Eco-Anxiety: How to Cope With Climate Change Stress

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A recent APA poll reported that over 70% of Americans have reported feeling stressed out about the climate crisis. Many people have lost their homes and loved ones to climate disasters, while others are feeling the stress of the potential impact global warming is going to bring over the next few years. This eco-anxiety can really weigh you down, affecting all other aspects of your life. If you need coping tips to deal with the issue of climate change, Cultural Society shares valuable advice below.

Ease Your Anxiety

Stress can be an enormous burden on our minds, affecting our productivity at work and ability to be good friends, parents, or partners. Stress can also result in PTSD, OCD, depression, and chronic fatigue when developed to great heights. In addition, the experience of stress can transcend physical symptoms such as teeth grinding, insomnia, and physical ticks. Thus, try to prioritize relieving your anxiety as much as you can. Getting active and moving your body can increase your endorphins and serotonin levels, thus providing immediate relief. Mindfulness practices such as journaling, yoga, and meditation can also greatly aid. Don’t forget to take a break every so often and just switch off from the world by unplugging from the internet and daily news.

Take Action

Feeling hopeless (and helpless)? The best way to empower yourself in this situation is to take action. There are many ways you can get proactive about climate change – and this will help ease your anxiety as well. Let’s take a look at some steps you can take as an individual to live a more environmentally-friendly life:

  • Watch your transport: Those airline miles may help you save money, but they’re terrible for the planet. When possible, cutting down on flying will make a difference in the battle against climate change, as will prioritizing public transit and carpooling over driving.
  • Reduce your energy usage: If you can take the step, installing solar panels is environmentally viable and can also bring down your electricity bill. In addition, watch out for ‘energy vampires’, and switch off light fixtures when you’re not using them. Switching to LED lights can also decrease your consumption by over 70%.
  • Cut down on waste: The U.S. is the leading country for food and material waste. You can do your part in fighting this by only buying what you need and finding creative ways to use excess materials. Examples include thrifting, buying reusable cups, and composting food waste.

Starting your own eco-friendly business is also an option to get proactive. Start with the basics, such as coming up with a business plan and sorting out marketing strategies to achieve your environmental goals. You will also need admin materials, like a business card. Use a business card maker to simplify the creation process – as all you’ll need to do is customize images, text, and color schemes in a pre-made template. You can then set up your website, logo, and invoicing systems to ensure smooth operations. 

Get Perspective

Approaching your stress from a new perspective will also be helpful. When you’re feeling down, just remember all the good stories amongst the negative news. There are inspiring personal stories of individuals going the extra mile to help the cause, and lots of initiatives and programs governments across the world are taking to tackle this issue. Check out this article by The Conversation for six real-life examples of positive climate action. 

Eco anxiety induced by climate change can run a whole gamut of emotions. From grieving and denial to fear, anger, and sadness, these emotions can significantly impact your physical and mental wellbeing. Be sure to manage your stress through the tips above, and don’t forget to do your part for the environment as well!

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