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“Don’t panic”: rules of psychological stability 

The constant flow of news, stress, abrupt changes in living conditions, the uncertain future – each of us is full of emotions and lost in thought during the war. How to stay calm? What will help to settle the psychological state and adequately perceive the situation?

6 basic rules of psychological resilience will help you adapt to new realities, understand your own needs and control your emotional state.

Basic rules of psychological stability during the war

1.Accept the fact that the war may last for an uncertain amount of time. We all want this to be over as soon as possible. And we can count on this unconsciously. But you need to understand that our expectations weaken us. Therefore it is vital to be prepared for all war scenarios. 

2.Constantly adapt to new realities. Respond to the following questions: – What can I do now, so I feel better, safer, warmer? – What small step can I take in 5 minutes, in an hour, today?

3.Refrain from things that make us emotionally weaker. Respond to the following questions: What exacerbates my condition? What subsequently makes me exhausted? What do I need to refrain from now? What sources of information increase the sense of disquiet? Which conversations exhaust me?

4.Refresh your emotional resources. Respond to the following questions: What gives me a reason to live? What has been helping me to feel better recently? Which activity? Which conversation? Which information source?

5.Stay in touch with your relatives. Ask them a common question: “How are you?”. Share the news. Embrace each other. Spend time together. It is vital now to stay in touch emotionally. If you are far away, send an audio message or create a video call instead of sending simple text.

6.Help the others, but in accordance with the rule of “oxygen mask” – provide assistance only when you’ve taken care of yourself (stated in previous paragraphs). If you have such possibility, consider the following: Who can I help at the moment? Who requires my help? What aid can I provide?

The advice was prepared by Daria Selivanova, a psychotherapist for the International assistance headquarters for Ukrainians and the “Bez paniky” psychological center.