Anyone else feeling overwhelmed?

It’s all too much.

  • War in Ukraine is the latest horror story. All we can do is stand back and watch as the Russian army tyrannizes a civilian population.
  • The pandemic is not over, although there is a lot of noise from dangerously ignorant people that it is.
  • Climate change is still creeping inevitably over the world, and no one is doing anything significant about it.

  • You know what else no one is doing anything about? Economic inequity. Billionaires got even richer during the pandemic.

  • Our country is torn apart by racism, and it’s getting worse. It’s flaring up at all levels of society.

  • Somehow, the Right has decided that sexual differences are the biggest issue now. They’re passing laws that will kill transgender people.

  • We’re racing towards a 2024 election that will be more divisive than ever, and that will probably conclude with conservatives trying to dismantle democracy.

  • Personally, my mother is going in for heart surgery next week, & I’m facing the prospect of retirement in a few years.

  • You can probably think of many more.

I’m a science nerd and teacher. I’m completely helpless in the face of circumstance, and I feel that.

How are you all coping?


  1. rejiquar says


    Stringing beads. Besides calming me, it brings a bit of happiness to the one who’s given me so many she can no longer see well enough to use, and to others who find joy in the pieces.

    It’s not much, but it’s what I can do.

  2. Alverant says

    “probably conclude with conservatives trying to dismantle democracy”
    It’s already happening with voter suppression efforts and bills designed to make sure Democratic areas don’t have the voice they should.

  3. weekendeditor says

    When I became a retired scientist a couple years ago, I started a blog. Because, you know, everybody says blogs are passé, and now so am I also passé.

    You could always… Oh, wait. I guess you already have a blog. :-)

  4. snarkrates says

    The way I look at things is that there is no way I can make things right regarding any of the big issues all by myself. All I can do is push in the right direction. And wrt the big issues, I know the right direction. And I just have to hope that when I get tired that there is someone else out there who can take over some of the load pushing things back in the right direction. And I need to let others know that I’ll take over when they get tired. I don’t have control of the outcome. I can only control the perseverance and stubbornness with which I will stick to my guns.

    And then there are the small things. I can try to help out people I care about–people who also want to push in the right direction. I can try to explain to those who don’t understand why we’re pushing so hard–and who knows, maybe they’ll start pushing with us, too. Or maybe they’ll push against us a bit less. The small things are important. They keep us strong. They keep our allies strong. They give us small victories.

    If you are feeling hopeless, do some small thing that makes an ally’s life better. You will feel less hopeless. Have compassion for yourself. It will make you stronger. And if you are pushing in the right direction, never give up. Ask for help if your strength is flagging, but never stop pushing.

  5. Hex says

    I’m not doing well. I’m trans and neurodivergent and despite being happy about who I am and surrounded by people I love, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to want to stay in this world full of hatred, suffering, ignorance, and inaction. It won’t be long before my state (Ohio) passes an anti trans bill, and they are already on the cusp of passing a bill preventing universities from teaching CRT. My loved ones are suffering and crying out for people to stand up and recognize that if people in power have no repercussions for spreading hatred and lies they are just going to ****ing keep doing it. I’m so exhausted, depressed, and disappointed in humanity.

  6. Akira MacKenzie says

    Not well. Not just because many of these things are happening, but no one is willing to do anything about it.

  7. Hex says

    I should specify that when I said “it won’t be long before Ohio passes an anti-trans bill”, I had in mind one that explicitly prevents many of us from accessing puberty blockers and HRT like Texas’s governor suggests. It briefly slipped my mind that they’ve already passed one last year allowing doctors to deny LGBTQ+ people healthcare on so-called “moral grounds”.

  8. ANB says

    School superintendent here who has just thrown in the rag this month (effective June).

    I live proximate to wine country and right on the Mendocino (CA) coast. Need I say more?

  9. brightmoon says

    I’m a scientifically literate Black woman . I’m not coping well because 3 parts of my identity as a person are undergoing abusive attacks

  10. birgerjohansson says

    We have to embrace the tiny nuggets of good news where we can find them. I just read Biden has nominated Ketanji Brown Johnson to become te first Black woman on the supreme court.

