Invasion of Ukraine: The best way to feel better is to help. here’s how

Don’t scroll the doom, get up and do something – you’ll feel better

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has horrified the world and every day a new atrocity goes viral for all the wrong reasons.

It’s hard not to be heartbroken for the shattered lives and anxious for the future – just days after the conflict began, Putin spoke of nuclear bombs.

Closer to home, watching a war unfold on social media from the couch elicits different feelings. The crisis has saturated the media landscape, and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel a little overwhelmed by the horror of it all. A little helpless, and probably guilty of having a personal reaction.

Mental health charity Mind has heard from a number of people feeling like this. They are upset by what they see and hear and need to unburden themselves. Young people in particular may fear a nuclear war for the first time in their lives.

Turn worry into action

The best course of action, according to psychotherapist Lorraine Lowe, is to turn concerns into action.

“Rather than focusing on our feelings of helplessness, focus on small things we can do. Raising money for Ukraine, providing clothes for refugees, etc.,” she told JOE.

Lowe, who has 35 years of experience, says having a strong reaction to the Ukraine crisis is normal.

“As human beings, we have threat-oriented brains, and this is a truly terrifying situation. For Ukrainians, for their family members everywhere and, even, for us as citizens .

“It’s understandable that we feel that way. People are going to worry and catastrophize. Not blaming ourselves for feeling anxious is key. Focusing on what we can do and not what we can’t do in the present time.”

Here’s how you can help

While it’s easy to feel helpless, there are myriad ways to make a difference and it doesn’t have to be as drastic as packing a backpack and joining the front lines. On Tuesday there were reports of men with no military experience who showed up at the Ukrainian embassy in London ready to take up arms.

You can donate cash or requested goods, attend a fundraiser, join a protest, offer a room in your home to a refugee, and even write to your MP.

Donate to charity

Major NGOs that receive donations for their emergency crisis appeals include:

British Red Cross

Project Hope


International Rescue Committee

In London, the Ukrainian Embassy of the United Kingdom has set up its own donation service, With Ukraine.

Polish humanitarian action provides hygiene products, food and blankets to people in need at the Ukrainian-Polish border and on the ground in Kyiv, come back alive urges people to donate to help support democracy, while non-profit organizations New Ukraine helps to provide humanitarian aid.

Attend a fundraiser or donate toiletries and essentials

Former HuffPost UK reporter Chris York is currently in Warsaw to collect as many phone chargers and gas heaters as possible. He set up a GoFundMe pageby Wednesday morning, more than £6,200 had been donated.

Fundraising events are taking place all over the UK and Europe, from bars and fitness classes to tattoo flash days – it’s never been easier to get involved. Town halls, pubs and countless organizations are also receiving donations, publishing lists of essential items required.

Contact your MP

Boris Johnson on Tuesday eased visa requirements to allow immediate family members to join Ukrainians settled in the UK, but campaign groups are still encouraging people to get in touch with their local MP to ask for more of support and new sanctions against Russia.

Find the contact details of your MPs here. The Ukrainian Institute has drafted an e-mail template here.


If you want to make your voice heard in person, join a protest. Follow the Ukrainian Solidarity Campaign and Euromaidan London on Facebook for more details on upcoming protests regarding Ukraine.

The stand with Ukraine group staged a protest in Trafalgar Square on Tuesday evening. This followed three days of protests in the capital from Friday.

The Ukrainian Institute in London offers ready-made protest posters and leaflets that you can print here.

Sign a petition

Or you can add your name to a petition. There is a parliamentarian on pledge any necessary military support in defense of Ukraine, The Independent’s petition called Welcome to refugeesand another challenging the British government to helping Ukrainian refugees. There is also an open letter from AVAAZ titled stop this war.

Open your home to a refugee is taking registrations from people around the world who have a spare room to host refugees and other hosting charities are expected to call on volunteers as the crisis continues. Some 500,000 Ukrainian refugees have reportedly fled the country since the invasion began almost a week ago.

Airbnb has pledged to provide free housing to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.

How to cope on a personal level -ssocial media is our frenemy

Our social networks are a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, especially during difficult times, but right now they also make war inevitable.

“Doomscrolling” is a word that keeps coming up. It refers to spending an excessive amount of screen time devoted to negative news.

OWhen we’re preoccupied with the news, it can be tempting to go straight to social media to see what everyone is saying.

But as Mind pointed out, “People may share stories you want to avoid, or post feelings or opinions about the situation that you’re more concerned about. Consider taking a break or limiting your social media use.”

“You can choose to view particular groups or pages, but not scroll through timelines or news feeds. Try asking yourself regularly, ‘is this helping me or am I Am I doomed to parade?'”

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