Is Eco Anxiety a Real Thing? What it is and How to Overcome it...
The answer is yes. It is real, and we are here to support you.
Before we begin we wanted to drop in some good news to ease your mind…
Did you know, an amazing company called Go Neutral is helping everyday Aussies offset their emissions and help make our everyday petrol cars carbon neutral?! They are investing in Australia projects to help people like you and I make easy and impactful changes!!
Ahhh, okay we all needed that one!
Okay eco warriors…In a world that feels like we are constantly receiving negative news or deadlines about the survival of our Earth it is hard not to feel overwhelmed about climate change.
We are here to assure you, you are not alone. This blog is here to bring back that drive to keep going and fighting. We are sharing our top 7 tips on how to manage Eco Anxiety and how to aim for progress over perfection.
What is Eco Anxiety Anxiety?
The definition of Eco Anxiety according to the Oxford Language Dictionary is:extreme worry about current and future harm to the environment caused by human activity and climate change.This is not at all a way to live and let ourselves feel!
What are the symptoms of eco anxiety?
Some symptoms of eco-anxiety include but aren't limited to:
- Difficulty making decisions in fear of the future
- Loss of sleep
- Feelings of helplessness and extreme worry
- & in some cases depression.
How Eco Anxiety Affects Us
Eco Anxiety can ultimately discourage us, it can turn us away from our purpose to make change and leave us overwhelmed. It can bring us to believing that we can’t make a difference! When we all know the truth is that we need you, the Earth needs you!
Eco Anxiety In Young People
Recent research has shown that young people experience anxiety in relation to climate change and say that it is disrupting their daily lives. The statistics are huge and absolutely no parent wants to see their children in such grief about the future!
This amazing group of Young Environmental Warriors are showcasing a LIVE debate this Earth Day (22nd April, 2022)! It will also be recorded so you will be able to watch it here! This is such a great way to see and encourage young leaders and change makers! It promotes standing up and making a difference in young communities while inspiring their peers to do the same! Alternatively the Earth Day website offers their Top 19 Young Climate Activists to be following on social media!
They may be young, but gosh are they powerful!
7 Tips on How to Cope & Manage Climate Change Anxiety:
1. Put Down Your Phone
While we are so lucky that we have social media as a tool to help educate us and to teach others, it is also important to take a break!
Try to remove yourself from the media and focus on you and the present moment.
Alternatively you can consider what you’re allowing on your feed, try following some good news groups and some real changemakers! This always helps put a pep in our step!
2. Immerse Yourself In Nature
Show Mother Earth how grateful you are for her beauty! Enjoy her! Soak her in! By surrounding yourself in nature you will ground yourself and bring yourself back. Notice what you hear, what you see, what you can touch and smell! This will instantly help lower those overwhelming anxious feelings we promise.
We won’t dive too deep into the politics but look into your community leaders and educate yourself on what our government is doing, you could also write in! Use your feelings as fuel to learn, teach and inform! Or check out this great tool called Vote Earth Now to see how you can vote for our climate at this upcoming Federal Election!
4. Focus on One Topic
When we bring our energy to one topic it helps us create more realistic thoughts and help lower that overwhelming wave of having to ‘do it all today’!
For example you could focus on sustainable fashion and bring your attention to its impact and solutions! We shared The Problems with Fast Fashion and How to Have a Minimalist Wardrobe on our Sustainable Living Blog which is a great place to start!
5. Make Realistic Changes
Like I mentioned above we need to aim for progress over perfection. Did you know none of the GFZ team are 100% Zero Waste?! As much as we would love to be, it is okay! Going zero waste is an imperfect journey. Start small, start here, start now.
Start by taking notice of what you’re constantly putting in the bin? Can a change be made there to reduce your weekly rubbish? Alternatively I found starting with my basic skincare routine was where I made my first swaps! Instead of buying the same products once they ran out I switched to zero waste beauty alternatives! It was a small change but an impactful one!
We have an awesome blog on where to start your zero waste journey here!
6. Check Whats Happening in Your Community and Get Involved!
Check your community notice boards! Perhaps there’s a local beach or wetlands clean up in your area? Maybe you could even start one?!
7. Remember We Are In This Together. Read That Again.
This is a true partnership for the planet. All in. We’ve got this.
At the end of the day it is also so important to accept how you are feeling. Don’t run from the feeling and allow your mind and body to move through it. Use this blog and the tools around you to manage this anxiety so you can put yourself and your mind back on track with love and ease!
How we Can Make an Impact and Make Earth Day Everyday
In the spirit of Earth Day we want to share some amazing Earth loving impactful change that we can all do today!
Over on the official Earth day website they offer programs, events, articles and links to see what is taking place in your local area! There are links to resources such as local beach cleanups, ways to donate to REAL change makers, sustainable fashion programs and there is even a climate literacy quiz to boost your knowledge for the future!
Together we can make Earth Day everyday!
Eco Anxiety Support Groups
Try searching for local groups on facebook that may be in your area! Again, perhaps you could start one? I’m sure so many would benefit from this!
We have done the research for you and found our top 3 support groups and pages to guide you through eco anxiety and learning to live with it in your daily life.
Headspace has been a trusted mental health support group for so many! They also offer a group chat and incredible information about how to manage eco anxiety for all ages.
The team at Water Spirit have devised a 10-Step Eco Anxiety Support Group !
One for our young ones! Young Up Start is an incredible hub of information for young people working together and empowering each other to save the planet!
And don’t forget…
Us here at Go For Zero! Our pages such as our Happy Earth News Blogsare here for this SOUL reason! We also strongly encourage you to sign up to our Feel good Friday emails! After a full week of being eco warriors we need to fill ourselves up and our weekly email is there to kickstart your weekend!
Remember it takes all of us doing zero waste imperfectly, not one person doing it perfectly. We’ve got this!
GFZ Team x