Tool 7: Making Fences
Vacations and Bein Hazmanim are situations that can be bigger tests for us, since there is more free time available and less structure. Such situations may require a more detailed set of fences and safeguards than usual. We can try to draw up a "Battle Plan" in advance, to plan for some structure in our days - as much as possible. We can set specific times for particular activities, such as learning with a chavrusah or other things that can keep us busy. It is very important not to stay in isolation, but to spend time socializing with family and friends. We can even draw up emergency plans of various activities that we can do, for times when we might start feeling bored or vulnerable, (examples might be to "read a book", "ride my bicycle", play basketball, etc...)
We can also draft a special "Bein Hazmanim" list of fences in advance, to help us avoid having to fight the Yetzer Hara head-on. Some of the fences could include:
- Setting up a filter on our home computers. (For help on how to approach this with your parents, show them this page).
- Not using the computer when alone in the room (or at least if no one is home).
- Setting ourselves time-limits on the computer (at least for non-work related activity).
- Making a list of websites that we are allowed to visit - and not visiting any other sites (at least when alone).
- Avoiding certain triggering places that we used to "hang out" at.
- Avoiding movies.
- Use the TaPHSiC method to put up a strong fence for yourself. Read about it here. Listen to a 10 minute recording that explains it here.
The secret to success in this area is learning where we are vulnerable and preparing fences in advance. We all need to learn our Yetzer Hara well, as it says in Mishlei (12:10): "Yode'ah Tzadik nefesh be'hemto - The Tzadik knows the nature of his animal.”