Postponed life syndrome or why Ukrainians put life on pause.

“Now is not the time,” “you need to wait,” “it is necessary to endure,” “the war will end,” and “after the victory we are with you.” These and many other lines are like drops of water that are very similar. They are statements that are constantly said on the lips of many Ukrainians. 

Since February 24, the life of Ukrainians has become black and white. The days are no longer counted and no longer make any sense. They serve only as a backdrop for a peaceful future. 

Previously, millions of people, every day, led a busy lifestyle. They worked, traveled, rested, developed, and were not “slowing down” for a second. However, rockets, explosions, blockades, and sirens suddenly burst into the busy lives of Ukrainians. 

Despite this, the brain refuses to believe what is going on. The mind needs time to come to terms with the new reality. The situation worsens because people’s happy lives were taken by force and not freely given away. 

The brain tries to relieve emotional pressure, hoping that real LIFE will arrive soon, which you can enjoy, but you need to endure and wait for the moment. This postponed life syndrome can display itself in different ways. Sometimes people live with it for years without even realizing that something is wrong in their life. 

Let’s define the “symptoms” of postponed life.

  • You deny yourself day-to-day things under the excuse that they used to be part of an ordinary routine. All because now is not the time. It’s not the time to go to beauty salons; it’s not the time to drink coffee on the terrace, and it’s not the time to buy expensive and beautiful clothes. 
  • You forbid yourself to have fun. Even the thought of relaxing for half an hour in the bathroom or going on a date with your loved one makes you feel guilty. All because someone is hurting and feeling bad right now. 
  • When you are in another country, you feel like just a spectator. You just look at other people living their everyday lives, walking the dog, going to work. 
  • You only have thoughts about the future by saying the word ‘after’ to everything. After the war. After returning home. After a turning point. 
  • Believing that everything will be the same after the “pause” as before.

Did you recognize yourself? Let’s see how to solve it. 

It is imperative to solve this, especially if you realize that this state has continued for a while. After all, every minute exhausts your nervous system even more. 

Therefore, here are some simple tips to help you live in the “moment” and become a little happier:

  • It is necessary to recognize the problem. Make it no longer possible to look for excuses or postpone it for later. 
  • You need to accept the past is in the past. The war has left a significant mark on your mind. But this does not mean that it will be worse, it will just be different. 
  • Do not deny yourself having dreams for the future. But transform them into plans. And be sure to set yourself deadlines. For example, you might dream of learning a foreign language. So, set a goal to learn 150 new words by the end of the week. 
  • Start with the most straightforward plans and implement them. For example, write a resume, enroll your child in kindergarten, or buy a new cup of tea. By doing this, you will quickly get the result and, as a result, get additional motivation. 
  • If you are in another country – try to get comfortable. Take an interest in local history and culture, and visit the sights. Also, learn a couple of phrases in the local language. 
  • Look for information about courses and training to gain new knowledge and skills. Many companies offer them to Ukrainians for free.

Finally, and most importantly, trust the world and your body. Your body adapts to various circumstances and constantly strives to return to its former, familiar way of life. Just let it get on with things.

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