In today’s world, we have a constant flow of information through different channels. The situation in Ukraine is so explosive that it is extremely difficult to resist the temptation to be constantly in touch with what is happening. How do we manage our stress levels in this context?
During the two years of the Covid-19 health crisis we were saturated with a constant flow of information: the number of deaths and disease cases per day, the number of occupied intensive care beds, the emergence of new variants, vaccine resistance, etc. We are now also saturated with information about the situation in Ukraine. How can we ignore this alarming flow of news? Information on the conflict is everywhere: on television, radio, social networks, and of course the Internet. Even if you manage to isolate yourself from the media, the topic will come up in conversations with colleagues, friends, and local merchants.
If the coronavirus pandemic seems to be over, or at least stopped, the last 10 days have seen the beginning of another crisis: the war in Ukraine on Europe’s doorstep. And this could be even more alarming, especially with regular references to a possible nuclear war. How do you deal with the anxiety caused by this avalanche of bad news?
Anxiety about the situation is justified
The first thing you should accept is that the anxiety caused by the crisis in Ukraine is natural and justified. And it is perfectly normal that we feel the need, perhaps more than usual, to consult the media to find out how the situation is progressing. It is also important to know that not all of us react to such situations in the same way, depending on our life situation, experience, or temperament.
On the other hand, some reactions are excessive and should raise a red flag. For example, not being able to turn off the 24-hour news channels and not being able to concentrate on work or perform normal daily tasks.
Several important events in a very short period of time
Moreover, the current situation is, unfortunately, particularly worrying. The conflict in Ukraine has broken out against the backdrop of the Covid-19 crisis and climate change. Three major events are currently affecting our basic needs: our health and safety, and even our very survival.
Two of these events began several years ago: climate change, which has accelerated recently, and the coronavirus pandemic. The war in Ukraine is just beginning and it appears that it will be with us for a while, as is climate change. The second thing to know is that we may be talking about chronic stress. Besides this chronic stress, there is uncertainty: when will the war in Ukraine end? When will we have a solution to climate change? Chronic stress and uncertainty create anxiety.