NPR offered up five tips on how to survive a stressful news cycle and it is peak NPR. The suggestions are really just how most adults go about their lives but the liberals at NPR are prepared to tell their audience how to live their lives. The reactions to the thread on Twitter taken from the article published online were richly deserved.
Let me be clear. I am not making light of mental illness. I am mocking NPR, though, because, as far as I know, their newsrooms are not filled with mental health professionals. The article was not an interview with a mental health professional who could offer specific coping mechanisms for those who may need it. The article is just a list of tips that are how most people just get through any day, whether war has broken out or not. Just as when liberal Democrats delivered helpful tips on how to survive Thanksgiving with a Republican uncle, this list of suggestions assumes that grown adults are not capable of living with any sort of emotional conflict. These tips assume a person can’t get out of bed in the morning because a war is being reported on their television screen.
These are the tips NPR offers. I have added bold type for each one.
Breathe. If you’re feeling your body contracting or overheating, step away from whatever you’re doing and take a deep breath. Here’s a five-finger breathing exercise that can bring you back to the moment. Or if you want to take it a step further, try these meditation and mindfulness exercises for beginners.
Get moving. Do something that feels good for your body and helps you get out of your head. We’ve got lots of tools to help: whether that’s deep cleaning or comfort decorating to create a cozier space, tips on learning a new skill or jump starting your exercise routine.
Nourish yourself. The kitchen is a safe space for a lot of us. Maybe this is the weekend that you finally re-create Grandpa’s famous lasagna, or learn how to make a prettier pie, or maybe just lose yourself in some kitchen organization. Don’t have every ingredient for that lovely Deb Perelman dessert? Don’t stress — we’ve got you covered on how to make food substitutions, simple.
Stay connected. When the news is scary, it’s easy to get lost in our own heads. Reach out to loved ones instead. That could look like sitting down to write an actual letter to a relative, spending time with neighbors, playing (or creating!) games with family, or even taking the time to write down those generational stories. If your little ones are struggling to go to bed at the end of the day, try talking to them about the heavy news head-on.
Or sign off. Remember that it’s OK not to be plugged into the news. By turning off your alerts or checking the headlines once or twice a day, you may be able to feel more grounded and prioritize yourself and loved ones.
How better could the people running the “Life Kit” section of NPR illustrate the difference between American liberal reaction to war and the strong, brave, and bold leadership we see coming out of Ukraine? The coverage of the war in Ukraine leaves us praying for Ukrainians and admiring the new face of the fight for his country’s sovereignty, President Zelensky. Zelensky is the hero that freedom-loving Americans have been waiting for, whether we realized it at first or not. We should be cheering for him, not grabbing a blanket and curling up in the fetal position on the couch.
Zelensky knows he’s a dead man walking. I hope that doesn’t prove to be true but it may. The 44-year-old comedian and actor is not a politician and he’s the perfect leader for his country. He doesn’t act or speak like a politician. He is staying put, with his family, and not leaving the country to save his own life. Compare Zelensky’s commitment to his country and the Ukrainian people to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, as Jazz pointed out today. Or think about how Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fled across the border to the United States when he felt threatened by horn-blowing truckers in Ottawa. Both men acted as disgraceful cowards. Zelensky’s unwavering patriotism and bravery at this moment will be remembered for decades to come.
As I write this on Saturday morning, it is being reported that at least 198 Ukrainians are dead and over 1,000 injured. The bravery and patriotism of the Ukrainian people is awe-inspiring. Kyiv is still standing, it hasn’t been taken by Putin and that is something that was in question when I went to bed last night. Putin was expected to increase efforts in his brutal invasion into Kyiv and seize control. Putin must be surprised by how strong and effective Zelensky’s defense has been so far. Former President Poroshenko has vowed to fight for Ukraine, standing defiantly and holding an AK-47 on camera as though he’ll be in the streets, too.
The NPR list of tips is embarrassing at this time in history. Americans are witnessing true leadership and I only wish we had more people in leadership roles in our own country. Zelensky is on his own with strong statements from Biden and NATO that there will be no help from troops on the ground. Zelensky came to Washington to plead for help. Biden gave him a photo op and sent him on his way. It is understandable that Biden doesn’t want to do anything to set off a war between two nuclear powers but by declaring early on that there is no circumstance that will trigger American military action in Ukraine, Biden and NATO invited Putin to take his shot now. Putin has been clear for months that he intends to put the old Soviet Union back together and he saw the opportunity to begin doing so when American military action was taken off the table.
Putin is a madman, a brutal dictator who does not care about own people. He doesn’t care about answering to anyone on the world stage. To hear Biden administration officials say that Putin will have to answer to Russian families if he pursues war and loss of Russian lives, as though that is a deterrent, is so incredibly naive. Putin doesn’t care about any of that. He just wants the power and the land. It isn’t lost on us that Putin seems to be slipping mentally and we know Biden is already doing so. Zelensky stands out as a young, bold leader that is so needed at this point in history. God bless him.
Americans overwhelmingly want to help Ukraine, inspired by Zelensky and the people around him. American veterans are helping American citizens and legal residents out of Ukraine, abandoned by the Biden administration. Putin watched Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and realized his time had come to put his plan into motion. That is why we are seeing war in Ukraine now.