The tips and advice below will help you:
1. Limit the Use of Social Media
Social media can be a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. However, using social media too much will have negative consequences like everything else in life.
Unfortunately, misinformation, negativity and offensive language have become the norm on almost every social platform. Excessive exposure leads to significant anxiety and stress, even concerning specific topics such as war. Look for ways to reduce your social media consumption.
- Determine a maximum time for a day or session (for example, 30 minutes per day or 15 minutes per session).
- Remove the apps or platforms that cause you the most stress.
- Mute or delete profiles that heighten your anxiety of war.
2. Be wary of consuming too much news
We all want to be informed and kept up-to-date. But with the 24-hour news cycle, it’s easy to get caught up in bad news, especially war news. Smartphones will alert you with notifications and pop-ups about every recent traumatic event.
- Set time limits for yourself on the amount of news you receive each day.
- Mute alerts during your workday so you don’t get interrupted all the time.
- Remove apps that make you anxious or increase your fear.
- Take a break from visiting news sites that upset you.
3. Fact Check
Digital access makes finding information more accessible. Thankfully, it also allows you to check sources and any information you see or read. A quick fact check on disturbing or fearful information can be an excellent way to keep your anxiety under control.
Take the time to make sure quotes are in context, facts are not glossed over, and headlines are not misleading. You will see that this is a valuable skill, even when it is not a time of war.
- Assess Bias
- Check dates
- Parse URLs – .edu and .org domains are usually valid, but if it ends with “lo” or “.co”, you should be wary.
- Trust your intuition – if something sounds sensational or incredible, it might be too good to be true. It’s worth doing a little more investigating.
4. Practice taking care of yourself
Deep breathing and relaxation exercises help reduce anxiety symptoms. Deep belly breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, helping to bring the body and mind out of an anxious, “fight or flight” response, and into a more relaxed state of “rest and digest.” This is a signal to your body and mind that you are safe. Try taking three deep breaths to practice this exercise, making the exhalation slightly longer than the inhalation.
It’s not for nothing that flight attendants instruct parents in the event of an in-flight emergency to put their oxygen masks on first. Think of your self-care like oxygen – if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have the time, energy, resources, or ability to care for those who need you the most.
- Learn how to meditate to reduce anxiety
- Do some exercise
- Listen to soothing music or sounds
- Diffuse essential oils
- Walk outdoors
- Keep a regular sleep schedule
- Drink more water
5. Know Your Triggers
Identify what annoys and irritates you the most, and avoid it as much as possible.
- Make a checklist of things that lead to intense war anxiety (and avoid them).
- Avoid talking or interacting with people who increase your stress levels.
6. Rely on loved ones
Surround yourself with people who understand you, support you, and want the best for you in life. Anxiety typically leads to feelings of isolation. So spending time with people who love and care for you can be very rewarding.
- Surround yourself with people you can trust
- Don’t be afraid to open up and share your experiences with others.
- Be honest if you want conversations to remain private.
- If you are a parent or caregiver with children or loved ones experiencing anxiety, find age-appropriate ways to talk to them and support them.
7. Focus on the positive
The power of positive thinking has been proven by scientific research. Reminding yourself of the good things in life is a powerful way to combat anxiety.
A great way to deal with anxiety is to give to charity or look for volunteer opportunities to donate your time and resources.
- Organize a campaign to collect food and clothes for those in need
- Talk to your children about ways to support victims in an age-appropriate way. For example, you could ask young children if they would like to draw pictures or write letters to people in war-torn areas.
8. Accept uncertainty
Of course, everybody wants to know what will happen tomorrow. We often worry about what the final result might be. However, the simple truth is that you have no control over these things. Allowing yourself to accept that will make a difference.
- Make your health a top priority
- Recognize and accept your emotions, but don’t let them take over your mental state.
9. Consider Therapy
Therapy can be an invaluable tool when dealing with feelings of anxiety, worry, and fear.
- Take the time to talk to a therapist who you feel comfortable with. (which you can find on our website).
- Sign up for webinars and discuss your concerns with a team of like-minded individuals.
You don’t have to go through any of this alone. That’s why our experts are here to help you get through it all.