How to overcome anxiety during the war. Advice of a psychologist

3.9.2022 0

Since February 24, Ukraine has been putting up armed and informational resistance to the Russian invaders. Sirens and explosions are heard in the cities and villages of the country, people are hiding in shelters, there are reports of casualties among the military and civilians. How to maintain mental health in such conditions?


  • Take a few deep breaths;
  • try to breathe "on four" at a measured pace: 1-2-3-4 - inhale; 1-2-3-4 - exhale. Or for 1-2-3-4 - inhale, for 1-2-3-4 - hold your breath, for 1-2-3-4 - exhale and for 1-2-3-4 - hold your breath. There should be eight such cycles.
  • Simultaneously with these exercises, drink water in small sips. Drink up to 300 ml of water.

Don't just sit there.

  • Push off the wall or floor;
  • walk around the room, move around;
  • do physical exercises.

Shift your attention

  • Name four properties of any object;
  • Say simple phrases - "my name is...", "I am so many years old", "I am in the room", "the walls are this color", "today is... date", "here is the wardrobe, it is white...", "here is the sofa - it is soft";
  • name anything that you see in front of you to return to the situation "here and now".

Conduct tactile exercises

  • Try to massage your fingers: press on the nail plate of each finger as if smoothing it. When you press harder, you will feel unpleasant sensations and then return to reality;
  • hug yourself with your hands and try to massage (with your right hand massage your left forearm to the neck and back, the same with the left hand);
  • massage your feet to feel: "I am here, my body is here, I am touching it";
  • put your hand on your stomach (near the solar plexus), the other on your chest and try to feel how your stomach moves when you breathe;
  • fold your arms crosswise (right hand on the left shoulder, left hand on the right) and tap yourself on the shoulders. Let yourself understand that you are, that you are alive, that you are here.

"These are the best exercises to feel yourself and stop panic," - psychologist Oksana Chaika says.

What to do when someone else panics

  • First of all, you should avoid phrases like "calm down", "pull yourself together", "do you hear me?". It doesn't work;
  • if it is a person close to you, come up and hug them;
  • If you don't know the person, you should not do it. But you should approach the person so that they look you in the eye and say who you are, that you help, that you know what to do. Suggest the exercises described above;
  • but first give a glass of water, find out what the person needs now. Maybe he needs to lie down, maybe something else.

"There is only one rule - to establish contact, to find out the need or to help now and with self-management exercises that will lead a person to a stable psychological state. You can say: "We breathe together, we go to drink water"

  • Take a person by the hand, walk together;
  • if it is a child, it is best to play with it. For example, blow out a candle together (exhale) and then smell a flower (inhale). This will normalize the child's breathing, and it will help to calm down a little;
  • do not shout in any case.