Addressing feelings of helplessness

This article is going to stray away from financial topics because the geopolitical climate demands our attention.

The people of Ukraine are suffering and dying.

We as individuals are powerless to do anything other than watch it all unfold. As an empath, I have started and stopped listening to the news so many times in the last few days because the feelings that come up are overwhelming. The images of parents being torn from their children, the thoughts of men being forced to stay behind and fight, the sound of President Zelensky saying, “I need ammunition, not a ride,” knowing he and his family are being specifically targeted makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. Let’s take this time to reflect on what we can do in moments when we feel completely helpless.

One of the ways that may calm feelings of helplessness is to stay informed.

It sounds counterintuitive, but sometimes listening to snippets of the news can help us understand what is being done on a macroeconomic scale. New sanctions are levied each day, private corporations are leaving Russia, and foreign governments are taking action to provide monetary aid and military equipment to Ukraine. This all still falls in the realm of things we have no control over, but it helps to know that something is being done.

Another thing we can do to feel useful is to reach out to people in our lives that have been affected.

While it feels obvious to reach out to people who are directly impacted, such as people who may have family and friends living in Ukraine, we can also reach out to people in our lives to check in on how they are processing these events. Those of us with empathic natures may be carrying around a heavier heart than usual, even if we aren’t directly affected by the fighting. Now is the time to reach out to friends and neighbors to check in and offer emotional support.

As we sit back and watch history unfold…again… have faith in the fact that small gestures can have a big impact. Now is the time to stay connected with friends, family, and community. The truth is that when tragedy strikes, the only thing we have to get us through it is each other.

Please join me in taking a moment to send love, light, strength, and all the positive energy we can muster to the people of Ukraine. Please also think of the Russian civilians who are protesting against this invasion and being unduly punished for voicing their dissent. My heart breaks for everyone involved.

If you are struggling with feelings of helplessness, please reach out. I am here to help you process your experience. Schedule a complimentary consultation today.



Christina Gatteri, CFP

Certified Financial Planner

Warwick, Rhode Island 02886

(401) 203-9749


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