Dealing with Fear and Anxiety in Uncertain Times
Nearly a month later the Russia – Ukraine conflict shows no signs of calming down. You are not alone if you’re feeling distressed by the ongoing conflict. It is natural to feel fear, anxiety and helplessness when coping with events outside of our control. Navigating these difficult emotions is made easier when we pause and acknowledge what we’re feeling and offer ourselves kindness and compassion during difficult times. Below are some tips to help keep fear and anxiety at bay:
1. Take breaks from the news and social media – it is responsible to stay informed about current events. However, it can easily become overwhelming keeping up with the 24-hour news cycle. Commit to only checking social media once or twice a day and only watch the news for a half-hour to an hour per day.
2. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally – exercise, eat healthy meals, stay hydrated, get enough sleep. Be sure to also make time to relax, meditate, spend time on hobbies and activities you enjoy. 3.
3. Find relief and cultivate inner peace with mindfulness – Connecting to the present moment with mindfulness practice can help you find ease if you are struggling. With mindfulness, you can learn to manage difficult emotions like worry and anxiety by approaching them in a new way and changing how you relate to uncertainty and unease. MINES and eM Life offer a Difficult Emotions Collection; a series of 5 guided meditations that can be a place to start.
4. Maintain social connections – We are social beings. Maintaining a connection, whether in person or virtually, with the people in your life is of the utmost importance, especially in times of stress and uncertainty. Maintain your support systems of family and friends, meet a friend for dinner, plan a movie night with your children, or get friends together for a virtual game night.
If your fear and anxiety start to get in the way of your ability to function on an everyday basis—such as maintaining social relationships, exercising regularly, and/or staying on top of tasks at school or work—those are cues signaling that you may want to call the EAP or your Primary Care Physician.