The pandemic. The delta variant. Afghanistan. Hurricane Ida. Climate change. Your inbox.
If you’re feeling easily overwhelmed these days, you’re not alone. We’re learning that tough topics take a toll on our wellbeing.
In fact, new research from Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation suggests that climate change alone is threatening our mental health. And according to the American Psychiatric Association, more than 50% of people they polled stated they were concerned about the impact climate change on their mental health.
From wildfires endangering homes along the west coast, to historic droughts in the Midwest and stronger storms experienced by the south and east coast, climate change has real world impacts for all of us. Climate anxiety is here.
This anxiety can paralyze us—keeping us from processing our emotions and working toward solutions entirely. But it doesn’t need to be like that.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work together, for yourself and the world.
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How can you conquer climate anxiety?
- Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, fears and anxieties. Read up on climate emotions and ways to tackle them.
- Talk to someone. Anyone. A friend. Your cat. Email us at [email protected]. Find community in your emotions by connecting with people who get it—no explanation or justification necessary. Climate Awakening offers a platform for small, group conversations about climate terror, grief and rage.
- Find a climate-aware therapist that is a professionally trained psychotherapist with knowledge and understanding of the complexities of climate change on human lives. A good place to find a climate-specializing therapist is the Climate Psychology Alliance of North America.
- Spend time outdoors, even if just for 30 seconds. Research shows that time in nature equals better mental health. With better mental health, we can take better actions for the planet.
- Give back to the planet. Join a volunteer day to clean up litter and remove invasive plant species during a Shedd Aquarium Action Day if you’re close to Chicago. Or host your own beach clean-up, park clean-up, neighborhood clean-up.
- As action is the antidote to anxiety, demand climate action. Join Shedd Aquarium in calling on Congress to take climate actions that make our communities and ecosystems more resilient in the face of climate change. You can send a pre-written email to them in under 2 minutes here.
- Make changes in your daily life to cut down your carbon footprint, such as biking to work or taking shorter showers. Then, level up your planet-friendly actions by sharing why you care about climate action on social media or with your family and friends. You can also support initiatives or organizations that are taking climate action, like Surge.
- Find the good! There’s so much great teamwork and accomplishments happening in the world of climate science and action. Check out these 10 “wins” for the planet!
Got other ideas about how you battle climate frustrations and anxiety? What works best for you? Write to us, share your story or ideas at: [email protected]
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