  11. davidc1 says

    Thanks for asking,well I care for my twin brother ,he has a learning disability also suffers from epilepsy.
    He is currenty falling over a lot,he spent 6 weeks in hospital last Nov/Dec because of a fall.
    He is loosing weight,he could pass for an extra in a Holocaust movie.
    And he is waiting to see someone from the blood mob because something was amiss with his last blood test.
    And the brain doc said going by the last MRI he had in 2019,his mid brain area is shrinking,and there is
    a chance he might have PSP,which is just peachy.As it is he can just about hobble along using a walking frame.
    So I am feeling rather pissed at the moment,my RA is under control but it still hurts sometimes.

    My mother said before meeting my dad he was involved with a Gypsy wetch,she wanted him to leave home and travel the roads and byways of jolly old England,but he said no.
    So I think the vindictive cow put a curse on him and his children.
    So all in all I don’ see any future for my brother and I.

  12. says

    Not so much overwhelmed. I can always focus on what I can do. I am always intense, the valance changes. I can go on about serious things, but can’t do small talk well. There’s always a dumpster fire in my head, at least the raging chimpanzees have almost left.

    But then there’s that part of me I’m working on now. Maybe it’s always been overwhelmed? I’m still identifying new variables. I don’t know.

  13. robro says

    We’re racing towards a 2024 election that will be more divisive than ever…

    This years election is just as important.

    I’m facing the prospect of retirement in a few years.

    Me, too, although at almost 74 I’m way overdue. The pressure is on because my position is moving to another part of the org so I’m headcount. But, I still have an adult son who can’t provide his own health insurance, plus my partner hasn’t made it to Medicare age quite yet.

    How are you all coping?

    Sleep a lot. Cognitive therapy every two weeks. A puff on my pot pipe while taking walks. A weekly beer Zoom chatting with friends. A rare speck of Xanax.

  14. davidc1 says

    PS,plus did I tell you those bastards at Shell Energy want me to pay an extra £666 a year.
    Bastards,I think it is them that have posted a profit of so many billions,bastards.

    On a more cheery note,I see the warm hearted people of The UK are
    showing their support of the people
    of Ukraine,which the big old sceptic in me think will vanish in the haze the moment a boat load of them washes up
    on the shores of Kent.
    I seem to be using words from songs again,I can’t help myself.

  15. blf says

    At the moment, more annoyed than anything else: I’m waiting for A so I can send to bureaucracy B a requested C to obtain D so that bureaucracy E will send me F. In the meantime, bureaucracy G has been sending me threatening letters despite already having what they need. And this morning, bureaucracy H asked me to contact them, so I did, and got exactly nowheres… (And yes, AH are all different!) And now that I think about it, there’s impending issue J which means I must soon deal with site K, albeit in the past JK has gone fairly smoothly.

  16. flexilis says

    How am I coping? Escapist literature, including fantasy, scifi, and popularizations of cutting-edge science for the lay person. And fishing, when spring comes. And volunteering with special needs teenagers.

  17. climateteacherjohnj says

    I’m grateful for your blog PZ. Your words help me cope with living amongst the crazies. I get a good laugh and some of your insights stick with me for a long time like, “oh yeah, he gets it!” and, “dang, wish I’d thought of that!”
    I’ve got a longer thread in answer to this post in the Mastodon Fediverse space. I hope you get a chance to read it.
    John J

  18. skeptuckian says

    Even in these times, we are all living some of the easiest lives ever in the history of humanity.

  19. Akira MacKenzie says

    Right now my attempts at coping include miniature painting (I’m painting a fantasy army for a friend that will use them at an upcoming convention.), writing RPG materials, and playing with my 3D printers. I’ve stopped drinking months ago, but I’m looking for an alternative.

  20. brightmoon says

    Skeptuckian I was thinking the same thing the other day . We live better than medieval royalty . Heat ,light and cooking fuel at the touch of a button or turn of a dial . Walking a few feet to get food and cleaning supplies . Water we don’t have to fetch etc

  21. Dennis K says

    As a devout nihilist, I just sit back and watch it happen. I’m old and have no offspring to worry about (thank the fates for that!). I count myself among the rare few organisms on this planet who get to watch The Great Filter deal with our brand of “intelligence”. If shit gets bad for me locally, I have a bug-out bag with some fun chemicals and a gun.

    Life has suffered horrors beyond reckoning on this planet for hundreds of millions of years and I have no doubt this is common throughout the cosmos. Such is the consequence of slag from burned-out stars coming together to form organic molecules for a short time.

