What’s happening in the world at the moment really is heartbreaking, wherever you are. It can be met with feelings of guilt because we’re so lucky to not be in that situation that we almost feel bad for not being able to save people in need. Some things really are out of our control. But offering our helping hand when and where we can may not only help those in need, but enable us to look after our mental health too. And this can put us in a better position to help others by being able to think straight because we’ve taken care of ourselves first. This might feel selfish, but putting ourselves first and taking care of our wellbeing helps us to be the best version of ourselves - then we can think clearly and more efficiently for those who need our support. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup!
When we’re anxious about something we can’t really control, sometimes helping in any way we can can help us feel just a bit better. None of us can control what’s happening in Ukraine, as much as we probably wish we could. But focusing on this is just going to leave us feeling defeated and pretty down. Shifting our perspective so that we focus on the things we can do in this situation can make us feel more in control and therefore we can be more actionable in looking after our own wellbeing and helping others where we can. On that note, we understand that everyone across the UK wants to support Ukraine where they can, so here’s a short guide with some useful resources that inform us what we can be doing to offer our help.
So, what can we do?
Turn your thermostat down
One bizarre thing that the government has been asking the UK is to turn our thermostats down. It may seem a bit too simple and ineffective, but an article in The Week stated “the global energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency, has produced a ten-point proposal showing how Europe could cut its consumption of Russian gas by about “about a third” through taking measures that include customers turning down their thermostats by just 1C from an average of 22C to 21C.”.
Volunteering and donations
Volunteering and cash donations are always going to be helpful in this type of situation. So if this is something that you can provide, find out what your local community might need and how you can support them. We’ve been seeing a lot of donation opportunities across social media, and whilst this is of course extremely important and helpful for those in need, many places are receiving a lot of specific items, and are in need of other things. So consider checking with your local donation point if there is anything they’re lacking in that you could offer. If you would like to donate to charities that are supporting the crisis in Ukraine, TimeOut put together a helpful guide here.
Consider what you’re reading and sharing online
It’s of course helpful for people to be sharing things on social media to raise awareness and share information about what is happening in Ukraine so that we know firstly what’s going on, and therefore how we can help. However, like anything on social media, it’s important to only share information that is real and from a reliable source. Otherwise, we could be contributing to misinformation and encouraging people to take wrong actions. The Share Checklist can help you to decide if information is trustworthy before you interact with or share it on your social media platforms.
Become a sponsor
If you want to take a bit more action, the UK government launched a scheme allowing individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to house Ukrainian refugees, even if they have no ties to the UK. Sponsors will receive payments of £350 per month as a thank you. Additional payments will be provided to school-aged children and those arriving under the scheme will have access to full NHS care and be entitled to work in the UK, Mr Gove has said. Those wishing to take part in the scheme are being asked to register their interest on the new Homes for Ukraine website.
Final note: We really encourage you to still consider your personal well being whatever is happening in the world right now. Looking after ourselves allows us to be our best self, and then we will be in a better place to help others. Focusing on the things we can control can help us to stay grounded, which is important in times of crisis - whatever that might be.