The war changed the life of each of us and it had a catastrophic effect on the psychological state of many. For full recovery, we need years of work, and most importantly — victory. But we suggest not to wait for better times and start changing the situation for the better right now: let’s focus not on the final goal, but on the small steps that bring it closer. Chanfashion I have prepared for you a selection of simple tips that will help you feel better and take care of your mental health right now.
The first priority is your own safety
It’s hard to talk about meditations, breathing exercises, and motivational podcasts when your life is in danger 24/7. We do not undertake to give specific advice, because each situation is very specific for each individual family.
We hope that you are in a safe enough place, as it is currently possible, and just in case, we leave a link to the material from the National Union of Writers of Ukraine, where collected contacts of individual volunteers and organizations that help Ukrainians on various issues.
According to Maslow’s pyramid, the foundation of human needs is breathing, sleep and food. Therefore, we advise you to start your recovery with the adjustment of these very first needs, as far as possible:
Our body likes stability in small things and respect for the daily rhythm. Try to eat, go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time every day — this will help to relieve a little of the background physical tension, and therefore improve your mental state.
If possible, try to eat a full meal, especially hot and first courses, and drink warm tea. It is not only the benefit of regular food for digestion, but also the fact that hot food and drinks send signals to the psyche to calm down.
To cope with stress, the body needs sufficient rest. The need for sleep may increase compared to peacetime, and this is absolutely normal, because the load on the body and psyche increases. If you have trouble falling asleep due to excessive stress, you can use sleeping pills. For example, melatonin, which has a mild effect and helps the body feel sleepy.
Importantly! Chanfashion does not provide medical advice and is not responsible for the health of readers, be sure to consult a doctor before using any medication.
The body itself will tell you what it needs, your task is to listen carefully and, most importantly, listen. Do you feel that you cannot cope without this chocolate bar? Allow yourself and enjoy it, without listening to the remorse. Just yesterday you wanted to move mountains, but now you can’t get out of bed? Give yourself time to rest and get some sleep, fulfilling only the most important obligations that cannot be postponed to the next day.
Unfortunately, many of us are used to forcing ourselves to do something, silencing the signals of our own body, and are not in the habit of treating ourselves with the necessary empathy. Even those who have already embarked on this path in peacetime are now facing “setbacks” due to catastrophic stress.
Try to treat yourself, your body and psyche with understanding and compassion: right now, even lying in bed, each of us spends an incredible amount of effort to understand what is happening, adapt to new conditions and save ourselves. Of course, we can’t be as productive as before, more often we can’t pull ourselves together and deal with emotions. This is normal, give yourself the right to react the way you react. And finally, eat that cake if you want 🙂
Our psyche loves stability. We have already mentioned this when talking about the schedule of the day. In addition to the most important things, try to add to the schedule some pleasant rituals that you can perform with a certain frequency. For example, an evening cup of tea with honey on the balcony in silence and without a phone, a morning walk in the nearby park before breakfast, 20 pages of light reading of a book before bed. Choose only pleasant things that really improve your mood and allow you to rest from emotional swings and a continuous flow of information.
Paying attention to one’s own physical comfort will provide more resources for the psyche, which are needed for reflection and experiencing current events. Take care of hygiene, even if you don’t have the strength to get out of bed: fresh breath, cold water for washing, aromatic soap — these little things will help you get out of the somnambula state little by little and not expose your own health to additional danger.
If you have already dealt with elementary things and routine, go to the next level. Take some time for self-massage after a bath or shower, stay in hot water a little longer than the necessary minimum, make a face mask or scrub. These small attributes of a normal life will help both the body and psyche to understand that life has not stopped, and will also improve the mood. Allow yourself small joys as much as there are opportunities for it.
Rest and digital diet
Limit your time on social networks and news feeds. For example, set aside two “approaches” for half an hour a day, when you can fully immerse yourself in the info field and monitor the situation. It is better not to watch the tape right before going to sleep and immediately after waking up — at these moments the psyche is more sensitive and vulnerable to fakes and overly emotional posts.
Importantly: there are situations and periods when the safety of an individual or his loved ones depends on timely information, or there are important events in the life of the country and the world. Of course, at such moments, definitely not for digital diets! However, in more or less calm periods, try to limit the time you watch the news.
If you feel that after watching the news, a panicky mood and restlessness are growing, start a routine: drink warm tea, breathe fresh air, warm up your body with a few simple exercises.
You have probably heard the opinion that order in the head begins with order around. No matter where you are now — at home, in a hotel abroad, in the village of relatives or in the center of immigrants — try to add a little coziness to your current home. You should start with cleaning, and then you can move on to pleasant little things. Fluffy slippers, soft towels, a personal cup with a funny pattern — such things do not require a lot of money, but they will lift your mood every day and add coziness, even if you are not at home.
In addition, cleaning has a meditative effect on many people now: it is a very understandable activity that distracts from difficult thoughts, provides moderate physical exertion and pleases with a quick and visible result. Try it, maybe you suddenly became a new fan of home routine? 🙂 Even if not, a tidy home or a tidy private corner in a temporary accommodation will help you feel much better.