Russia vs Ukraine War: Therapists Share How to Take Care of Your Mental Health


With worrisome case numbers, breaking news Mutant covid and the lockdown over the past two years, it’s safe to say recent times have left many people struggling with their mental health.

And, while the government decides end the majority of Covid restrictionsNew worries are aroused after Russia brutal invasion Ukraine on Thursday, February 24, 2022.

Fear of a European War It has certainly led to sleepless nights and inability to shutdown for many, as well as feelings of helplessness, anger, and shock.

While there are no official guidelines outlining exactly how to respond if war breaks out, we spoke with two psychologists who shared helpful tips that can help you stay healthy. his psyche.

Whether you’ve chosen to implement one, two, or all six of the methods in your daily life, it’s important to remember to be kind to yourself. You won’t be the only one struggling to stay focused in meetings or face a drop in productivity, so try not to be too hard on yourself.

Six expert tips to help you protect your mental health amid war anxiety

Control the volume of news you read every day

Avoid the temptation to check the news multiple times an hour


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When news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was announced, some may have chosen to immerse themselves in the news as it was unfolding.

However, others may have chosen to protect themselves from the details of the atrocities and inhumanities taking place in the region by avoiding the news altogether.

While the latter might be tempting and completely detached from the news on days when your anxiety is at an all-time high would be ideal, the Senior Therapist at Work on the body Sally Baker told The Mirror why this is not a healthy coping technique.

She said: “When news is as dire and big as this, everyone you meet wants to tell you. So trying to get out of the loop entirely is probably not going to work for anxiety. .

“It’s more important that you choose and decide when you’ll access the news. So if you’re at home during the day, you might decide to turn on the news at 1 p.m. Make a decision about what news will you pay attention to and stick to that.”

Dr Nilufar Ahmed, Psychologist at the University of Bristol and Psychotherapistrepeat this and suggest: “Try and minimize the content you’re using. Limit scrolling time to times of the day – the news is constant and you’ll catch up very quickly.

It is important that you force yourself to answer honestly the following question she posed. Dr. Ahmed said: “Think of the past few days – what developments are happening that you have to know right away? Can you spot the developments by checking in once or twice a day?

“If the answer is yes, then you might consider cutting down on how often you engage with it.”

Protecting your child’s mental health is also important, given all the turmoil they’ve faced over the past few years.

When watching the news, Sally said: “They [children] can recognize suffering, they can hear it in voices without seeing images. So it’s really important not to leave the news in the background all the time.

Avoid doomscrolling

We’ve all been there, a breaking news story hits and the next thing you know you’re in the dark depths of Twitter watched every horrible video and watched every question happen.

Sally Baker told the Mirror: “Doomscrolling is incredibly addictive and time-consuming – especially on Twitter, as it updates every second. There’s no end in sight and it’s completely overwhelming.”

Of the current situation, Sally explained: “We’re trying to deal with it, we’re trying to understand it, and what we need to realize is that we really can’t understand it.

“It’s too big and we don’t get the clarity from completely plugging in the minute-by-minute, bomb-by-bomb operation in Ukraine because it doesn’t make any sense.”

So what can you do now that you have some understanding of exactly why we do this to ourselves?

“This is why you really have to be so pushy about your boundaries,” explains Sally. get headers instead of all comments’ or ‘I won’t scroll’.

“Doomscrolling always takes you down a spiral and always gets more comments and links. It’s an endless spiral and gets more and more overwhelming.”

Dr. Nilufar Ahmed says: “To minimize doomscrolling – don’t scroll first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Many people reach for their phone scrolling in bed. This would be a good habit to use. use.

“Take a few minutes (or even 30 seconds) to close your eyes and breathe deeply in and out. This will immediately slow down and calm your system.”

Fix your phone addiction

This is the ‘golden time’ to tackle your phone addiction, according to therapist Sally Baker


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While smartphones are valuable for many reasons such as for instant knowledge search and communication in difficult times, the way we use them can also have a huge impact on our health. our spirit.

As Drs Nilufar Ahmed and Sally Baker said, starting and ending your day by scrolling is a habit to detox yourself like never before.

“If you’re one of those people who won’t put your phone in another room at night, this is the absolute golden time to move your phone out into the hallway or into another room,” says Sally.

Our phones now allow us to set full screen time limits or on an app-by-app basis. Take advantage of this by checking which apps you use the most and setting strict limits on their usage.

Think about what you actually gain from checking Twitter three times an hour or Instagram for an hour every night right before you go to sleep.

Rate your stress level

Many of us will spend our days hunched over our desks, jaws clenched, shoulders tense, and rarely taking deep breaths.

While it’s easy to end the day and reflect on how stressful it is, Sally Baker suggests that we do this throughout the day to check in with ourselves.

“One of the things that immediately happens when we become stressed and overwhelmed is that the depth of our breathing is suppressed,” she explains.

“Rate your breathing on a scale of 0, I’m dead, and out of 10, I’m breathing deeply, freely, and fully.

“If you were to ask people to take three visual breaths and score their breathing rate. Do this with the understanding that the shallower their breathing, the more tense they are. It wouldn’t be surprising if they were breathing at a lower rate. level two or three.”

Test yourself to understand your stress levels throughout the day

If you see this happen when you pause and take three breaths, Sally says: “It’s a sign that you need to stay away from the TV, turn off the radio, and go for a walk somewhere green.”

She added: “Call a friend, and obviously you’re going to do five minutes of news and war briefings, but then say to each other ‘I want to move on from this and talk to you about these things. others’.”

Approach yourself with mining techniques

While it’s common for people to fidget when stressed, there are techniques you can use instead, to help you calm down and regain focus.

Energy Meridian Techniques, such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), involve touching your body’s Meridian points to help refocus your mind.

Sally Baker told the Mirror: “There is a Meridian energy technique where you touch your collarbone, a place where your hand normally automatically reaches when you hear bad or shocking news.

“Press around there [your collarbone] with all the fingers of one hand – like a soft fist – as you breathe. This technique helps you recently. “

Are you stuck in constant meetings all day? She revealed an alternative method she herself uses: “You can tap the edges of your nails with your thumb.

“You just tap it around your hands and you can do it under your desk. Like anxiety particles, it helps you focus.”

Cut out alcohol

Time to stop drinking


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While you may want to rely on a glass or three of wine as a coping mechanism to escape the terrifying news and events the world is facing, this can do more harm than good.

Not only do you feel worse the next day with a hardened mind, headache and the unfortunate actions or behaviors that alcohol affects your sleep.

Sally adamantly recommends cutting it out altogether if you’re feeling anxious or stressed by current events, saying: “This isn’t pointless, you need to watch your drinking because you need REM sleep.

“Drinking alcohol reduces the number of REM sleep sequences you’ll have during the night.”

Follow the 20 minute rule

If you are feeling overwhelmed, helpless and exhausted by the current situation in Ukraine, you can spend your free time watching TV on the sofa or curling up in bed.

While this may seem like the last thing you want to do, getting up and exercising is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Best bit? You only need to do it for 20 minutes to start feeling the benefits.

Exercising for just 20 minutes can improve your mood



“To change how you feel, it takes 20 minutes of continuous activity before serotonin and dopamine are released into your brain,” explains Sally Baker.

“If you’re going to go for a walk, don’t go for 15 minutes, go for 20 minutes, the same goes for swimming and other activities. Give your brain time to release the feel-good hormones.” and you can do it through exercise or even dancing in your kitchen.”

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