Mental Health Tips for Adults During the Ukraine War

The war in Ukraine is continually changing with updates to the minute within the news cycle and social media. Constantly, there are reports and images flooding our electronic devices with images that are incomprehensible to see. Military families have intense stress as they look at the uncertainties of deployments and the impact on military families. To add to the stress and concern, this global crisis comes on the heels of being exhausted and socially isolated by a two-year pandemic. The following are some tips to take care of your mental health during the Ukraine situation.

Limit your exposure – disconnect from electronics and social media. Although it is important to understand what is happening in the world, it is important not to immerse oneself in the event every moment. Set time limits for yourself regarding how much News or social media you watch or follow.

Recognize that people will have different reactions. People respond and react to tragedy and stress in multiple ways. Personal circumstances, such as deployment, may have different responses than those that are not experiencing deployment.

Talk about it. Do not keep your reactions inside alone. Process your feelings by talking to family, friends, and colleagues about your experience. If the feelings are overwhelming, consider talking to Mental Health Professional that can offer personalized strategies for managing your anxiety about current events.

Engage in activities that provide meaning. Participate in activities that are healthy and you enjoy. Some ideas include exercising, cooking, taking a hike, or playing with a pet.

Engage in meditation and mindfulness. Relaxation, or breathing exercises can improve your state of mind and reduce stress. Taking a few moments just to be present can shift your body’s reaction from a stress response. Try a simple breathing exercise of breathing in for a count of 6 hold for a count of 2 and breathe out for a count of 6.

COVID fatigue. Acknowledge that after a two-year pandemic and many people are tired. The Ukraine situation is especially hard to absorb. It is normal to feel overwhelmed

Avoid catastrophizing. Avoid thinking about future scenarios and what the outcome might be. Focus on one day at a time for now.

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