We Are at War: Dealing with Reality and Uncertainty (war3)

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Taking Time Out From War

by Dr. Kathy Bosch, Extension Family Life Specialist, University of Nebraska Panhandle Research & Extension Center

Although it is important to spend time listening to the news and be aware of current affairs, watching the details of the war, day in and day out, can cause anxiety and depressive symptoms. It doesn't matter whether we are for or against the war, the news reports contain difficult and unpleasant information often with visual details. The many news options provide us with different opinions regarding the war plan, tactics, happenings and impact. The news may seem harsh and confusing at times, but it is a blessing that we live in a country where we have the right to choose how we believe and speak our opinion without the loss of human rights including the loss of life!

My brother, Peter Bosch, is a photojournalist who has been in Iraq for two over months. He cautions us to sift through the mounds of information and not believe everything we see and hear. In other words, we need to take responsibility to get information from a variety of sources. We do not want to 'bury our heads in the sand' because we care about the well-being of individuals and families in the United States and around the world. But we cannot allow ourselves to be consumed by news of the war.

Our military, government leaders, and others serving overseas cannot take a break from the war– but we can! We need to take care of our health and personal needs, care for our intimate partner relationship, and nurture relationships with family and friends. We need to tap into our support network and gain from others' strengths and sense of humor. It doesn't take much money to have a good time and take a break from the discouraging news of war. However, you need to set priorities and determine who and what is most important to you.

Some ideas for celebrating life and having fun on a budget:

  • Take a walk with a friend
  • Eat a candlelight dinner with your partner
  • Take your children to the park or the zoo
  • Pack a picnic lunch and eat it outdoors on a warm day; eat the picnic on the living room floor if the weather is chilly
  • Call someone you care about
  • Plan a weekend visit to see family or friends
  • Invite friends over for a chili supper or potluck party
  • Rent a movie and make some popcorn
  • Dance in the living room to your favorite music
  • Do some yard work and breathe in fresh air
  • Write a letter, send a card, or email someone special
  • Plan a special meal for no special reason
  • Take treats to work
  • Read a magazine or a good book
  • Volunteer some time to a charity or organization who needs your help
  • Be a caring listener to a friend or someone who just needs to talk
  • Tell someone how much they mean to you
  • Find something beautiful in each day!

Photo Credit - USDA

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