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Managing climate change anxiety

Recent headlines, reports, and images can be overwhelming and cause you to become increasingly anxious about the current and future state of the planet – this is a perfectly normal response, we are dealing with a global climate emergency. You are right to feel concerned, and it is this concern that drives action. However, climate anxiety can be debilitating, and if you do not manage it properly, it can seriously affect your overall mental health.

Don’t fixate
Staying up to date on climate-related news is important, however, don’t let it be the only thing you focus on. Try to be selective when it comes to news sources. The media is designed to scare us, consider following public figures instead or focus on articles by experts such as Chris Packham.

The imperfect environmentalist
While you may feel like saving the planet is your responsibility, accept that you can only control certain outcomes and let go of unnecessary worry. We can achieve great goals if we all do a little. No one is perfectly eco-ecofriendly, it is not possible, we are all responsible for carbon entering the atmosphere. Take steps that you believe will help the situation and recognize the importance of these actions.

Make it fun
We need to be kind to ourselves before we can be kind to the planet. There are many ways you can spread the word while looking after yourself, such as hosting a vegetarian or vegan dinner party. Apply climate-first thinking to your daily lifestyle and ensure you are having fun while doing it.

Get outside
Research has proven that nature positively benefits our physical and mental health. Reconnect with the earth and help protect biodiversity. Pursue a healthy hobby while doing your bit for climate action. What better way to look after yourself than embracing the natural world we so desperately need to protect? It can be as simple as jogging through a park, gardening, or cycling to work.

It’s all about your mindset
Staying positive can be difficult when you are surrounded by such negativity in the media. We understand that changing your mindset isn’t easy. Focusing on the positives can help secure a future that we are proud of rather than dwelling on past failures. There is still time for drastic changes that could mitigate the worst impacts.

Talk about it
Help drive change by talking to your local MPs or councilors and expressing your concern. Approach local businesses, or if you’re at school, your teachers. If you read an article that concerns you, reach out to the author to discuss it further and help put your mind at ease.

Create a personal plan
You may not be able to change the entire world alone, but you can change your world. Look at your impact on the planet and plan your next move. Consider major life decisions and how these could more positively impact the planet. It can be as simple as building a butterfly corner in your next home.

Focus on everyday life
Look at your everyday life and see if there are any changes you can make as part of your daily routine. For example, use Ecosia instead of Google and plant trees when you search online. Take part in Veganuary or aim for one meal a day to be vegetarian. Consider only buying pre-loved clothes instead of supporting fast fashion.

It is important that you look after yourself so that you can make the greatest difference. Self-preservation is essential, hindering your health will lead to climate inaction. We hope these tips help you manage the pressure of climate change, and remember you are not alone in this fight!

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