“Helping you gain control over the things you want to change”

Fiona Nicolson

How to cope with anxiety over Ukraine

We are living in very worrying times as the war in Ukraine worsens. It is natural to be worried and concerned about our safety and what will happen in the future. However, for some of us, this natural fear can get out of control and lead to serious anxiety.

Turn off the news about the war

Often, unbearable worry is caused by overloading the brain with information and emotion. To deal with this, limit the amount of information you are taking in.

Watch news once or twice a day. Read a news website then move on, turn your computer off or read the sports, fashion, or some gossip. Avoid 24-hour news, you will end up watching the same thing over and over again, this can be a recipe for anxiety.

Do not believe everything you read

It is often said that truth is the first casualty of war. In the era of social media, this is even more true. Be careful what you read and do not believe everything you see is true. It is better to pick one or two reliable news sources and stick to those. You will find everything you need to know but will keep space for other things in your life

Doing something lessens feelings of powerlessness

When world events impact us we can feel powerless. One way to deal with this is to do something to help. Donate, find out what the charities on the front-line need, and help in any way you can. This includes helping people near you, they may be finding things difficult as well.

Watch your mental health, especially now

Be honest with yourself. If the outside world feels too much just detach yourself for a while. There is no shame in this. You will not help anyone if you are in a state of heightened anxiety.

Keep a close eye on yourself for signs you need to protect yourself. If you cannot sleep, find you are losing your appetite or starting to drink too much alcohol take it as a warning. This is a time to concentrate on yourself.

Look after yourself. Make sure you take exercise out of doors every day. Use self-hypnosis or EFT (tapping) to calm your mental state.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying yourself

No one in Ukraine, or fleeing across the borders is going to be helped by you being miserable. Spend time enjoying yourself and valuing the important things to you, your family, your friends, your work, or whatever means a lot to you. This will keep you balanced and mentally well.

You can change unhelpful mental habits

Do not fortune tell. We do not know what the future holds and imagining the worse is not going to do any good. Remember that your thoughts are just habits and you can change them. If you find yourself predicting disaster and running scenes of doom through your head take five minutes out and visualise calming pleasant things. Do this every time you find yourself moving towards predictions of doom. It will weaken the unhelpful mental habit.

Focus on the positive, kind, and brave actions we are seeing all around us. Use it to focus on what is important in the world.

Help other people around you. If a friend or family member seems anxious then talk to them, perhaps get them to read this blog.

Seek professional help

If you find that you cannot control your anxiety seek help from a professional as soon as you can. Some targeted action, working with your special unique personality will help in nearly every case. Do not leave it until it gets worse, the sooner you seek help the easier it will be to get back on an even keel.

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