The Russia-Ukraine War: How To Cope with Anxiety
Here are some tips on how to cope with the overwhelming feelings you may have about the current situation in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently ordered his armies to invade Ukraine for false reasons – a move that was criticised by many countries around the world. And right now, the news looks pretty scary. There’s no denying that. We’re worried about it too, and being concerned about these things is very normal – healthy, even. But what happens when the worrying gets too much?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or upset about the news, it’s important to remember a few things and know that there are some top tips you can do right now to make yourself feel better.
1. We’ve been here before
This isn’t the first time that a war has broken out, and it’s not the first time Russia and the West have pointed their missiles at each other. In fact, this was a regular part of life for your grandparents. Every time things got bad, leaders started talking and they found a way to resolve it. Sure, it was scary for everyone – but there has always been a solution.
2. Sometimes things feel scarier than they should be
We’re not going to say things aren’t scary. But it’s worth remembering that politicians and leaders (in all countries) often make things seem scarier than they need to be. Politicians say stuff for all kinds of reasons, like because they want to win the next election or look strong in front of other politicians. This can make things seem really dramatic, and sometimes that’s not very helpful. Constant 24/7 news can do the same thing. It’s important to stay up to date, but just make sure you give yourself a break every now and again. It’s pretty tiring!
3. There are things you can do!
Here are a few tips for things you can do to make yourself feel better. These tips won’t stop the war, but they might help you get on with your life whilst something else does.
You can donate to Ukrainian charities, you can go on a protest, or you can support refugees who come to this country. You could even write a letter of support to the children who are caught in the conflict.
Take a break
Switch the TV off and spend a day doing something that makes you happy. This doesn’t mean you don’t care, it just means you’re saving your strength for making a positive difference.
Learn a bit of history
This might seem like the opposite of taking a break, but it really can help. Try and learn where this war came from, and how similar wars have ended in the past. You could start off by looking up ‘The Cold War’. Soon, what’s happening now will be written down in the history books too, and it’ll all make more sense.
4. Look for the helpers
A long time ago, children’s TV presenter Fred Rogers had brilliant advice in times like this. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping’,” he said. You will notice many countries are doing what they can to assist people caught in the conflict: donating clothes, food and aid.
5. Remember there are lots of good people in the world
And lots of these good people are in Ukraine AND Russia. This is a war between governments, and ordinary Russian people aren’t the bad guys here. People all over the world are working hard to make this situation better. Whether it’s politicians, charities or ordinary people, everyone wants this mess fixed!
So a big shout-out to anyone affected by this stupid war, wherever you might be – in Ukraine, Russia, the UK or anywhere else!