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How to deal with war anxiety

Commentary by Tere Siqueira

With the frightening war between Russia and Ukraine dominating the news, many Americans feel afraid and worried.
As the fighting continues to unfold, mental health experts are raising concerns about the effects the latest global crisis will have on people already ravaged by a pandemic and other problems. Here are some tips to guide you in dealing with your anxiety about the Russian-Ukrainian war:

*Limit triggering content: Avoid topics, words or phrases that can trigger anxiety. Because most news consumption comes from social media, be intentional about scrolling through your apps. And keep in mind that you might be exposed to fake news or misinformation.
Now more than ever, it is essential to be selective about only following trusted news sources and limiting the time you spend scrolling through social media.
*Support people affected by the war: Research shows that helping people during a crisis reduces stress and enables a person to regain a sense of control. Volunteer or offer financial support through reputable organizations that help people in Ukraine.
Plenty of organizations can guide you on how to get involved, including the Ukrainian Club of Kansas City. For other organizations that are open to donations, visit https://readdle.com/stand-with-ukraine.
*Avoid catastrophic thinking: Focusing on the worst outcomes causes spirals of negativity and heightened anxiety. It is important to understand that the war is out of your control and that nations are collaborating to find a way to minimize the violence.
*Acknowledge your emotions: It is essential to express your feelings. Talking with your loved ones about how war makes you feel can help reduce your concerns. Talking out loud gets you out of your own head, and you might realize that others share some of your concerns.
*Take care of yourself: Taking care of yourself and your loved ones is crucial during a global crisis. Doing so allows you to dissociate from chronic stress, and avoid physical and mental health issues. Eat well, exercise, and get some fresh air and plenty of sleep. Mindfulness activities, including meditation or prayer if you are a spiritual person, are powerful tools, too.


¿Cómo manejar la ansiedad que genera la guerra?

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