How our filters work:

Our team sorts through all blog submissions to place them in the categories they fit the most - meaning it's never been simpler to gain advice and new knowledge for topics most important for you. This is why we have created this straight-forward guide to help you navigate our system.

Phase 1: Pick your School Phase

Phase 2: Select all topic areas of choice

Search and Browse

And there you have it! Now your collection of blogs are catered to your chosen topics and are ready for you to explore. Plus, if you frequently return to the same categories you can bookmark your current URL and we will save your choices on return. Happy Reading!

New to our blogs? Click Here >

Filter Blog

School Phase

School Management Solutions

Curriculum Solutions

Classroom Solutions

Extra-Curricular Solutions

IT Solutions

Close X

5 tips to manage distress about the conflict in Ukraine

Written by Dr Bear, Clinical Psychologist and Wellbeing Director for youHQ

It’s been impossible for teachers and students alike to escape the distressing news of the invasion of Ukraine. Even if you are not directly involved in the conflict itself, it can have a profound impact on people’s emotional health. Check out these five important tips to help manage the effects of the news on your wellbeing.

Image shows a young woman (18-30) holding a mobile phone. On the phone screen is a news app - showing live updates of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Overconsumption of news during crises can be negative to our wellbeing.

(Some of the below is useful for children, however, I find this Newsround video beneficial for younger pupils. These tips are predominately to help parent and teacher wellbeing.)

Tip One: Limit your exposure

In the age of phones and smart watches, information is available at our fingertips with no automatic “off” switch. We are exposed to stress-inducing, saddening, and anxiety-provoking news stories, videos, and images, often without a clear sense of when to step back.

You may think simply reading or watching isn’t harmful – but we can experience stress as a result of our well-developed capacity for imagination, empathy, and compassion.

You don’t need to read every article to stay informed of what’s going on. It’s ok to say no to hearing more. Try to develop a sense of how much news content is enough for you. Set timers for news apps and social media, limit push notifications to a certain number a day, or switch channels to protect your wellbeing.

Tip Two: Validate your own distress

Our ability to connect and relate to others means we might naturally feel distressed by the conflict for a myriad of reasons.

It’s ok to feel upset, worried and angry about what’s happening in Ukraine. Telling yourself or others you shouldn’t be affected is like holding back a wave in the sea. It’s exhausting and ineffective.

As a teacher, you’re able to tell your pupils that it’s ok to experience these emotions. Grant yourself the same kindness. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is that comes up; name it if that helps, and offer yourself the comfort you need.

Tip Three: Feel connected

Humans are social creatures inherently dependent on one another to survive. We have an inner motivation to feel connected with others to give us a sense of safety and closeness.

Prioritise this in a form that works for you; it doesn’t need to be face-to-face, but it is important to feel close to people you care for during times of uncertainty and distress.

Tip Four: Focus on promoting positive feelings

We often get stuck trying to wrestle with and push unwanted feelings away. It can feel like an exhausting battle, leaving us drained and hopeless.

Rather than trying to push these feelings away, engage in activities that might promote more positive emotional experiences.

If I’m feeling down, I have to consider what might lift my spirits. If I’m feeling wound tight, what might help soothe and bring me down? It won’t necessarily address the cause, but it does give your mind and body a break, and prevents those aversive feelings from escalating.

Tip Five: Help where you can

The news can leave us feeling helpless and powerless. Contributing to relief efforts (if you are able to) can be a positive and proactive way to manage your feelings from the news of the conflict.

There are numerous ways to help. Many schools are currently raising money and resources to aid Ukraine – look into local efforts to see if you can contribute.

You could donate to a reputable charity, sign petitions, write to your local MP, or donate clothing/resources. You could simply make space to reach out to friends and family affected by the conflict. It all counts.

If you can, and would like to donate, the British Red Cross and Save the Children are both fundraising for Ukraine on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee (or you could donate directly to the DEC here). World Central Kitchen is also fundraising to feed Ukrainians remaining in and fleeing from their homeland.

Leave a Reply

The author

Jon Ford is a wellbeing and performance expert, trained psychotherapist, qualified sports scientist, and the CEO of youHQ - a school wellbeing platform. Dr Bear is a clinical psychologist and wellbeing director for youHQ. At youHQ, we want to equip pupils worldwide with the best tools and knowledge to look after their mental health and wellbeing. Posts on Nexus Education may be written by Jon or Dr Bear.

Subscribe to the monthly bloggers digest

Cookies and Privacy
Like many sites this site uses cookies. Privacy Policy » OK