As much as the world right now might root for world peace and prosperity, we all know that the underlying truth is that in some or the other corner of the world there still exists a new war zone. We thought that we had long forgotten the world of invasion. It is only on February 24 of 2022 that the entire world realizes that we still live in a time where wars can take place, invasion can take place. And the credit for this definitely goes to Russia invading Ukraine. When Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country was at a state of nuclear readiness, The entire world literally grappled with fear of a violent conflict. And as the conflict between these two countries continues to unfold, we as spectators are left to deal with the unnerving emotions that lead to uncertainty. When we think about any type of crisis thoughts of Catastrophe ringing. If battling the whole Coronavirus pandemic situation for the last two years wasn’t enough, this Ukraine situation has put several people on the edge. People have started experiencing hopelessness, numbness, anger because of the overloaded situation between Russia and Ukraine. This Russian invasion and its concerns about war erupting is just too much to handle in the middle of the pandemic situation. And it is very common that information about war and invasions can lead to mental disturbances.
Hysteria Of Headlines
We understand that it is very important to read the news in order to know what is happening around the globe — this helps you be a responsible and informed citizen of not just your country but also contribute to the world. And if there’s anything that grabs attention in the world of news, it has to be the headlines and in general, headlines are intended to incite fear more than information. And the continuous flow of headlines and the impact it has on our brains can get quite overwhelming.
Therefore, it is very important for us to be honest with ourselves about how we feel about headlines and limit ourselves from overexposure to headlines. Everybody’s threshold of mental health varies and we need to ask ourselves how much information to handle especially when it is related to negativity, concerns, or fear.
And when we say limit exposure, this applies to social media as well. The endless scrolling through infographics and stories can be very inundated with noise that is virtual in nature and can create a negative atmosphere of doom. It is very important for you to schedule your time in a manner that you take time away from social media, and indulge in other beautiful experiences that nature has to offer.
How Do You Protect Your Mental Health?
It is certain that the news will never stop. Information tends to disseminate in the atmosphere around us. And if we decide to take a break from all the headlines, then what else do we do to replace it?
Replace mindless scrolling with outdoor time
You need to sign out of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Enjoy nature and take a walk just outside your house. Spending time outdoors can reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. Breathe fresh air for it will have a calming effect on your body and mind and it will allow you to centre yourself in the moment.
Figure what are your media triggers and steer clear from them. Acknowledging your inhibitions and negative pounds and keeping them away can help you be more calm.
Take a step back from catastrophic thinking
Yes, the whole possibility of a nuclear war erupting does exist and there is no running away from it. But we need to understand that this is a possibility and we need to stop catastrophizing and instead focus on reality. If we focus on catastrophic thinking we will only create more negative spirals around us and heighten anxiety levels. We need to trust the people who rule a country because they are at home. We have elected ourselves to make the best decisions in terms of national security.
Practice gratitude and make memories with your loved ones
The possibility of a world war is definitely very disturbing, but you need to focus instead on being thankful that you are living in a much safer country and amongst your loved ones. Be grateful for having access to shelter, food, and medical attention if required. We need to express gratitude for all the basic things in our life that we take for granted. Spend more time with your loved ones. Enjoy meaningful conversations and create memories with them whether it is virtually or in person. You can also talk to them about how you are processing all the headlines related to the war conflict between Ukraine and Russia. When you allow others to be heard and feel validated, it will end up making you feel less alone in terms of what you are thinking.
Always remember that focusing on a potential catastrophe can be very harmful to your physical, emotional, and mental health. You need to practice measures that will help you stay informed correctly and still protect you from anxiety, fear, and worry. And if need be, do not hesitate to talk to a mental health professional and seek help. They will help you in handling fear and emotions that accompany you while dealing with a crisis situation.