26 April 2022

The war will not be over soon. Nobody can wait through it. A proactive approach on the other hand can help. Vsevolod Zelenin, MIM-Kyiv visiting professor and CEO of the ZeleninLab is a strong believer in action. Here are the highlights of his episode of the MIM Toolbox series.

When war erupts people pull themselves together at the beginning. They employ every resource they have to move or accomplish something. Then they got tired and often exhausted. After that people can either get distressed and turn into victims or mobilize inner resources once again to start anew under new conditions and in the new reality.

Measuring against pre-war time or post-victory is no good. Winning over our weaknesses, despair, and carelessness is our first step. We are suffering from aggression and conflicts between ourselves. We need to learn how to deal with that. We need to build our inner world and learn how to grow. We become winners when we learn how to cope with the stress and challenges. You either overcome the stress now or you are doomed to cope with the PTSD throughout your lifetime.

There are six pools of resources. Identifying which fits you is critical. Taking care and playing with your pet makes us strong. So does taking care of plants. Socializing with non-toxic people is yet another source of personal strength. Enjoying landscapes helps to cope with negative emotions as well. Art has therapeutic power. Creating your routines helps to overcome stress as well.

Most people are maladapted to war conditions. They are used to refereeing to some abstract things when making their decisions in a time of peace. During wartime, only a reality check can be a benchmark for your decisions. If your town or city or village is turning into a battlefield, you must flee. Let me give you an example from my colleague who has a friend in Bucha. She could not decide to leave the town for three weeks. Four rescue missions came to her and left without her. One day russians shoot her leg off. So, she is in the hospital and is complaining. However, she could have left and stayed alive.

You do not need your pre-war strategies to make the right decision. If the frontline is close just leave. Please do not burden our military with taking care of your safety. Even if you decided on waiting which I believe is the worst decision, please pay very close attention to the environment and be ready to rush to a shelter at any moment. Staying realistic saves lives. For more advice visit the link