  22. HidariMak says

    Trump is already becoming less of a “positive” influence to the Republican party. His endorsement now more often then not means that his candidate will get less money and lower rankings in the polls. There are also reports that he may already be out of “cash” money, having to instead sell properties and rely on his SuperPAC funds. His last 10 years of accounting records being discredited by his accounting firm means he’ll find it even more difficult to sell his properties, much less get any sort of loans. The 38% of the Trump party are battling against the 62% of the Republican party, shrinking each other’s votes.

    In a few months time, Trump’s crimes and his constantly shrinking to nil wealth should become very public knowledge, and multiple details of multiple court cases against him will become common knowledge. Hopefully, those Republicans who wrapped themselves with the Trump brand will be regretting that decision. Matt Gaetz’s charges of sex trafficking and pedophilia will also be making headlines around the midterm elections, and others who were involved in the insurrection such as Lauren Boebert and Madison Cawthorn should also be getting their much deserved press coverage. As Trump and his cronies becomes more toxic, those who are not in his camp will realize that both their own future and the future of their party, will be dependent on distancing themselves from Trump.

    The Democrats won’t have an easy time this November. But neither will the Republicans, which means that it will be up to the Democratic campaign teams and the Democratic voters.

  23. PaulBC says

    Let’s see, a few medical concerns for myself and family that turned out not to be major crises at least so far. So every time I think, hmm… I should feel relieved, what’s that other thing nagging me? Oh yeah, Russia invaded Ukraine. If I don’t feel overwhelmed, it’s mostly because I can’t do anything about most of what PZ has listed above.

  24. springa73 says

    skeptuckian @27

    True, although rather than making me feel better, that thought tends to make me feel guilty for feeling bad.

    I actually haven’t been feeling that bad lately, but (as is typical for me), I do feel somewhat guilty for feeling good.

  25. Rich Woods says

    How are you all coping?

    I was able to take early retirement in 2020 after years of planning and saving, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. No regrets.

    I do have the occasional bad day where I start to read the news in the morning and then stop abruptly and studiously ignore it for the remainder of the day. But all the bad news is in regard to things which I can do nothing about bar writing the occasional email or donating a few quid to a worthy cause. I’ve learned — hopefully — not to let the things I can’t affect concern me, at least not until the heaving globe of fusing hydrogen next casts its photons upon me.

  26. René says

    How are you all coping?

    Not at all, frankly. In addition to the end of the world, I am suffering from getting my new pc to get along with my router. (Happily, got my old pc working, after a 45 mins update.)

    That it is Путин causing the problems, I wouldn’t have predicted, but I hope not to survive long enough to see humanity perish.

  27. René says

    Since I more or less mentioned anticipating witnessing in my lifetime humanity’s demise, I think it is a fun exercise to calculate the place of impact from PZ’s illustration above.

  28. birgerjohansson says

    Is Cawthorn the eejit that want to wreck social programs to force the elderly to work longer? Let’s crowdsource TV ads to make his vicious intentions widely known.
    On a more local level, I feed the wild birds to help them survive the winter. If I was a car rally enthusiast I might follow the winter rally taking place at Umeå.
    And if you follow online science sites there is a steady trickle of good news about better understanding of cancer and of Alzheimer’s disease, paving the way for ever better treatments.

  29. birgerjohansson says

    There has been more than ten thousand generations since homo sapiens sapiens emerged, but we may live in the one that can witness the defeat of cancer.
    I try to keep that in mind.

  30. hillaryrettig1 says

    PZ you are one of the people who help me cope.

    I’m also optimistic based on the younger generation, who seem much more attuned to social justice issues than their elders. A lot of the awful stuff is truly awful, but it’s basically reaction. Society is evolving despite the evil peoples’ attempts to hold it back.

  31. birgerjohansson says

    About coping with bad news- Stephen Colbert and the people in his team are geniuses at finding humor in an otherwise dark background. Likewise, Seth Myers and Trevor Noah.

  32. blf says

    @40, “Is Cawthorn the eejit that want to wreck social programs to force the elderly to work longer?”

    Yes, Madison Cawthorn unveils his Contract with America that destroys social security to incentivize elderly to work (essentially quoted in full):

    US Rep Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has revealed his New Contract with America that’s designed to destroy Social Security, one of the most successful and life-saving programs in US history, to incentivize the elderly to return to work.

