Combating eco-anxiety

21st January 2022

As far as global issues go, climate change is one that is shared across the whole world and has an impact on everyone. It’s not a new topic, and the discussion around it isn’t a “trend”, but rather we can now see the consequences of climate change come into fruition. This could be from wildfires in Australia or flooding in mainland Europe – the effects are hard to ignore.

Over the past few months, the debate surrounding it sparked up again following the COP26 Conference that was held in Glasgow at the end of 2021 – an opportunity for world leaders and key figures to discuss the action plan. More recently, Netflix dropped the film “Don’t Look Up”, a satirical comedy which used a meteor heading to earth as a metaphor for the impeding nature of climate change. These issues feel so out of reach, and it can perhaps make the regular person feel helpless as they feel like aren’t able to contribute to tackling the problem. This causes something know as Climate anxiety, or eco-anxiety.

Climate anxiety is real, and many people across the world will experience some level of concern or anxiety regarding our environment every day. Like any other emotion, it is important to recognise these feelings and understand that they are valid. There are some ways which can perhaps help manage your stress and anxiety surrounding our planet:

  1. Spend more time outside

Although it may be particularly cold now where you are, it is a great idea to go for a daily walk, so you can get some fresh air and appreciate the world around you. If you’re lucky enough to live near nature, even better, but just getting outside and going for a walk will be great for your headspace

  1. Less time scrolling

Our phones are useful, but they are time consuming and can often lead us to hours of endless scrolling through social media and news. This can also lead to you coming across misleading information about climate change, will just contribute to your worries about it. Try setting yourself a daily limit if possible, or if you want to keep yourself occupied, watch a film, or read a book

  1. Small actions make a big difference

What can you as an individual do? It’s a cliché, but if everyone plays their small part, it can truly make a big difference to the world. Of course, its on government and big businesses to shift the narrative of climate change, but it certainly helps if you can recycle, use your car less where possible or even something like getting a reusable water bottle. These actions make a difference, and can help you feel more in control

At Marshalls, we are developing a climate change course, which is set to be launched at the end of the month, and will hopefully help address these issues

If you feel like you’re struggling, please visit the NHS page here

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