Steps for Remaining Resilient in War Times

(suggested by the American Psychological Association)

  1. Make connections.  Keep in touch with family, friends and others. Connecting with people provides social support and strengthens resilience. Some find comfort in connecting with a higher power, whether through organized religion or privately.
  2. Help yourself by helping others.  Assisting others in a time of need can be empowering, such as volunteering at a community organization or helping families of active reservists or military personnel serving in the war.
  3. Maintain a daily routine.  Keeping up with your daily routine of work, errands, household chores and hobbies provides you with a feeling of stability when the world around you seems chaotic. Sticking with a routine can be comforting to your children, as well.
  4. Take care of yourself.  Make time to eat properly, exercise, and rest. Schedule time to do things you enjoy such as hobbies and social activities. Caring for yourself and even having fun will help you stay balanced and enable you to better deal with stressful times.
  5. Give yourself a “news” break.  Be sure to control the amount of time you and your family spend watching and reading war-related news coverage. Although it’s natural to seek out the news to keep informed, too much news can make you more anxious. Perhaps limit your news intake to no more than one hour a day, and try not to watch the news right before you go to bed, when you need to “wind down.” It's okay to turn off the TV or radio and allow yourself to focus on non-war related things.
  6. Have a plan.  Having an emergency plan in place will make you feel in control and prepared for the unexpected. Establish a clear plan for how you, your family and friends will respond and connect in the event of a crisis. Have a family or neighborhood meeting to talk about who to call in emergencies or designate a place to meet if you can't reach someone by phone. Make a plan for your pets and a list of items you will need to take in an emergency.
  7. Prepare a security kit.  When pulling together an emergency kit, remember to include those things that give you comfort and security such as a favorite book, a journal or pictures of loved ones. Also include a list of your loved ones’ phone numbers so that you can re-establish connections with them as soon as possible.
  8. Nurture a positive view of yourself.  Recall the ways you have successfully handled hardships in the past, such as the loss of a loved one, a divorce or major illness. Draw on these skills to meet current challenges. Trust yourself to solve problems and make appropriate decisions.
  9. Keep things in perspective.  Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Remember that wars end and circumstances can ultimately improve. Previous generations have faced war and gone on to prosper – use their examples to inspire you.
  10. Maintain a hopeful outlook.  An optimistic and positive outlook enables you to see the good things in your life and can keep you going even in the hardest times. There are positive things in everyone's life such as good health, a comfortable home and strong friendships. Taking the time to identify and appreciate them will enhance your outlook and help you persevere.
More Ways to Remain Resilient
(Ball State Counseling Center)

  1. Ask for help.  Sometimes it is difficult to ask for help unless you feel considerable distress and unhappiness. But, feeling overwhelmed by thoughts about the war is not a sign of weakness. Do not be afraid to ask others for help. Talk with friends, family members, spiritual leaders, or seek out help from a mental care provider such as a Counseling Center.
  2. Take a stand.  Feeling ambivalent about your own opinions about the war can leave you feeling unsettled and vulnerable. Decide what the war means to you personally. You can get involved in war response efforts, pro-war demonstrations, war/peace discussions, or anti-war protests.
  3. Think Critically.  Be sure to find a trustworthy source to obtain your news. Take the time to critically analyze the facts from the non-facts and recognize what you can and cannot control.
  4. Get your sleep.  During stressful times you may be experiencing difficulty sleeping or maintaining normal routines. Some ways to maintain routines and manage sleeping difficulties are: by sleeping regular hours; avoiding naps; eating a balanced diet at regular intervals; exercising moderately each day, but not before bedtime; avoiding watching television prior to bedtime; avoiding caffeine before bedtime; and doing something relaxing in the evening. If you find yourself tossing and turning, try doing another activity until you feel drowsy again. If you keep thinking of all the things you have to complete the next day while laying in bed, you might try keeping a pad of paper next to you to write down the next day’s activities and so you can then forget them.
  5. For people of faith, draw strength from your faith.  For many, war not only challenges one’s emotional and physical sense of well-being, but also one’s spiritual beliefs. If you consider yourself a spiritual or religious person, war may either cause you to turn to your faith for comfort and answers or may initiate questions and doubts. Questions, doubts, and a search for meaning during difficult times are normal.

    Trust, hope, and strength are essential elements of all faiths. Many turn to their faith through prayer and meditation to try to cope with their feelings. It may be helpful to find activities that are positive for your spirit, mind, and body that allow you to draw strength from your faith. Places of worship can be supportive environments that can provide assurance and support. Spend additional time with family, friends, and members of your house of worship. It may be helpful to share your feelings and struggles with your priest, minister, rabbi, imam, or other clergy. Pastoral counselors can help you address spiritual concerns. Consider doing things that contribute to others. Candlelight vigils and prayer groups can encourage togetherness and reassurance within faith communities.
Counseling Center
Lucina Hall, room 320
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phone: 765-285-1736
Fax: 765-285-2081
View E-mail Address