6 Things You Can Do to Deal With Climate Change Anxiety
Have you found yourself dealing with sleepless nights and stress due to climate change? If so, you’re not alone. Climate change anxiety is a real problem that’s affecting people all over the world.
It’s hard to look toward the future and think about the immense challenges facing our planet. If the effects of global warming are keeping you up at night or triggering anxiety and sadness, you might be struggling with climate anxiety.
Learn more about climate change anxiety and what you can do to handle the overwhelming feelings you might experience when you think about climate change.
What Is Climate Change Anxiety?
The American Psychological Association (APA) describes climate change anxiety, sometimes also called eco-anxiety or climate grief, as “a chronic fear of environmental doom.” It afflicts a growing number of people who are worried about the future of the planet due to the unfolding environmental climate crisis.
If you’re suffering from climate change anxiety, you might feel overwhelmed by the problems we’re facing, or fearful about the future of the planet. The good news is that you don’t have to let those feelings consume you.
How Do I Cope With Climate Anxiety?
Your feelings about the climate crisis aren’t going to go away. However, if you’re struggling with climate anxiety, here are some ways you can handle the stress and put your feelings to good use.
1. Talk to Someone
First and foremost, you need to be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling. If the stress and anxiety you’re experiencing are starting to interfere with your daily life, it might be time to talk to a professional.
If you can find one in your area, consider visiting a climate-aware therapist. These are professionally-trained psychotherapists who recognize the climate crisis threat. Just keep in mind that the number of climate-aware therapists is still small, so you might need to look for a traditional therapist in your community.
Some cities also have support groups where you can talk about how you’re feeling with others who feel the same way. If there’s not a group in your area, consider finding other like-minded people and starting your own.
2. Do Something
Every time I start to feel overwhelmed by a problem, I think back to my father. When I had a problem and went to him for advice, he would let me vent, and then he would say, “Now, what are you going to do about it?”
Although he never came right out and said it, his message was very clear. I will never come up with a solution to my problem by sitting around and worrying about it. I need to take action and do something about it.
The same thing is true about climate change. We can’t sit on the sidelines and wait for other people to do something. We’re the ones who have to work toward a better planet.
And here’s the good news: there’s so much we can do right this very second. No idea where to start? Consider signing up for Planet Post Box. This first and only eco-activist subscription box will send you 3 or 4 eco-friendly products to help you reduce waste AND all the supplies you need to engage with corporations and your representatives to fight the climate crisis.
Ready to do even more? Here are 5 changes you can make right now that will have a huge impact:
- Reduce Food Waste- Americans throw away up to 40% of the food they buy. Not only is that a waste of money, but it’s also terrible for the environment. By eliminating food waste, we could avoid releasing 70.5 gigatons of carbon emissions. That’s a bigger impact than restoring 435 million acres of tropical forest!
- Rethink Transportation- While we can’t revolutionize the shipping and flight industries, we can walk, ride a bike, take public transportation, or switch to an electric vehicle to cut down on our own emissions.
- Switch to a Plant-Based Diet- Transitioning to a vegetarian diet can cut your carbon footprint in half. If half of the world reduced meat consumption, we could reduce CO2 emissions by 66 gigatons. Ready to start eating more plant-based meals? Here are 100+ easy vegetarian recipes to help you!
- Vote- There’s only so much we can do on our own. In the end, it will also take national policies to help us fight climate change. Find out where political candidates stand on environmental issues and vote for climate activists.
- Use Clean Energy- Moving away from fossil fuels is vitally important, and using renewable energy is the best way to do it. Look for any possible rebates and programs in your community that can help you switch to clean energy.
3. Take a News Break
Doomscrolling. Although you might not be familiar with the term, you’re probably guilty of doing it.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’re getting ready to go to bed, so you decide to check the news one last time just to see if there’s anything you need to know. Then you find one depressing story. And then another.
Before you know it, it’s hours past when you should have fallen asleep and you can’t stop scrolling through the bad news even though it’s sad and disheartening.
I know I’ve been there and done that. If it feels like all that news is getting to be too much, take a break.
Stepping away for a few hours — or even a few days — won’t change what’s happening in the world. However, it can give you the mental space you need to reset.
4. Look for the Good News
For times when you need to take a break from the news, but you don’t want to completely distance yourself from what’s happening in the world, look for the good news.
If you’ve subscribed to my newsletter, you know I start every weekly email with good green news. (If you haven’t signed up and want to, there’s a sign up form at the bottom of this post! 👇)
The idea is quite simple: We already know that news media companies need to make money to stay afloat just like every other business. We also know that doom and gloom stories get more clicks and eyeballs than good stories.
So the good news out there ends up getting buried in favor of the stories that will attract more attention. And the thing is there are A LOT of awesome people out there working on ways to solve the problems we’re facing. We just don’t hear about them that often.
So if you ever start to feel overwhelmed by the bad news, consider checking out websites like Happy Eco News or Good News Network to read about all the positive things that are happening all over the world.
5. Don’t Forget About Self Care
Although you’re fighting to save the planet, you can’t forget to take care of yourself as well. Make sure you set aside some time every week to do something you enjoy.
Whether it’s going for a walk, working on a hobby, reading a book, listening to music, or watching TV, it doesn’t matter what you do. The only thing that matters is that you’re doing something you enjoy that can help you take your mind off things for a while.
6. Know You’re Not Alone
Although it can sometimes feel like you’re the only one who cares, this is very important to remember: you are not alone. There are millions of us out there all across the globe who are working toward the same goals you are, and we’re also feeling the same things you are.
If you’re ever feeling sad and alone, please feel free to email me. Although I am by no means a doctor or a therapist, I am a friend. I’m here to give you encouragement and support anytime you need it.
How to Cope With Climate Change Anxiety
Climate change anxiety is real, and it can feel overwhelming. Keep these tips on how to cope with climate change anxiety in mind so that the next time the stress starts to feel like an overload, you know what to do to fight back.
More Tips on Eco-Friendly Living
Did you find this guide on how to deal climate change anxiety helpful? Are you looking for even more outstanding eco-friendly living tips? Then please be sure to take a look at some of our other popular posts:
- 25 Foolproof Ways to Reduce Waste This Very Second
- How to Easily Save Trees by Reducing Paper Towel Use
- The Best Online Zero Waste Stores for All Your Eco-Friendly Needs
- Zero Waste Grocery Shopping When You Don’t Have a Bulk Store