Climate Anxiety: What can we do?
Climate Anxiety: What can we do?Back to News
When you hear the words ‘climate change’, what does your mind jump to? Probably the environmental effects. Potentially physical health effects. Have you ever considered the effects on our mental health?
Climate anxiety, or eco-anxiety, is an overwhelming sense of uneasiness or fear felt by those who are worried about our planet’s future. It becomes increasingly more common each year, particularly as people are becoming more involved in current actions against climate change. Out of ten thousand 16-25 year olds, 68% said that they felt sad and afraid of the future that we are heading towards. There isn’t a huge amount of data on climate anxiety because it is relatively new, however, the usual symptoms are panic attacks, insomnia, and obsessive thinking, potentially leading to some further anxiety disorders.
How do you deal with it?
So, if you are feeling stress or anxiety from climate change, how do you deal with it? Here are a few ways to handle these feelings:
- Focus – climate change is a huge, global issue, and it is way too much for one person to solve on their own. It’s a good reminder to focus on what you can control, rather than what you can’t. Try not to put pressure on it, and remind yourself that you can’t be responsible for everyone, but you can make sure your actions have a positive impact.
- Time out – with the news being available all around us now, it’s really easy to spend a lot of time scrolling on social media, but that can sometimes weigh you down. Stepping away for a few hours, or even days to give yourself a break will not change what’s happening around you, the news will still be there when you come back!
- Positives – it’s also easy to get caught up in negative news stories, it helps to remember that there are a lot of people doing good for the environment all over the world. Find accounts to follow that add joy into your day, for example, ConsciouslyElle on Instagram shares good news stories every Monday to keep us on track with the positive things happening around the world!
- Self-care – when stepping away from these negatives, it’s a good time to check in on yourself. Making sure there is time in your schedule to do things you enjoy, going out for a walk, reading a book, organising a messy cupboard; it’s so important to make time to do things you like!
- Talking – this is not something you need to go through alone, if climate anxiety is affecting your daily life, then it is so important to talk to someone. Reaching out to family and friends, perhaps even a counsellor can help to work through your feelings.
- You are not alone – there are people all around the world that are working towards stopping climate change, and a lot of them feel the same way that you do. You could try and connect with some of these people, joining a local activist group or there are plenty of places online that have groups! Remembering that you are not by yourself in this fight, can give you the encouragement to keep going and not feel so overwhelmed.
There are so many resources around to help if you feel like you are going through this, or you know someone who is! Here are some:
I hope that this has shed some light on the more mental effects that climate change has, as well as what to do if it’s too overwhelming for you.