    That’s just one aspect of what Cawthorn describes as a 10-point plan that reads like a far right-wing dream from capitalist kingpins to return America to the days of child labor, seven-day work weeks, and no retirement for senior citizens. But it does call for the federal government to promote and celebrate the American manufacturing and agriculture industry by incentivizing domestic production, despite the US economy being so on fire the Federal Reserve is poised to dramatically raise interest rates to cool off spending and so-called “inflation.”

    The youngest member of Congress, currently facing a legal battle that could ban him from keeping his seat over his role in the January 6 insurrection, explained to Fox News his “new Contract With America is really a “retort” to the Green New Deal. [“borked “quoting” in the original]

    I think the Green New Deal is much less of a climate plan and much more of a Communist manifesto.

    Cawthorn does not reveal who actually wrote the plan, which is in the form of a House resolution […] — so it has zero chance of passing as long as Democrats hold the chamber.

    It includes slashing government spending by a third by 2031; enacting a balanced budget amendment; and abolishing the income tax and finding a replacement flat tax or consumption tax by 2026, Fox News adds.

    The contract also calls for abolishing the Department of Education, making English the official language of the United States, banning federal funding for critical race theory teachings, and enacting school choice on the federal level so federal dollars follow the students to their school of choice, including private religious schools.

    There’s also a companion video that looks more like a video game than a rational political agenda.

    Both the video and the resolution are available at the link. So might be the presumably-missing quote”.

  33. Gökhan Öztürk says

    I do idiot Role Play and just be ignorant for a while. And when I’m sure this is enough numbness I resurface.Do I sound rational?

  34. daulnay says

    Long walks in nature, especially forests. Skipping the news for a day once in a while. Rereading favorite books – I am currently rereading a fantasy novel, P.C. Hodgelll’s Godstalk. Also, playing computer games for when I’m really feeling stress – currently play Valheim, a Viking-styled exploration/survival game. You might enjoy it. It lacks nisse/tomte though. Spending time with family helps too – especially the wonderful kids. You’re fortunate enough to have grandkids, make the most of it. Lastly, find a good, curmudgeonly blog to read. Another like mind is a great comfort (and thank you for being here.)

    The world’s response to COVID has really raised my stress level – we don’t seem to have learned from it, with governments are still ignoring the scientists and doctors. I don’t see the world’s response to climate change following a better pattern, which will be catastrophic. So I’m doing what I can to change it, and trying not to worry about lesser problems.

  35. davidc1 says

    Sorry Doc,in my self pitying rant wot I posted earlier,I forgot to offer my best wishes to your mum regarding
    her upcoming surgery.

  36. Rob Grigjanis says

    Kathi Rick @47: That’s beautiful. Thanks.

    For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

  37. TGAP Dad says

    How are you all coping?

    In addition to all of the above, one of my work colleagues/friends is a Ukrainian immigrant (thankfully a US citizen now) with plenty of friends and family, including his mother, still in Kiev. I also lost my mother last month after a series of strokes and months of decline. So I’m not coping well at all, and can feel myself spiraling. Wordle has helped me cope.

  38. angoratrilobite says

    Really struggling. I feel helpless and depressed. The situation in the world will get very very bad before it (maybe?) gets better.

  39. davidc1 says

    This week I have been mostly reading East Of Ealing,by Robert Rankin.The third in his series of novels set in the London’s Brentford.
    For those of you who have never been to brentford,the only good things to come out of that dog forsaken place are
    Rankin’s Novels,and the M4 motorway heading West.

  40. says

    How are you all coping?

    Not too good. As a kid in the eighties, I was afraid of nuclear war.
    Now I feel like a kid again.

  41. davidc1 says

    @49 Sorry for your loss.Yes it difficult for them,one Ukrainian BBC reporter in London saw her family home destroyed live on TV .

  42. nomdeplume says

    Coping by stamp collecting – I’m a stamp collecting non-stamp collector…

    But it is therapeutic – I’m too far removed from academia now to contribute scientifically to ecological issues as I once did, and too old to run for parliament (as I once did). So I just sit here on the dock of the bay, wasting time…

  43. Dago Red says

    I seem to be in the minority, but I am still more optimistic than pessimistic these days — though, I agree, that the past few years have been more trying to my optimism than even the Nixon/Reagan/Bush(s) years were.

