The initial numbness, fear, and shock have subsided, and I can now speak about it. On October 7 at 6:30 am, Hamas attacked Israel, toughness, and brutality.
I won’t be sharing information related to military operations, as there are already numerous sources covering that. I arrived in Israel in 2018, and while I’ve experienced previous instances of sirens and escalations in the south, this is my first experience of war. In my community, there are many new repatriates. Some of them left Israel for a while, but the majority stayed and are doing remarkable things. They volunteer, deliver food and essentials to all parts of the country for soldiers, host people from the South in their apartments, take care of pets, and help share only verified and accurate information about the situation in Israel these days. I deeply admire these strong and brave people and their willingness to contribute!
However, I also understand how challenging it is for all of us to cope with stress and anxiety. So, I’d like to share what personally helped me maintain my sanity these days.
- Information Hygiene
To be honest, I started feeling anxious a month ago. One of the first steps I took to cope with it was to unsubscribe from all Telegram news channels, Instagram and Facebook news profiles. Now, I primarily read the official press service of the army, and browse several official news channels.
To keep the information hygiene I highly recommend not believing news that isn’t linked to an official source, as there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Information war can sometimes be more powerful than missiles.
In order to function effectively, help others, and keep your family calm, you must first take care of yourself. This can vary from person to person, whether it involves sports, conversations with loved ones, or breathing practices. Here are some examples of self-care activities that can help you cope with stress and anxiety:
Deep Breathing Exercises and Meditation: Practice deep, diaphragmatic breathing to calm your nervous system.There are many guided meditation apps and videos available to get you started.
Yoga or any sport activities: Physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Whether it’s walking, jogging, swimming, or any other form of exercise, it can help alleviate stress and anxiety.
Adequate Sleep: Ensure you get enough sleep.
Healthy Eating: A balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can positively impact your mood and energy levels. Usually people in stressful situations or overeating, or don’t eat at all. Try to find balance here.
Social Connection: Spend time with loved ones or friends. Social support can be a great buffer against stress and anxiety.
Limiting Caffeine and Alcohol: Excessive caffeine and alcohol intake can exacerbate anxiety.
Mindfulness: Being present in the moment and acknowledging your feelings without judgment can reduce anxiety.
Art and Creativity: Engage in creative activities like painting, drawing, or crafting.
Digital Detox: Take a break from screens, particularly social media and news, which can contribute to stress and anxiety.
Seek Professional Help: If your stress and anxiety become overwhelming, it’s important to seek help from a therapist or counselor who can provide guidance and support.
- Volunteering and Support
I, personally, don’t have the energy for physical volunteering, as all my strength is dedicated to my child, family, and maintaining my sanity. Instead, I provide support with financial contributions. But here I’d like to emphasize that the people of Israel have demonstrated incredible unity and willingness to help their neighbors. There are numerous communities, organizations, and groups collecting necessities, food, and money. I urge you to verify the legitimacy of the organizers, as unfortunately, there are also scammers.
- Avoid Comparisons
It’s a common but understandable human error to try to find similarities between the current conflict and past experiences. However, it’s essential to avoid making such comparisons. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is distinct from other conflicts like Ukraine, Russia, or Karabakh. There are numerous books, materials, and documentaries available to better understand the issue.
- Work or study
Work provides a structured routine, which can be comforting for many people. Having a set schedule and tasks to accomplish can help create a sense of stability in your life. Plus it may distract you from a doom scrolling social media and news channels.
Learning new skills or improving existing ones at work can be intellectually stimulating and personally rewarding. Some educational institutions have decided to suspend their studies, especially offline ones, in recent days. However, the majority are continuing their lessons. At TripleTen, we offer our students comprehensive emotional and practical support. Our courses are available online, allowing those who feel comfortable to continue their programs. Additionally, we have made our project deadlines more flexible, enabling our students to manage their tasks and dedicate time to study in the way that is most convenient for them.
Engaging in work or study can serve as a temporary distraction from external stressors, helping you shift your focus and temporarily alleviate anxiety.
Most companies have allowed their employees to work from home these days. It’s important to realize that waging a war is costly, and the economy cannot afford to come to a halt. It’s impossible to make predictions at this point; so we will have to assess the situation as it unfolds.
And most importantly, people of Israel, stay strong!