International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers: Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace
Five Ways To Help Others Find Their Inner Peace
For more than 70 years, the United Nations has established peacekeeping missions to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for lasting peace. In fact, peacekeeping has proven to become one of the most effective tools available to the UN to assist these countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace.
The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers (#ProtectingPeace, #PKDay) celebrated on May 29th each year, offers the chance to pay tribute to more than 1 million men and women who have served in 72 peacekeeping missions throughout the world. It’s also a time to honor and remember more than 3,800 peacekeepers – both uniformed and civilian – who have lost their lives trying to help keep the peace.
This year, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first explicit civilian-related peacekeeping mission, the theme is “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace.” Protecting and helping the innocent people caught in the middle of conflict has increasingly been at the heart of UN peacekeeping missions.
Peacekeeping on a Personal Level
We extend our gratitude to the peacekeepers for all the help and support they provide people during and after conflict. And – although there is no comparison – it brings to mind how we, in any small way, can help those around us who struggle with their own internal conflict. Helping someone find their inner peace not only can help their wellbeing, but yours, as well.
It’s hard to see a friend or loved one hurting emotionally. Whether it’s from relationship problems, mental health issues, work or school stress or unrealistic expectations they put on themselves, things can spiral out of control quickly.
When You Should Help
Stress impacts everyone at one point or another. However, when someone close to you starts to show signs that they are losing control, they may need your support. Signs may include:
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble eating
- Not enjoying things they usually enjoy
- Detaching from family and friends
Here are five ways you can help support someone you care about:
1. Talk and Listen.
Approach your friend or family member. Let them know that you’ve noticed how stressed they seem. Offer your support and lend an ear. Maybe all they need is to vent, and knowing that they can talk about things with you can help. Talking things through may help them figure out what’s bothering them.
2. Schedule Time Out.
Suggest that they take time for themselves to de-stress and de-clutter their minds. Finding ways to relax and regroup may help them think clearer. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, daily walks or even a tropical vacation, help your loved one find the perfect way to find their peace.
3. Use Positive Coping Strategies.
People who are stressed often adopt unproductive coping strategies, such as wishful thinking, self-blaming, excessive worrying and ignoring the problem. All of these things can make matters worse. Try suggesting:
- Making a short-term goals list
- Focusing on positives
- Improving relationships/friendships
- Physical exercise
4. Tone Down the Stress.
Sometimes people are just totally overloaded with work or activities. In these cases, it may be worth helping them brainstorm and list the things that have the most priority. Help them understand that they may be able to forget, delegate or postpone some of their responsibilities.
5. Help Them Get Help.
When your friend or family member needs more than you can offer and nothing seems to work, maybe there is something else going on. If the problem is bigger than both of you can handle, discuss seeking help from an experienced adult or trained mental healthcare professional.
We all want peace in our lives. Finding inner peace, for some, can be a struggle. And if it’s someone close to you, the best thing you can do is help them work through their internal conflict to find and keep peace in their life.