The War in Ukraine: Our Role in Learning, Helping, and Caring

The conflict in Ukraine is scary! This is the first time in history we have access to real time information from the perspective of everyday people because of social media like TikTok and Instagram. It’s important to pay attention to what is going on, and just as important to take care of yourself. Check out these tips from the HereNow Teen Leadership Board:

  1. Focus on what we CAN do. Some examples the HereNow Board has been working on are supporting Ukrainian businesses and gathering canned foods, non-perishable items, baby products, toiletries, diapers, personal care items, and medical supplies for donation. 
  2. Educate yourself in a manner that works for you! If looking at images is upsetting, read articles or listen to a news podcast. 
  3. Don’t believe everything you read! Spend a few minutes differentiating from propaganda and actual facts. 
  4. Talk about it. Just because the war is far away doesn’t mean it is less important and not impacting us as well. 
  5. Try to be considerate of people who have family in Ukraine or in Russia. They are dealing with this personally.
  6. Find time to focus on something else and be careful not to doom scroll.
  7. It’s OK to take a break from the news! Google something funny, call a friend, go for a walk, or do something that makes you laugh, etc.
  8. If you are feeling like everything going on in this world is too much, consider talking to a professional. 
  9. If you are feeling like you need to express yourself and just talk about everything going on but therapy is not what you are looking for, consider finding somebody who is willing to simply listen and not judge (examples: sibling, pet, coach, friend, plant, parent/guardian, relative). 
  10. Don’t exaggerate but be aware of your emotions. It’s especially helpful to be aware of language and try not to say things like “the world is ending” but instead be more specific by saying things like “this is a scary time.”

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