Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 is a worldwide concern. It’s very normal to experience feelings of sadness and anxiety surrounding global issues. They cause immense uncertainty, and if you’re someone who is very sensitive to the emotional distress of others, it can become incapacitating.
By implementing a few self-care boundaries, you can significantly decrease these distressing emotions. Given time and patience, you can use mindfulness exercises to empower yourself. Let’s talk about a few healthy coping mechanisms you can use during periods of global unrest.
Coping with Sadness and Anxiety During World Crises
There are steps you can take to protect your inner peace. Especially if you’re experiencing symptoms like the disruption of sleep patterns or loss of joy, it’s imperative to take control of your mental health. Consider these as some potential solutions:
Filing the time you might usually spend doom scrolling with time out in nature can have a significant impact on your mental health. Fresh air and gentle movement like walking or stretching can help ease stress.
The distance from an onslaught of headlines and social media posts helps, too.
Spend time with people
Whether it’s going for a household visit or calling someone on the phone, you can channel some of your nervous energy into your relationships. You can talk to them about what’s on your mind. Even better, you can talk about anything else.
Share some of your favorite recipes with an old friend. Talk to your parents or your children about a favorite vacation spot. Building the strength of your social circles can help you feel more secure.
Mindfulness activities can include anything from yoga to meditation to prayer. It’s a powerful and personal tool that can help you feel more grounded and connected to yourself. It also helps you focus on and promotes inner peace.
Anxiety is all about worrying over the future and the past. Mindfulness is about staying rooted in the present.
Limit your media
We often think of limiting media as something parents do for their children. That’s extremely important, but when’s the last time you checked how much time you were spending on your phone? How many times a day do you scroll through headlines? It’s important to stay aware, yes, but you’re only one person.
The conflict in Ukraine is something that is largely out of your control. So stay informed, but don’t abuse yourself with it. Put limits on when you’re going to read the news and catch up on social media notifications.
Start a gratitude journal
It can feel intimidating when large-scale conflict is everywhere in the news. Practicing gratitude can help you put your own life into perspective. Take stock of all of your basics. Do you have plenty of food? Clean water? Is your environment safe? It’s okay to be grateful for what you have. It can even empower you to get more proactive about helping those who are less fortunate.
Donate to a cause
When we’re proactive about something that worries us, it helps us feel more in control. The war in Ukraine is distressing, but for the most part, many of us only have so much control over it.
Find ways you can support refugees. If you’re unable to donate your time or finances to something on a global scale, volunteer a couple of hours a week at the food bank.
Talk to a therapist
If you’re struggling to get up in the morning or go throughout your day because of your sadness and anxiety, talk to a therapist. Mental health professionals can help you sort through these monumental emotions and find coping strategies that work for you. If you have an underlying condition like anxiety or depression, they can discuss treatment options with you.
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