Ukraine Invasion: managing anxiety during uncertain times

We are all extremely saddened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It goes without saying that our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and their friends and families across the world.

Many of us feel worried even though we are not directly affected by events in Ukraine. Uncertainty about what will happen and whether the rest of the world will be affected makes us anxious about the future. Often, watching the news and seeing coverage and commentary on social media adds to our anxiety. Sometimes our worry can feel overwhelming.

Steps to manage mental wellbeing

Here are some sensible steps you can take to protect your mental wellbeing:

  • Keep yourself informed of the facts by using trusted, reputable channels. In other words, don’t spend time on content that is mainly opinion or guesswork about what MIGHT happen. Stick to the facts. One of the best sources of unbiased, up-to-date factual information on developments in Ukraine is The Kyiv Independent. This is an English-language media outlet in Ukraine, run by independent journalists who do not represent any political party. Their website is updated every few hours with the latest facts about what is happening in Ukraine. Another source for the latest news on Ukraine is the BBC.
  • Be wise to the fact that events like this are an opportunity for media like Youtube, TV channels and online platforms to gain more followers and larger audiences. They will be bombarding the internet with content, trying to get you to notice. Don’t get drawn into this.
  • Beware of people online who are not well informed but will still post material they present as “true”.
  • Be mindful that people will deliberately spread misinformation, particularly on social media. Don’t get drawn into clickbait and conspiracy theories.
  • Keep away from pictures and videos, especially on youtube and social media. It’s difficult to “unsee” something distressing, so protect yourself from this.
  • Remember, it’s ok not to know the answers about what will happen. And it’s normal to feel anxious. It’s important to keep informed about what’s going on in the world, but it’s more important to keep up with the things in your life that keep you well and happy.

What can we do to help the people of Ukraine

Sometimes being proactive can help us deal with our anxiety and sadness. There are things you can do to help the people suffering due to the invasion of Ukraine. These include:

Getting help for yourself

If you find your anxiety about events in Ukraine or anything else starts to affect your ability to go about your daily life, find someone you can talk to. Perhaps a family member or a responsible friend. Also, you can get in touch with your tpm trainer, one of the tpm mental health champions or a member of the safeguarding team. We’re here to help.