Mari Laari | 25.2.2022

Strength in the middle of uncertainty

We are once again living in a situation where many of us are experiencing enormous uncertainty. Although there are constant wars in the world, war zones are usually so far away that it is easy in Finland to distance ourselves from them. Now as the war is geographically close, it is natural that it worries us more.

“These events are raising new concerns, this time about security”

Security, health and social networks are very important for our wellbeing and their importance is often not noticed until there is a threat of losing them. Covid time has made us think more about the health of our loved ones and of our own and restrictions have limited our social life. There has been covid fatigue in the air for a long time. Now as the restrictions are being canceled one by one we are following the events in Ukraine in disbelief. These events are raising new concerns, this time about security.

Because we are all individuals, we react to things differently. Some of us react to the situation with strong anxiety, some think about the probabilities, some find the situation sad but ignore it by focusing on their own life. These and all other ways of reacting are normal.

If you find that worrying or anxious about the situation is starting to take over your mind, here are a few tips from a psychologist to support your wellbeing:

  • Recognize what the situation is raising in you and accept the reactions of different people. All kinds of reactions are normal so don’t tell anyone (including yourself) to feel differently. Some find the situation very distressing. It is important to provide support and space for sharing thoughts and emotions. Some want to continue their normal lives and protect themselves from news related to the situation. Let’s give them an opportunity for that.
  • Lighten the load. For many of us this situation is increasing the load. It can come from mental reactions or work-related changes. It’s good to think about whether the load can now be reduced somewhere. For example, can the implementation of a development project be postponed, can requirements be reduced or can resources be increased in some way?
  • Take care of everyday life and daily routines. Go to work, do the groceries, go to hobbies and exercise. Even if you feel miserable right now, everyday life continues. It’s ok to do normal and nice things, even though there’s a challenging situation elsewhere at the same time. Many may think it’s not right to enjoy life or experience the joy from small things while at the same time horrible things happen somewhere else. We need things that recover us, and that doesn’t mean the concern isn’t important to us. Make sure that other things in life are also talked about while having coffee or lunch.
  • Set aside limited time for worrying. Give yourself a moment to think through the situation in the evening well in advance of bedtime. Please note that the maximum amount of concern is 30 minutes.
  • Restrict the amount of reading news. All you have to do is watch the situation develop once a day, for example. Please note if you repeatedly find yourself from news sites and get anxious about reading news. Especially sensitive sleepers should limit their viewing of the news in the evening.
  • Think about what are the things where you can influence. Focus on the things that are in your own hands. This will increase the sense of control that may be lost in this situation. We do not know yet what all this will affect and therefore it will not help us to worry about those things in advance.
  • Notice things that are fine. Remind yourself of things that are important to you and that are not affected by this situation. Send time with your close ones. Remind yourself that Finland is not participating in the war and here is peace.


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Mari Laari

Mari Laari: Toimin Heltissä organisaatiopsykologina ja tarkastelen organisaatioita niiden kaikilla tasoilla. Kehittymisen avaimet voivat olla pienissä muutoksissa näillä eri tasoilla.