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No.3 [late edition]
4th March 2022
" You cannot not be depressed if you look around at the problems of the world. That's why the message is: don't think globally, act locally. Act locally first, see that you can make a difference, and when you make a difference, you want to do more. Taking that first step gives you hope that your actions do make a difference. And then you want to do more. And if you do more it's like a feedback loop, and you inspire others to join you"
Jane Goodall
It's hard to know what to say, what to do, to help at the moment. I have agonised over what to write this week (hence the late edition). It seems impossible to carry on as usual without talking about the utterly horrific events that we have witnessed unfolding in Ukraine. But I also know that many of us feel helpless and overwhelmed by the enormity of what is happening. In the end, I decided that offering words of comfort and support is something maybe I can help with just a little bit.  As individuals, we might have little power to change the situation, but we can to some extent control the way we feel and react when we see the news. Here are a few suggestions how
1. Help where you can

Although donating to humanitarian charities such as the Red Cross and Choose Love is the most obvious way to help, we aren't all in a position to do this.  Know that sharing the work of such organisations  raises awareness, which also helps, as does signing petitions. Do what you can.  It has been incredibly heartening (and entirely unsurprising - we are after all pretty good eggs) to see how the small business community has immediately rallied, creating products to fundraise and artwork to raise awareness - i've accompanied each of these points with just some of them.

2. Connect with others

Share your concerns, put the world to right. It might not actually help the world, but grabbing a cuppa and voicing your concerns to a loved one will definitely help you. There is some science* in this. Putting into words how you feel, draws you from the amygdala into the prefontal cortex (the decision making bit) part of your brain, which actually changes the way in which you think and helps you to take action.
(I would perhaps caveat this by suggesting you find a friend who is level-headed or like-minded for this job.  Heated debates probably aren't the one right now)

3. Disconnect from your news feed

Try to avoid consuming news 24/7. It feels like a bit of a luxury to suggest this, when what we are watching is others' reality, but I do think that a continuous stream of information is not only not especially great for our mental health, but also makes us a little reactive, and not so able to take a step back and process the intricacies, context and nuaince of what is happening quite so clearly. I would like to point you in the direction of this account. As well as being a maker and running her own small buiness, Lydia  previously worked for the UK government in Brussels, and gives really considered obvservations on current affairs.
4. Decompress
Go for a walk, have a bath, read a book.. when you know you have taken in what you should and done what you can (see steps 1-3) hopefully you can feel a little more comfortable in doing this.  It really is important to protect your own mental health and wellbeing

I hope this will help a little. It's a mad, bad world. But love, kindness and compassion cannot be beaten and hope can never be taken away.

Always remember to look for the light
*this is not stationery science, but actual science, i'm not making it up this week
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