Very sorry to know that you're feeling this way. And yes, I think this is a perfectly good place to post this question. A good community should also be there to support its members during times like these. Here are a few things that come to my mind.
Much like for the first few weeks of the pandemic, we all feel the compulsive need to get constant updates on what's happening in Ukraine. But each new tweet or update on The Guardian's live feed doesn't really add much information to your knowledge of the situation. Worse, it can give you the impression that things are continuously worsening while they have only "stably worsened". In this kind of situation, I find it useful to:
- choose one way to be updated on the situation (reading a specific newsletter that I like, listening to a daily podcast in the morning), stick to it, and avoid other low signal-to-noise sources throughout the day.
- favor things that summarize the situation so far, rather than continuously tell me how it's evolving. As a stats-oriented person, I find it more useful to check this forecast on Metaculus every few days, rather than reading every bit of news about nuclear threats.
Take a step back
If you feel overwhelmed, maybe it's also good for a short period to browse EA-related websites a little less. By the very nature of our focus on the long-term future of humanity, we've all been very caught up by the renewed prospect of a nuclear war for the last couple of weeks. And so if you're already seeing it mentioned everywhere in non-EA media, maybe reading in-depth EA analyses on top of that might not be the best thing for you right now.
Accept that you can't really do much
Somewhat relatedly, the EA community focuses on how to do the most good, and how to fix things. And so it's natural for all of us to wonder exactly the same thing now. And while I do think that, on the margin, we can do some things to help steer the discussion in the right direction (e.g. explaining to people why the idea of a No-Fly zone is very bad), it's also important to accept that, right now, the main stakeholders are basically elected officials and army generals, and there isn't that much we can do in the very short term to "solve the situation" like we always try to.
Try to see the bigger picture
By far the most likely outcome is that this crisis will be solved at some point, without any nuclear weapon being fired. And while the geopolitical equilibrium will be different, we'll most likely go back to working on the many other very important problems of the world that we all feel so passionate about. For example, even in the current context, I've personally found the announcement of the FTX Future Fund to be a great source of hope for the future, and I'm very excited to see what it's going to allow the EA community to do in the coming years.
Don't blame yourself for feeling this way
While I don't think this is the end of the world as we know it, it is likely to be a pivotal moment in 21st-century history (akin to 9/11), and what's happening is really pretty horrifying. Especially if, like me, you've never known anything but peace in your part of the World for your entire life. But given that the situation is already bad, you might as well spare yourself the double punishment of feeling bad about the situation and feeling bad about feeling bad.