    I constantly remind myself that data points are often a deceptive indicator about which way the mean is actually trending, and given the lack of a solid metric of measuring “how’s things are going in the world”, we are largely blinded by current affairs (data) and don’t (or can’t) see the overall trend apparent in history (mean).

    The state of current events, to me, seem like outlier data rather than an indication of any real historical change to a long established upward trend toward a more egalitarian, fair, and liberal, world. Things may not recover in my lifetime (I likely have only a few years left), but despite that, I still see a long-term trend over my life that gives me great hope for a more reasonable future ahead (despite the machinations of a few powerful, but very wrong-headed, conservatives that seem determined to be on the wrong side of humanity’s future history).

  44. unclefrogy says

    How am I coping?
    not sure what coping means in this instance.
    I wake up everyday mostly in the morning some times in the early afternoon something to do with not going to bed until the wee hours start to get bigger.
    Do my stretches and make some coffee and eat and stuff. My feeling go from despair to anger to helplessness interspersed with joy and awe and contentment daily.
    The whole experience of all of this and of life is over whelming.
    In some ways I feel better then I have ever felt and have no way to describe what I mean .
    Closer to it I might say I feel better about all my feelings then ever before, I feel them and they change constantly
    I too could resort to song quoting and would fill up pages and pages of them
    of all of them that have gone I feel the worst about John Prine who died of covid in early 2000

  45. says

    (1) Being Cassandra sucks. I am from Poland, for years we were talking “Russia is evil” but Germans loved the russian gas and money talks, so everyone pretended that Putin is normal leader. The “I told you so” is rarely cry of joy, more outburst of despair.

    We cannot really save Ukrainians anymore, too late for material help, can’t go to war, but we should do our best to force our governments to make Russians pay.
    If the punishment is only financial, it is not a crime, it is a fee.
    If your first attempt is not punished, it’s not a failure, it’s an exercise.
    That works both for Jan 6 and annexation of Crimea.

    Sanctions after Crimea didn’t work, so there is no point to repeat same sanctions again.
    Lets make 2 things as a pillars of our (EU, NATO, USA) defense policy: Increase drastically oil and gas drilling to drop the price and eliminate russian imports AND invest billions into nuclear and green energy, into methods of excavation and recycling of Titanium, nickel, palladium and platinum (main russian exports). Also in material science, to create another alloys/metrials that have the same properties as known ones, but have different composition, so in the future we can replace one with another when another supply chain crisis hits.
    That way autocratic regimes are cut off from money now (lower prices) and in the future (lower demand) and overall faster transitions allows for limiting the effect of (3).
    Also lets sanction Russia to the ground. Putin is still angry that Obama called Russia “regional superpower” (considering one White House correspondence dinner it may be said Obama is most unfortunate roaster in history), so let’s show him that military might earns no respect, and lets starve Russians if necessary. We cannot send our soldiers, so it is better to fight Putin to the last Russian voter instead of to the last Ukrainian, Armenian and Georgian soldier.
    (4) and (6) With both sides in politics being bought by big business….
    Well, it was obvious dems are doomed the moment Biden was nominee. US seems to be cursed, 8 years of Obama brought up Trump, 4 years of Trump brought Obama II, what dem voters expected will happen next, after electing a guy who after being VP for Obama for 8 years is surprised Republicans don’t want to vote for his agenda?

    It’s so devastating to see all the dots connecting themselves and no one in power seems to even notice there are dots at all.

  46. says

    Years ago I worked in a toxic work environment with a proto-MAGA type who was to ensure his politics were well known. I would come home angry, upset and tired of the negativity and tea party mentality. A few weeks later I was looking at videos on youtube and noticed one on walking/biking trails where I lived. It peaked my interest and soon I got out daily to go on long walks. Then I bought a bicycle a year later and really got into exercise. That followed by hiking and kayaking. I found that when I got outside for exercise I would come back feeling more positive and the negative feelings would go away to a large extent. Studies show that getting outdoors helps with depression, which I can attest to. After my workouts I’d just end up at a park or near this pretty lake near where I lived. Just focusing on nature will help ease your mind and you’ll get some very needed vitamin D. Check to see if there any walking or hiking trails online. It will open up a new world for you and help with decompressing from real world woes.

