3 min29 March 2022

Caring for yourself – a crisis guidebook

“War” is a word none of us wanted to hear. It’s pulled out of your worst nightmares, makes your throat tighten, and your stomach aches. It is a word that causes fear. During the time of a 2-year pandemic, which has strongly influenced our mental health, there has been another stress factor added that we are trying to deal with mentally – the armed conflict in Europe. More and more of us feel constant anxiety and stress, and more often we feel emotionally overloaded. How to deal with it?

Adaptation in crisis

The good news is that the human brain is designed to allow us to adapt on many levels to change, including stressful situations. This means that when a stress factor occurs, we will be better at coping with the anxiety it causes each day. However, in order for the adaptation process to take place, it is necessary to take care of several factors supporting it. It is also important that each person adapts in a different way – some after a few days will function “as if nothing had happened”, while others will have problems with performing work or other duties for weeks. How you adapt is not a measure of a person’s stress level.

Limit your information

We live in the age of information – so much of it comes to us that we are unable to process or verify it. Television, news portals, social networks, radio – everywhere the war is topic number 1. Some people start and end the day by checking the news. As a result, we feel mentally and physically exhausted, and everyday life loses its previous colors. For your own well-being, limit the amount of information you consume: choose 2 sources you trust and check them only once a day. The world won’t change if you don’t know what’s happening in real-time. Moreover – you have the right not to follow the information which makes you feel worse mentally. Restricting access to information can work wonders and give you more mental peace –  a necessary factor for the adaptation process to begin.

Help as much as you can

If you want to help people affected by war, it’s fantastic – do it. However, do not compare your abilities to other people’s “helping” abilities. In fact, all gestures, big and small, count. Together they work great. However, there are people who feel guilty because the form of help they can afford, both physically and materially, is too small in their opinion. If you are in this group, remember: helping is not a competition! The most important thing is to do it in a way that won’t rob you of vitality – taking care of your energy is also one of the conditions conducive to the adaptation process.


If you feel as though anxiety and difficult emotions are taking over your body and mind, try to focus on slow, deep breathing. Feel what your breath is like, do you inhale or exhale longer? Does your chest rise or are you breathing into your stomach? Watch your breath, try to let your thoughts flow, don’t catch them – let them be like clouds in the sky, flowing calmly in their own direction. The breath is a great calming tool that you can use in any situation – whether you are traveling, walking or at work. Thanks to this, you can feel safe anywhere. It is worth using this simple technique, available for free!

Times are very difficult, so take care of yourself even more – mental health is especially important now.


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