Skip to content

What can you do if talk of war worries you?

It is natural to feel worried and scared about the crisis in Ukraine. It is good to acknowledge worried feelings and thoughts and accept them as natural reactions.

It is also good to share your worry with friends and family. You should talk about it together: what are you worried about, what kinds of thought and emotions do the news stir in you.

Crisis intervention specialist’s tips for when talk of war worries you

  • Accept feelings of worry as natural reactions.
  • Share your thoughts with friends and family.
  • Moderation is key when following the news: once or twice a day is enough.
  • Continue your everyday life and take care of yourself and loved ones.
  • Pay attention to what is good: There is peace in Finland, everything works, we are safe. A solution is being sought.
  • Accept the feelings and thoughts of children. Give the child enough time to share their thoughts in their own words. Let them know that we are safe and will continue to live our lives and that the adults are working to ensure that nothing bad happens, and even if it does, we will get through it.
  • Live in the moment, be present and do things that bring you joy.

Some things can be influenced by one’s own actions and choices. Some things, such as Russia’s actions in Europe, are difficult for most people to influence. Negative feelings may start to gain control if you focus on following the news multiple times a day. Checking the news once or twice a day is enough, and leaves room to live a normal life as well. 

Hold on to daily routines

It is harmful to deny negative feelings or anxiety. Paradoxically, if you do so, anxiety begins to control your thoughts. Compassionate acceptance and acknowledgement of emotions and thoughts are better ways to maintain functionality. Even though the situation awakens various thoughts, it is important to act in accordance with your own values and goals and to continue living your life and taking care of yourself and loved ones. Remember to be compassionate to yourself, address yourself with appreciation and understanding, and pass on compassion to others as well — hear them, see them, ask how they feel and how they are doing.

It is good to pay attention to the moment that we are living in right now. Live here and now, be present. Despite the threat of war caused by Russia, many things are well. We have peace in Finland. Everything works in Finland, we are safe. The representatives of Finland are working with other western countries to find solutions.

Talk about the situation to children truthfully in an age-appropriate manner

Children and teenagers observe their environment, hear the adults talk and follow the media. Wild future scenarios may be circulating on social media. It is good to listen to children and ask about their thoughts and what’s on their mind. You can ask what thoughts and emotions the news about the world’s situation awaken in them: Are you upset? Are you afraid?

It is good to let children talk about and accept their thoughts and emotions without denying their experience.  If a child says they are scared, that feeling cannot be erased by saying that there is no need to be scared. Instead, it is good to talk about what is being done to resolve the situation in an age-appropriate manner.

You can tell children that we are safe, there is no reason to worry and that we will continue with our lives. It is important to tell children that the adults are working on ensuring that nothing bad happens, and if it does, the damage will remain as small as possible. Live in the moment with the child.

In everyday life, it is important to notice all the things that are good. It is important for adults to do enjoyable things together with the children. If necessary, you can reserve a daily moment to discuss worries and to go through the facts about what is good and what is being done to ensure a good future.

If you need crisis counselling

Crisis Helpline in English
on call at 09 2525 0116
Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Crisis Helpline in Finnish
on call at 09 2525 0111
24 hours a day.

Crisis Helpline in Swedish, Kristelefon,
on call at 09 2525 0112
Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.,
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Crisis centres around Finland offer counselling both face to face and remotely and, if necessary, through an interpreter.

Chat services

  • Sekasin chat in Finnish for adolescents open every day: Mondays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m., Saturdays to Sundays from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Sekasin chat in Swedish for adolescents open Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sekasin-chatt
  • Tukinet’s Solmussa chat in Finnish for adults open Mondays to Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Page edited 26.12.2023

The content is related to the following topics: