it sounds like living alone is not the best choice for you. Maybe you could think about what you would need in order to make a different choice on a more permanent basis than lockdown. I’m sorry you’ve been frustrated trying to enter the Fuel Up For Life program. Please email me at and we’ll be happy to help you out with it.

Olivia - October 31, 2021 Reply

It’s strange, during the pandemic when people felt alone and scared etc. it made me feel better. I’m not the only one anymore. Most people understand what it’s like to be anxious, scared, alone, uncertain. I feel more normal now.

Lisa - April 15, 2020 Reply

What about people sheltering in place alone, no kids or partner?

    Jonice - April 15, 2020 Reply

    Great question, Lisa. I’ll try to address that in my next week’s blog. Many, many people are in that situation. Take care!

Jonice - April 12, 2020 Reply

You’re welcome, Kathy. I hope you find it useful! Stay safe and well.

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