Managing Through a Global Crisis: How to Cope & Not Become Engulfed
My heart goes out to everyone who is feeling the effects of the Ukrainian tragedy. In this video I go over a few steps to manage uncomfortable emotions and feelings brought up by recent events.
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What is happening in Ukraine is truly horrifying. What I notice in particular is a reawakening of all kinds of former traumas that were lying dormant in people’s minds. Today, I want to show you a sequence of steps you could be taking to coach yourself, avoiding being engulfed by what’s happening around you and in Ukraine.
Step 1: Realizing Trauma
The first step is understanding that what is happening in Ukraine may reawaken prior traumas residing within, or even outside, your family group or linked to events of your past. In many families, there are all kinds of conflicts that have left a trauma behind in their wake. From the Second World War to Algeria or Vietnam wars, to Middle Eastern wars and other kinds of conflicts around the world. So if you feel worried and anxious about what is happening in Ukraine and your family has gone through such traumatic past experiences, please know that it is entirely OK that you might feel overwhelmed and emotionally impacted right now.
Step 2: Minding Your Body and Its Signals
The second step is to be aware of your physical signals, what your body will tell you before your brain and your rationality make it known to you. So hear your body, listen to it. What have you noticed in your body that is telling you “Hey, you’re not doing too good”? Maybe you wouldn’t know. You’re not sleeping well. Maybe your stomach or your heart are hurting. Maybe you feel extremely agitated or activated right now. These are all signs of tension and stress. So listen to what your body is telling you right now, in order to understand the stress levels you are experiencing.
Step 3: Limit Media Consumption
This third thing that is healthy, and this is true in any event, is to limit your media watching. War and trauma drive a lot of traffic and clicks, which is why media tend to populate their outlets with them. So protect yourself by keeping it to a short amount of news every day from reliable accounts, from which you know you’re getting the information you need but are not likely to binge watch traumas, wars and horrible things. Watching too much will make you feel worse. It will not enable you to do anything about the situation, except feeling more and more hopeless or disempowered about it as an observer.
Step 4: Channel Your Feelings towards Enabling Action
The fourth point is about channeling the emotion and the energy into doing something good and find a way to volunteer or give to Ukrainian refugees (for instance). Not only can this help you find a way to channel the grief and the anxiety you may be experiencing, it will also be beneficial to someone in need.
Step 5: Practice Gratitude
Gratitude for what we have, for what we leave, for the people that are around us, supporting us. And that’s really very important because the moment you start practicing gratitude, you start seeing some beauty in the world, which is desperately needed to function. We need to acknowledge the beauty that is around us, and not only that despair.
Step 6: Share Your Feelings
Doing the previous steps on a daily basis will be very helpful in keeping you up front. Step 6 is to talk about how you feel. Don’t keep it for yourself. Find a friend, find a coach. Find a therapist. Choose the right person that will support you in going through times that may be difficult for you.
If you find yourself needing help thinking this through to better understanding what’s happening in your life and inside of you, just let me know. I am here to support you.
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