No More Wars Please
First we had to endure our two-year pandemic, then the protests in Ottawa, and now this devastating war in the Ukraine? Our world can feel so vulnerable for us all because many of us have friends and relatives who are living through this recent Russian invasion. I often wonder if Putin is suffering from his own pandemic burnout…acting in these outrageous ways. What other explanation can there be for his threatening nuclear war and bombing so many innocent people in the Ukraine? It is SO sad to see families fleeing from their homes in Ukraine and every able bodied man from 18-60 years old being conscripted to pick up arms and fight back. But fight back they must. This type of craziness must end. But how do you stop the worry and grief from overtaking you, your friends and your families?
Choose a time to process information.
If your thoughts and worries about the invasion of Ukraine have been tripping you up day/night, I have some ideas that can help you manage through this scary time.
Manage the amount of time you dedicate to watching or listening to media reports about the war in Ukraine. You might choose one time in your day to get your updates. Ideally, you might choose a time when you are with others so you can debrief what you hear. Processing is essential to getting through trauma.
If you are thinking or feeling it, then it’s worth talking about.
Information can feel more troubling when it is processed only internally. Are you an internal or an external processor? This is a time for you internal processors to reach out and to talk to others. Often just saying things out loud.. and hearing what others are worried about, will provide some much needed relief from your anxiety or pervasive worries… And to a degree, you will likely experience slightly more ease because you are not alone in your fears and grief.
If you have children, dinner time can be a great opportunity to process information that they also are taking in from their peers and their own news sources at school or in their shared sports activities. Simply by being in proximity to family, will help us to experience reduced anxiety and an increase of overall wellness.
It also helps to Do Something
Home projects like washing your windows or your car, cleaning out a closet, or making cookies refocuses you to think about things in your control. Research tells us that in stressful times, small projects contribute to feelings of wellbeing, personal autonomy and peace.
There are ways that you can help out. You might possibly initiate supportive shared activities in your school community, or with friends and colleagues. If it is within your financial means, you might consider making an individual or group donation. The International Committee of The Red Cross has set up a relief fund for the Ukraine. Here is their link to find out more: https://www.icrc.org/en/donate/ukraine?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Supporting+the+humanitarian+crisis+in+Ukraine&utm_campaign=Ukraine+Donation+Email
The Canadian Government is also matching Canadian contributions that are made to this fund.
At times it can feel like our whole world has gone into a tailspin. Did you know, the Ukraine chose the Sunflower as their national symbol, because it is a hardy flower that naturally grows towards the light, and it represents loyalty. Those are two pretty great traits to have. I’ve also read stories this week about people giving civilian men aged 18 – 60 who are fighting in the Ukraine, sunflower seeds so that if they die, sunflowers will grow. That story just clenched at my heart.
Stay grounded. Stay positive. Plant seeds that matter. Whatever you end up doing today, may you feel inspired, loved, empowered and at peace.
Be well my friends.