Russia-Ukraine crisis: Protecting your mental health as we watch an invasion unfold

A woman embraces her friend at a rally in Times Square to denounce the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman) (Brittainy Newman, Brittainy Newman)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As we watch everything unfold in Ukraine, doctors want to remind you to try and protect your mental health.

What we’re seeing out of Ukraine is distressing.

With live feeds available 24/7, sometimes we can’t help but keep scrolling down our newsfeeds and timelines to see what’s going on.

RELATED: Russia-Ukraine crisis: How to talk to children about what’s happening

It can be hard to pull yourself away from social media and NOT watch the situation in Ukraine, but doctors said at some point you have to unplug -- or even find a way to help.

As we watch everything unfold in Ukraine, doctors want to remind you to try and protect your mental health. A psychologist says it can be hard to pull yourself away from social media.

It’s easier said than done, especially considering the last two years we’ve had.

Dr. Christine Cauffield, the CEO of LSF Health Systems, said sometimes we don’t notice how our intake of this news affects us.

“When we’re on social media and we’re being bombarded with very negative news, carnage, death, destruction -- fear and anxiety really heightens. We’ve been in a fearful state the last two years and now an added fear of this world event,” Cauffield said. “As we’re bringing this in on a regular basis and we don’t give ourselves time out to balance it with joy and outside activities, it’s really going to affect our mental health.”

One tip she shared to protect your mental health during this time is to connect with other people by getting or sharing support.

If you are stressed about what’s happening in Ukraine, she said, find organizations that are offering aid. (We’ve got a list here.)

She said it’s also a good idea to reach out to a professional counselor.


About the Author:

A Florida girl and North Carolina A&T SU grad who thrives in breaking news.