Disaster Struck... The Sausage Rolled Off the Pizza

I listen to the radio every morning of stories about Ukrainian families who are forced to leave their homes and scroll news for the latest updates on the war. I cry, shake my head, and ask myself, “Why is this happening?”

I feel helpless and despair begins to creep in about everything.

Falling into despair makes life very challenging. I have no resilience even for the little things.

It doesn’t help me, anybody around me, or people in Ukraine.

Take last night. I made pizza and tried to slide the unbaked pie onto the stone in the oven. Disaster struck! Sausage rolled off into the oven. It was going create smoke and the fire alarms would go off! React, react, react!!!!

Not my best moment.

This was a big deal for me as I had no resilience.

So, I sat myself down and said, “Darce, how do I stay connected to difficult stories and be ok?”

This is what I answered to myself…

Take care of my physical, mental, and emotional needs. This is important because what happens in my life is my responsibility, nobody else’s. It’s similar to the old pre-flight speech from the flight attendants, put your oxygen mask on first, then help those around you.

This is what it looks like.

  • Move my body somehow. It can be a yoga practice, a dog walk, or dancing around my living room.

  • Notice my mental state. What am I thinking? Am I thinking supportive thoughts are am I mentally bringing myself down? I just notice. This is important because my thoughts will influence my emotions.

  • Notice my emotions. How do I feel and how do I want to feel?

I close this practice with gratitude. Gratitude for my loved ones, for what I receive and give every day.

I did this Monday morning and something incredible happened. I took action!

I did some research on how to support people in Ukraine. (I share resources at the bottom of the post)

Give yourself time to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It’s normal to feel angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, and despair with all we have faced in the last two years.

Don’t push discomfort down, it has something to tell you.

Running short on time? I have a shortcut for you.

To build a little resilience in your daily life try this…

  1. Seated, place your hands on your thighs and take three deep, even breaths

  2. Feel for sensations in your body: tightness in the chest, heavy feeling in the abdomen, perspiration… any signals your body might be giving you.

  3. Be with the sensations. They may shift or stay the same. That’s ok. You’re simply getting to know what you’re feeling.

That’s it!

By slowing down for a few minutes you can respond and take informed action. Whatever that may be for you.

For me, this week informed action is finding ways to help people in Ukraine.

I included a list of ways you can help and give if you are wondering what you can do. This is a trusted list from Montana’s PBS website.

Be well my friends.

Ways to help Ukraine

  • Donate to the Ukrainian Red Cross and the International Rescue Committee to help with on-site first aid and medical services.

  • Voices of Children provides emergency psychological assistance to affected Ukrainian children.

  • Sunflower of Peace has an ongoing fundraiser to prepare first aid tactical backpacks for paramedics and doctors.

  • The United Nations World Food Programme is on the ground delivering food to people who are fleeing the violence.

  • Meals will also be provided in Poland for incoming refugees by the World Central Chef Relief Team.

  • Vostok-SOS has hotlines open and the team is on the ground in the region helping people evacuate, providing humanitarian aid and psychosocial support.

  • The Kyiv Independent is now fundraising to continue its coverage of cyberattacks, bombings, and ground invasions from within the conflict. This comes following the termination of the Kyiv Post which was shut down after 26 years, including the dismissal of the entire team in November. The team then launched a new media outlet, the Kyiv Independent.

  • Doctors Without Borders is working to set up emergency response activities in Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. In the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, medical kits have been distributed to treat wounded people and telemedicine training for trauma care has been shared with 30 surgeons from eastern Ukraine.

  • Ukraine-based, local response teams also have ongoing fundraisers, including United Help Ukraine, Razom for Ukraine, and Hospitallers which are seeking donations in order to provide on-site medical care and trauma kits to medical professionals.

  • UNICEF currently has a team of people working in Ukraine and nine UNICEF-supported child protection mobile teams that are helping children with psychosocial care, mental health support, and protection services.

  • USA for UNHCR is providing emergency services and tarps to protect displaced families from inclement weather. They also provide cash assistance vulnerable refugee families living outside of camps.

How to avoid charity scams

  • Make sure that where you’re donating is a legitimate organization or a group that has a proven record of delivering aid.

  • Do your research to determine if organizations are legitimate. Charity Navigator lists reputable organizations. Great Nonprofits and Give Well has reviews of nonprofit groups and can help you see how much of your money goes directly to relief.

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