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Climate anxiety? Here’s how you can cope

climate anxiety - cleanbuild

Climate anxiety? Here’s how you can cope

Climate change is one of the biggest issues in our world today. As people get involved through activism, protests, making lifestyle changes, and generally sharing information about the climate crisis, they may become overwhelmed and this is understandable.

Worrying about the current happenings about our ecosystem and what the future holds for the earth amidst ozone depletion and rising temperatures coupled with rising sea levels can be overwhelming and frightful.

What’s worse, the constant news and events about climate change make you feel worried, angry, and frustrated at the same time. Who wouldn’t be?

According to a report from Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation, climate change is negatively affecting people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.

That’s why we have taken out time to highlight ways you can cope with climate anxiety so it doesn’t affect your mental health. But before we delve into that, let us briefly take a look at what climate anxiety is.

According to the American Psychological Association, climate anxiety is a constant fear of environmental destruction. It further describes it as a recent psychological disorder experienced by a rising number of people who worry about the environmental crisis.

How then can you cope with a crisis that – from the projections as well as inactions of key stakeholders hitherto – isn’t showing signs of ending?

Take some time out

Alright. That’s enough climate news for today.

It’s time for you to suspend keeping up with information and news about the climate. We recommend taking a walk or seeing a movie. You can even read a book or go see your Aunt Mary who takes every chance to remind you to eat a cookie whenever you go visiting.

Contribute within your capacity

You see activists spearhead campaigns and you’re fired up to join in or conduct one. This is good. However, not everybody can be a Vanessa Nakate. The good thing about fighting for the climate is that every little effort counts.

You can take up small projects like planting in your backyard, organizing green clubs, have one-on-one conversations with people in a bid to educate them about the climate.

You could also simply write a letter to your constituency leader asking them what actions they’re taking, what policies they’re formulating, or what their next plans are on climate change. The littlest effort can definitely make a difference.

Positive thoughts only

Relax. The world isn’t ending anytime soon (unless we allow it).

We know it’s quite difficult shaking off the feeling of dread especially with the sense of urgency that climate change conversations create. However, you can take solace in the fact that people are conducting researches and tirelessly working to solve the crisis.

So, fill that beautiful mind of yours with good things. Read encouraging stories about how communities are making the best of the situation.

Share your feelings

As climate anxiety increases due to escalating climate crises, it is advised that the affected persons share their fears with their family or friends.

In cases when professional help is needed, there are therapists and counselors that are dedicated to helping people cope. Remember, a problem shared is a problem half-solved.

Bottom line

You’re passing through this because you care about the planet. As the world continues to mitigate the crisis through concerted efforts, it is only right that people refresh so that they can have more willpower to carry on.

This isn’t a one-off fight but we know that with just the right amount of education, action, resilience, and lots of self-care (very important), we will emerge victorious.

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