Just when we were finally done with the stress and constant fear of living through a two-year global pandemic, the war in Ukraine broke out. The ripple effects of international conflict can and often do affect the mental health of people living around the globe.
As more and more stories pour in from TV news stations and social media posts, many of us are having hard conversations and trying to understand just what exactly is going on. We are also determining in real-time how this latest conflict will impact our lives here in America. Soaring gas prices, food shortages, and talk of nuclear war… it’s enough to cause big anxiety and keep many of us up at night.
It’s important to acknowledge that this conflict is having an impact on your mental health and well-being. Doing so in no way minimizes the suffering of those directly impacted by the war.
Here are some ways you can care for yourself and decrease anxiety at this time:
It’s important to find a balance between staying informed and taking time away from the news. When you find yourself becoming triggered or overwhelmed by current events, step back and unplug.
Be in the Here and Now
Anxiety is a state of focusing on future events and the negative impacts they may have. When you find yourself worrying, take a breath and come back to the present. Connect with the moment you find yourself in. Use all of your senses: what do you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel?
Mindfulness meditation can be incredibly helpful and allow you to stay more easily present.
Speak with Someone
If, after unplugging and trying to stay present, you still find you’re feeling overwhelming anxiety and fear, it’s important that you speak with someone. Talking with a therapist will help you navigate your feelings and learn coping strategies to minimize your symptoms of anxiety.
If you have noticed your mental health has been negatively impacted by current events and would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with our care coordinator team.