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5 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety

Caring about the health of the planet and acting sustainably is without question very fulfilling. But it can get tough at times – many of us occasionally experience something called “climate anxiety”. Climate or eco anxiety is defined as a ”fear about the current and predicted future state of the environment caused by human-induced climate change” (Wikipedia). This is a completely reasonable and common reaction to the global crisis we’re facing.

But worrying about climate change can get to a point where it reduces our productivity, motivation and ability to focus on actually improving the state of things. That’s why today I want to share 5 ways to stay optimistic about the environment and alleviate the feelings of guilt and helplessness that often come with climate anxiety.

 

5 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety

5 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety

1. Make A List

Feeling overwhelmed by the sustainable lifestyle and being under the impression that you’re failing or not doing enough is something most of us have experienced at some point. This is something I personally find helpful: write down all the things you’re doing for the environment and take a look at all the effort you’re already putting into helping our planet. It’s probably much more than you expected, right?

5 ways to cope with climate anxiety
Remember: with every reusable product you’re using, you’re preventing hundreds of plastic ones from entering the waste stream. With every plant-based meal, you’re making a contribution to a more ethical planet. And with every fast fashion item you don’t buy, you’re doing your bit to hurt exploitative companies.

 

Environmentalism is a journey and ultimate sustainability isn’t achieved overnight. By not pressuring yourself, you’re more likely to stick with the changes you make to your lifestyle and less likely to feel overwhelmed. Progress over perfection!

 

2. Recognise you’re not the main culprit

The media and concepts such as the “personal ecological footprint” trick us into thinking that we are the main cause of global warming. This causes us to feel extremely guilty and diverts the blame from the actual culprit.

5 ways to cope with climate change
 

While individuals are a big part of climate change and the fight against it, the overwhelming majority of greenhouse gases is emitted by fossil fuel companies and mega corporations such as China Coal, BP or ExxonMobil. They’re the main drivers of global warming along with factory farming and fast fashion.

 

These large-scale issues are neither our fault nor 100% in our control. The best we can do to help is vote with our voices and dollars, sign petitions and donate to environmental organizations aiming to boycott these huge corporations. Hold corporations accountable instead of letting them guilt-trip you!

 

3.Change your internet usage

Staying informed about climate change is important, but instead of constantly looking at bad news, try to also celebrate the good news. There are multiple social media accounts that share good environmental news, which will help shift your focus to more positive global developments in the fight against climate change.

5 ways to cope with climate change
Also don’t forget to take breaks from the internet. Drink some water, relax or go outside and enjoy nature instead. The mass of information on the internet can make us feel easily overwhelmed and prevents us from focusing on the important things.

 

4. Connect with Others

Anxiety makes us feel like we’re going through something alone, but climate change is just the opposite of that. We’re all experiencing it and it will affect all of us eventually, which means most of us are probably also experiencing anxiety about it. You’re definitely not the only one.

5 ways to cope with climate change
 

Reach out to your friends and family to talk about climate anxiety, global warming and sustainability! Sharing your environmentalism and connecting with others also happens to be a great way to increase your positive impact on the environment and create a movement.

 

5. Take Breaks

Don’t forget that it’s impossible to  care about everything all the time! If you feel like constantly stressing about being sustainable is taking away from your quality of life, you can and should take a break and do some things you enjoy without any pressure. You’ll be more motivated to continue your sustainable journey afterwards!

 

Did you find these 5 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety helpful?

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5 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety

Thank you to our Guest Writer, Rhea, for this wonderful post today!

@helpingtheenvironment
My name is Rhea and I live in Germany. A few years ago I started taking an interest in the environment and ways to protect it. Since then I’ve changed my lifestyle in a lot of ways, for example by becoming vegetarian and eliminating a lot of plastic from my life. That’s why I started an Instagram account in 2018, sharing ways to help Earth, information about climate change and tips to reduce waste. If you’re interested in sustainability, why don’t you check it out? @helpingtheenvironment.

5 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety

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