We’re right to worry about our planet’s well being. Globally, we can see a rise in support groups to wrap one’s head around the impending climate crisis and the climate anxiety that comes with it. With ominous scientific reports everywhere, it’s normal for anxiety, stress and depression to hit you all at once.
Our civilisation is built on the notion that progress is not only desirable but inevitable. Progress that rid us of plagues, famines and improved our quality of life. Progress that enabled connection across seas and oceans. But, Climate Change has pulled brakes on that progress. And a series of misguided decisions have turned our future bleak – quickly.
And it’s tempting to be angry at people who have screwed things up beyond repair – almost, not entirely. When your phone constantly beeps with alerts on increasing wildfires, hurricanes, floods, heat waves, smog – they seem like compelling reasons to lose faith. You feel perplexed, “How can people not care?!”
Overwhelmed, one might convince themselves it’s not too bad or worse – it doesn’t matter. Climate anxiety is a unique threat because you know exactly what you have to do – use public transport, reduce flight trips, don’t eat meat, reduce waste, don’t use plastic, vote for the right people and there’s so much more. But, in practice it seems difficult – like when one finds it difficult to get out of bed when depressed. Worse – one becomes desensitised, unfeeling and indifferent to the issue.
There are ways to cope with Climate Anxiety.
Acceptance is the first step to healing:
Mistakes have been made. Damage has been done. The more time we spend feeling shame, the less time we spend ideating. It’s imperative for us to collectively implement solutions. Check out – What we’re fighting for now is each other by Wes Stephenson
Talk about it:
This is therapy 101 – talking helps. Talk to your fam about how you feel – chances are they feeling climate anxiety too. Bonus? You’ll raise awareness in your circle and get more people to believe in climate change.
Find a fix that works for you:
There are many paths to living sustainably – try them and find the path that works for you. Doing something, anything, will give you joy and motivation to do more.
Advocate for better:
Strike a conversation with local authorities, institutions, politicians to help better policies. Having your voice heard will invoke a feeling of determination.
Find your tribe:
Find people that care about the world as much as you. This will help build a community that understands and provides support. Bonus? It’ll help implement solutions quicker and more effectively.
Lastly but not leastly,
Be kind to yourself. And be kind to others. Don’t carry the weight of every carbon molecule emitted – it’s weight shared by everyone whether they’ve acted on it or not. Remember to be at it. Climate Anxiety is natural and the only way to effectively cope with it is to find a fix – many exist right now.