The news has been covering allll of the things since the war in Ukraine began. It's easy to get sucked in and just scroll and scroll (as mentioned below) but we know that this is often not helpful to our hearts and psyches.
What I'm concentrating on today is information related to how we can process the information and help others. Even small steps in helping others, whether it be in the office with clients or through giving resources to those affected by the war, help us feel and do better overall.
So, let's get to it shall we?
While this article covers what you likely know as a therapist, it is a great resource when parents are wondering about how to talk to littles about what is going on. Many parents tend to go to one end of the spectrum or the other - they talk about it all or refrain from any discussion.
Of course, we know that we want to listen and and validate their feelings, while providing helpful reframes for their fears and concerns. One key concept I often remind myself and my clients: those around us (especially little ones) feed off what you are putting out there.
So remember! Get yourself in check before you process information with little hearts.
Don't you LOVE it when authors reference something you already do in therapy as a tool?? I know I do - it makes me feel validated, like I'm on the right track (yes I know I am, but it does help for it to be reinforced at times).
The author of this article references solution focused therapy as an amazing tool to help others concentrate on the issues in front of them and outline times when they have gone through difficulties.
In addition, it can also be helpful to hear stories from previous generations, like those who lived through the Cold War, to help make sense of what they did to carry on and build resiliency.
Remember the early days of the pandemic when you had the news on 24/7? Maybe you were riddled with anxiety and constantly looked for answers and ways to combat the fear?
Many people are catching themselves in that same spiral of "doomscrolling" where they are constantly on social media trying to get information in an effort to protect themselves against the unknown.
Of course, our brains are wired to understand and make narratives out of our lives. When the situation we face seems uncontrollable, we seek to just do more of what we know, which is to see what others are saying and check ourselves from there.
The issue arises in that no amount of "doomscrolling" will change what is actually happening, so it is a futile, often harmful activity. This article offers an greater explanation and then also suggestions as to what to do instead.
Referencing the above-mentioned quote, this article explores so many of our experiences right now of feeling torn between experiencing the regular ups and downs of life and needing to feel the feelings of all the people involved the Ukrainan war.
I'm betting that you, as a therapist, can easily see and maybe even feel the terror that goes along with being in a war zone, all while feeling guilty for you having a regular life right now.
This article is an excellent resources for us, as empaths, but also provides helpful reframes for clients who are also experiencing similar thoughts and feelings.
Since many of us can't actually physically help those who are suffering due to the conflict in Ukraine, we often seek ways to support those who are in the middle of the nightmare. A recent social media post went viral, encouraging people to book AirBnB rooms from hosts in the Ukarine. The difference here is that no one is actually planning to go, but are using it as a way to support others.
AirBnb is waving it's fees so that 100% of the money goes to the owners of the rooms and are also attempting to provide free housing to those who have relocated to countries like Poland since war broke out.
Messages from owners of the rooms and homes have been expressing their joy from having money come in and then also knowing that many in the world do care. Remember, when we can't fix it all, concentrate on what we can control and help where we can.
It matters and you matter.