  47. says

    Years ago I worked in a toxic work environment with a proto-MAGA type who was to ensure his politics were well known. I would come home angry, upset and tired of the negativity and tea party mentality. A few weeks later I was looking at videos on youtube and noticed one on walking/biking trails where I lived. It peaked my interest and soon I got out daily to go on long walks. Then I bought a bicycle a year later and really got into exercise. That followed by hiking and kayaking. I found that when I got outside for exercise I would come back feeling more positive and the negative feelings would go away to a large extent. Studies show that getting outdoors helps with depression, which I can attest to. After my workouts I’d just end up at a park or near this pretty lake near where I lived. Just focusing on nature will help ease your mind and you’ll get some very needed vitamin D. Check to see if there any walking or hiking trails online. It will open up a new world for you and help with decompressing from real world woes.

  48. Rob Grigjanis says

    Gorzki @58: Do you think it would have made a difference if NATO had responded to Putin’s military build-up at the Ukrainian border by deploying troops ASAP to the Polish/Slovakian (and maybe Hungarian/Romanian) borders with Ukraine?

  49. says

    I don’t mean to be fatalistic, but does anyone else feel like maybe we should just kill everybody and let the ferrets have a go?

  50. littlelocomotive says

    I’m reading a lot of ancient history, most recently Byzantine empire, a civilization in which the shit hit the fan 900 years ago and there’s no use worrying about it now.

  51. Peter Bollwerk says

    I’m not optimistic about any of that stuff getting significantly better in my lifetime. It’s pretty depressing and I feel similarly helpless. However, I have a weird talent to be able to disconnect from anything that worries me by playing video games, watching tv, etc…
    I think part of that “talent” is just being a cis straight white man with a good job. I’m really not personally affect by most of this shit, at least not directly. So I recognize that I have a large amount of privilege that allows me to disconnect from these problems if I want to. I’m keenly aware many, many people don’t have this option.

  52. DanDare says

    Fight. As best we can.
    Key battlefields:
    Setting up structures to bring the powerful to account. Things like the UN should not allow agressors to have a veto power on decissions about the agression.
    Education, education, education.
    Forging community.
    I’m not a young idealist, I’m an old one with experience.

  53. slatham says

    I coach teens in gymnastics. I’m not trying to turn them into Olympians or anything like that. I’m trying to teach them that difficulties always arise and we can work to shrink those obstacles. Then war breaks out an ocean or even just a border away, and I feel like a fraud — I’m absolutely powerless in facilitating a solution. I don’t think that I can make a difference. So I retreat until I can convince myself that we can still make positive change regarding some other problem. And then I go back to the gym and try to convince the kids that pointing their toes will make the world a better place.

  54. Walter Solomon says

    Since my older and only brother died unexpectedly from COVID in April 2020, I’ve been a mess. I’m a nocturnal, unemployed, overeater who’s overly worried about my mother’s health because I’m now afraid of being alone.

    So, yeah, I’m guess I’m good.

  55. chrislawson says


    Yeah, the fall of the Byzantine Empire is a great example of how an extraordinarily powerful empire can be destroyed by a handful of selfish, venal decisions even if it takes a few centuries for the destruction to work its way through to completion. I’m hoping we can come back from our current path but what I’m seeing is reckless, widespread, and fervent contagion of self-destructive behaviours.

  56. asclepias says

    I focus on what I can do. I joined Citizens’ Climate Lobby several years ago. Wow work to create the political will to do something about climate. Water has been a huge issue here in Wyoming in the last couple of years. We are going to be having a Zoom meeting with 4 economists from the University of Wyoming on April 25 to promote solutions. It sounds counterintuitive, but since climate change affects our natural resources, it affects the economy.

    I volunteer at the local animal shelter. Whatever the politics of the people working there, we are all working to get these animals into good homes and keep them comfortable while they are at the shelter. And I write and research, which are things I enjoy. You’ve just got to focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t.

  57. Mark Smith says

    Coping? Not exactly. Doing what I can to keep my anxiety at the sub-panic level. Distracting myself with frivolous and trivial concerns that I likewise have little or no control over.

  58. StevoR says

    Personally, yeah, do get overwhelmed at times.

    I find that pet therapy (am owned by an old kelpie and youngish but very chonky cat), nature therapy and family (where I am extremely lucky to have a very loving and supportive family esp parents) really help keep me as -relatively sane-ish as I am and make a huge difference. Also (well as part of) do volunteer work in belair National Park – and gardening at Old Government Hosue there whcih is helpful and something incredibly soothing and numinous* about being in the bush, in nature, helping Country and being able to keep learning and enjoying it.

