Self Care: Tips for Coping With Global Conflict

October 23, 2023 1:45 PM

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)

The violence and loss of life happening around the world is heartbreaking. Watching disturbing videos and images on social media and in the news can negatively impact our mental health. These images may show up on our news feeds without us even looking for them. How do we stay informed while at the same time taking care of ourselves? 

  • Balance being informed with being overwhelmed - Notice your physical and emotional reactions as you consume news and take breaks if you notice that you are feeling anxious or distressed. Consider setting times to consume the news and times to avoid it and disable notifications. 
  • Divisive or offensive comments, misinformation, and graphic imagery or videos are often included in social media coverage. Consider temporarily deleting apps that may present misinformation or divisive content. You can pause notifications from these apps and block harmful content. Consider temporarily unfollowing, restricting,or muting contacts who share this kind of content.
  • Take a physical break - give yourself a break from the constant flow of difficult information that you have to process. Go for a walk to de-stress; talk to friends or family; visit MindSpa for guided meditation and other virtual resources for centering and coping; engage in an activity that helps you to relax like drawing, painting, dancing, playing a game. Remember that taking a break to take care of yourself, doesn’t mean that you don’t care. Learn ways to use connection as self-care
  • Recognize that stress is normal - While it is important to find healthy ways to cope with the feelings that we experience from consuming the news and seeing disturbing images and videos, remember that it’s normal to feel distressed about what is happening in our world. 
  • Make time to feel and process your emotions - Notice what you are feeling. You may feel a wide range of emotions, and no one emotion is the right one. Give yourself permission to feel your emotional responses. Allowing our feelings can give us insight into how to respond to them.
  • Maintain a sense of normalcy - Engaging in normal activities and routines will help you feel grounded. Make sure to eat regularly and get good sleep. 
  • Practice compassion for yourself and others - Being compassionate to others and yourself is an important way of getting through traumatic events together. Try being gentle and respectful of others’ emotions and reactions even if you don’t understand them. Refrain from judging yourself for how you are feeling or reacting. Participate in things that bring you happiness, pleasure, and a sense of normalcy.
  • Participate in a dialogue group - Sustained dialogue encourages connection and has the power to help transform the ways we understand and relate to each other. Connect with campus support offices and student organizations for conversation and space. Taking action can help us to cope with trauma.  Learn more about how activism can be self-care
  • Seek the support you need  - If you can’t stop thinking about violent images that you have seen, or if thoughts of the humanitarian crisis are affecting your everyday life, it’s important to reach out for support. Remember, we are here to support you! 

For support on-campus - please access one of the following resources:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services, (440) 775-8470
  • Student Support and Outreach office (440) 775-5543 
  • Student Health Services (440) 775-8180
  • Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (440) 775-8103  

If you or someone you care about need assistance right now, call:

  • 24/7 Counseling Support  (855) 256-7160
  • Campus Safety 440-775-8444

If this is an emergency or there is immediate danger of harm, call 911 and explain that you need support for a mental health crisis or contact one of the following:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline | 988
  • Crisis Texting Line | Text HOME to 741741
  • Lorain County Mental Health Line | 800-888-6161
  • Trevor Project | Call 1-866-488-7386 or Text 678-678