How to Cope with Climate Anxiety - Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

How to Cope with Climate Anxiety

May 9, 2022

In this article:

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year, we're shining a spotlight on a growing phenomenon among young people and sustainability advocates alike — climate anxiety.

Climate change is a hot topic among news media and politicians. But the reality is that the climate crisis is more than a headline or a political platform. The scale of the problem is daunting, and the future can seem bleak.

It's easy to become overwhelmed when you confront the reality of our climate crisis, and that feeling is warranted. The sensations of powerlessness, dread, and despair that come with pondering the state of Earth's climate have a name–climate anxiety–but the good news is, those feelings can be managed.


What is Climate Anxiety?

Climate anxiety is the feeling of dread, fear, and helplessness that can come from thinking about the state of the environment and the future of our planet. It can be hard to read the news or watch documentaries about climate change without feeling overwhelmed for many of us. And it's not just adults who are struggling with these feelings—children and teens are, too.

There are a lot of reasons why climate anxiety is on the rise. Part of it has to do with how we consume information about the environment. The media constantly bombards us with images and stories about the devastating effects of climate change, making it seem like there's nothing we can do to stop it.

The other problem is that climate change is a slow-moving crisis. It's easy to feel like we're not doing enough when the effects of climate change are happening gradually over time. And, because it's such a huge global problem, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to making a difference.

But the good news is that there are things we can do to manage our climate anxiety and make a positive impact on the environment at the same time. Here are a few suggestions.


How to Cope With Climate Anxiety

  1. Stay informed, but don't dwell.

Arming yourself with the facts about climate change to be an effective way to advocate for change. But be mindful of how much time you spend reading about the issue or watching coverage of it on the news. Too much focus on the problem can lead to feelings of powerlessness and despair.

  1. Take action.

There are many ways to get involved in the fight against climate change. You can start by making small changes in your daily life, such as recycling more or driving less. Join a local environmental group or volunteer for a clean-up day in your community. You can also make your vote count by only supporting political leaders who have a plan to address the climate crisis.

  1. Support sustainable businesses.

While it's true that a handful of corporations account for the majority of harmful carbon emissions, other businesses are taking an active stand against these practices. Spend a few minutes learning about your options before making a purchase. 

Look for products with sustainable packaging and buy from companies that use renewable energy sources. If greed motivates companies to continue abusing the environment, then make your position on climate change known by spending your money elsewhere.

  1. Educate yourself and others.

Learning more about the environment and what we can do to protect it can help you feel empowered and motivated to make a difference. Read articles, watch documentaries, or attend lectures and workshops on environmentalism to gain as much up-to-date information as you can handle. Then, share your knowledge with the people in your life and encourage them to do what they can to preserve our planet.

  1. Practice self-care.

Keep in mind that there is only so much you can control. Trying to take on too much or put all the pressure on yourself to "solve" the climate crisis can take a toll on your mental wellbeing. Instead, make time for activities that make you happy and help you relax. 

Find a support group of like-minded people who can offer emotional guidance and suggestions for action. Spend time in nature, meditate, or exercise. Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking action on climate change.


In Conclusion

Above all, remember that you are not alone in this fight. Climate anxiety is a valid feeling, and you can channel the emotions that come with it to effect positive change in the world. We can make a difference and ensure a livable planet for future generations by working together. So join us in the fight for sustainability and use the tips above to start positively impacting the environment today.

Sources:

The Guardian

FAQ

Want to learn more?
Climate Anxiety FAQs

What is climate anxiety?

Climate anxiety comes from feelings of stress, anxiety, or helplessness when thinking about the scope of the climate crisis


Is climate anxiety manageable?

Absolutely. There are a variety of ways in which to cope with the feelings of climate anxiety.


What are some ways to cope with anxiety?

Finding a like-minded community, taking consistent, everyday action, and focusing on self care are all great ways to cope.


To avoid climate anxiety, do I have to completely disconnect from climate news?

The news cycle can exacerbate anxiety, but you don’t need to disconnect. Focus on educating yourself, without dwelling on bad news.