    To use Carl Sagan’s term for the sense of awe, wonder, beauty , maybe “spirituality” as mentioned not that long ago in another Pharyngula thread.

  59. DLC says

    My older brother died yesterday. The infection and ulcers in my right leg are not healing as fast as they should. My rent is too high by half. My truck is rattling itself apart and needs about 1000 in maintenance. It’s worth $600 as a trade-in. But my job doesn’t pay enough to allow for rent, food, utilities and a car payment. Yeah, I got a full plate, and then there’s all the stuff PZ talks about. Oh, and I play MMOs and write. and reading. anything. books about cisco networking help me sleep. I’m onto my 6th decade, may not see my 7th, and won’t be able to retire at all. ever. But I’m still standing.

  60. asclepias says

    Actually, after considering this a bit more, I’m thinking that what keeps me so resilient is “where there’s life, there’s hope”. The world really has thrown its worst at me. I was hit by a car when I was 5 years old, but I survived (partly because I was still breathing on my own. Apparently, ventilation was not around in 1984). I got better very slowly, with the help of physical and occupational therapy, and later counseling and medication, which helped me through clinical depression. I am still trying to get a full Tim,e job, even though I finished graduate school nearly 20 years ago. I’m lucky in some ways, I think: I live with my parents and youngest sister, who has a genetic disability but is now fully employed, and my parents are fantastic. In some families, a catastrophic accident like I had drives a wedge between the parents, but in my family’s case, it brought us all closer together. It also helps to have grown up in a very Republican state. I know these people, and I have a bit more confidence that at least some of them are as upset with what is going on as I am (I have my cynical moments, of course, but when I see letters to the editor supporting Liz Cheney (sure, her voting record is horrible, but trust me, she’s the best of the crop), I feel better. Heck, my second-grade teacher wrote in saying how much she and her husband regretted voting for Cynthia Lummis.

    And yes, I have many, many cynical moments–you just happen to have caught me at a good time. There’s not much point in crossing a bridge until we come to it. Do I know what could (and probably will, at least with climate change) happen? Yes, and I’m not happy about it. But we are effecting change. John Barrasso didn’t believe in anthropogenic climate change when he was elected to the Senate, but the Lobby worked on him. It took some time, but now he is active in looking for solutions. They might not be my group’s preferred solution, but it’s better than nothing. One result of my car accident is that the words “give up” are not in my vocabulary. I already struggled long and hard against something I would never have chosen, so I think maybe I’ve been primed to keep going.

  61. WhiteHatLurker says

    All the best of wishes for your mother, PZ.

    Perhaps I’m too pessimistic, but PZ forgot the acknowledgement of the ongoing anthropogenic mass extinction event.
    The new “Sudetenland” war in Ukraine is something that we should have seen coming in 2016 with Trump’s election.

    I’d say I’m coping poorly, but I am privileged in way too many ways and am not going to complain when others are suffering so much worse. What helps? Well, there’s Wordle. And various escapist movies. A loving partner. And my sarcastic sense of humour, which is failing me at the moment.

    To those above just coping, please reach out to people and communicate. They’re really not as bad as you see on TV (excepting Putin, Trump and similar individuals) and can help, even if it doesn’t seem like they’re doing more than listening to you. And it may just be that you’re helping them through this as well. We’re all suffering. Some show it differently.

    Take care of yourselves, and those around you.

  62. Trickster Goddess says

    I was very stressed out during the 3 weeks of the Ottawa occupation. My brother and oldest sister are pro-convoy anti-vaxxers, along with a couple of nephews. My right wing brother thinks a couple of protesters getting knocked over by a horse marks an historic moment that births a Canadian “Pro-Democracy Movement”. My left wing sister slides further down the rabbit hole, now talking about WEF and wondering out loud if it’s possible that the pandemic was planned after all? I fear that she is approaching the QAnon event horizon.

    The occupation was ended and I enjoyed a couple of days of stress levels dropping and then Putin has to go and pull this shit.

    I’m putting myself on a news diet, just checking in twice a day. I’ve put my siblings on a 30-day Facebook snooze. I’m going to just sit here, watching the cherry blossoms budding on the tree outside my window and play my djembe.

  63. mordred says

    Not dealing to well with all this here. Don’t have a lot of emotional support in my life right now and as usual fighting my depressions, so it hits me pretty hard.
    Thought an old friend of mine could at least be someone to talk to, but while he does not support Putin, he thinks the US is worse and if the Ukraine had not tried to join Nato… and our democracy is fake anyway, every politician is controlled by “them”. He used to be different when we were younger.
    Another old friend recently outed herself as an Anti-Vaxxer to me. Feel pretty alone in a hostile world right now.

  64. R. L. Foster says

    I’ve reached an advanced age in relatively good health, my mental faculties intact, my finances in good order, with a lovely, supportive wife. Despite all of those checks in the plus column, I find that I’m perpetually angry and despondent by turns. Of late I’ve come to the awful realization that planet earth has spawned one of the most unpleasant and dangerous species in the galaxy. And I was born into it. I had no say about becoming a human being. My mother and father had sex and the throw of the genetic dice resulted in me. I should be grateful, I suppose. But I can’t shake the dark feeling that the worst is now upon us. I recently watched an interesting analysis of the famous Drake equation. The nub was: there should be many (36-200) technologically advanced civilizations in the galaxy. Where are they all? The author’s theory was that most don’t survive long enough to make contact with other civilizations. They go extinct for any number of reasons. After perusing your list again I’ve come to the sad conclusion that we fall into that category.

    So, in summation, I’m not coping well at all.

  65. davidc1 says

    @72 The Bzyantine suffered years of attacks by them Turks,who used to be called something else.
    Culminating in the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
    Then they changed the name to Istanbul,which is nobodies business but the Turks.

  66. davidc1 says

    @82 Hi,I suffer from depression,in my teens/early Twenties I was diagnosed as having
    a Borderline Personality Disorder,which to some people on here might explain a lot.

  67. reelingmind says

    I am actively trying my damnedest to change careers to something that allows me to work foe myself or from home, ideally both, after years of social work jobs. I hate to say it but the last few years has really cemented the idea that humans are a waste of breath and what I really want is for them to leave me alone. I don’t have much faith in social band aids and reform efforts anymore.

    Also, too much wine and cannabis.

  68. brightmoon says

    I had decided to stay away from the alcohol completely after watching a neighbor slide into being an alcoholic from just social drinking and it runs in my family. So I’ve had to basically use other less dangerous-to-me methods of reducing my anxiety and depression. I’ve been doing some basic ballet. I’ve been quilting and drawing, I try to cook on the weekends as during the week I’m running around too much. I’ve a million houseplants that I care for . The social isolation is getting to me badly. I just lost an elderly friend to a heart attack last week and this invasion just about broke my heart . I’m still angry with Trump and now doubly so because he held up Ukraine’s defense money over petty bs. I used to call him the Antichrist but traitor works too

  69. says

    I’m not coping well, but at least I’m managing to maintain daily posting, so that’s not nothing.

    I’m just so tired of the whole world having to put up with a few egomaniacal dipshits who’ve convinced people to kill and die for their whims.

  70. davidc1 says

    How good bad music and bad reasons sound when we march against an enemy.

    A quote from some German bloke.

  71. says

    “How are you all coping?”
    Talk therapy and lots of weed. I don’t have the power to fix the state of the world, but fixing — ok, it’s not fixable, but improving — the state of my head is doable.

  72. Alt-X says

    Feeling great! Couldn’t care less. And honestly, going out in WW3, sun flair or whatever sounds a lot better than being a wage slave and a large chunk of my pay going into a rental until I turn 80 then get put in a government ran aged care facility eating slop and getting abused by underpaid nursing staff until I get cancer (or worse) and die. Bring in the nukes I say! I feel fine!

  73. snarkrates says

    Alt-X, It’s kind of cute that you think there will be gummint run care facilities for indigent olds.

  74. says

    In today’s Guardian – “Feeling overwhelmed by world events? Treat yourself the way you would a friend.”

    Self-compassion is also crucial. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not as productive as you once were. Treat yourself the way you would a friend – be kind, patient and forgiving and acknowledge that you’re doing your best in challenging circumstances.

    Reminded me of a great tweet from a few months ago:

    my therapist: be kinder to yourself!

    my brain: yeah be kinder to yourself you fucking idiot