I’m sure a lot of us have heard about climate change recently in the media. I’ve seen so many images (and even memes) of 16-year old climate activist Greta Thunberg this week.
Anyone go to the Global Strike 4 Climate protests on Friday the 20th of September?
There’s estimates that over 300,000 Australia participated in stikes across the country calling for greater action on the climate emergency.
Many of these participants were young people. Recently I’ve also seen media discussing anxiety over impending climate change among young people and how fears of climate change may be affecting our mental health (this was even shown in the show Big Little Lies where an 8 year old was taken to hospital after suffering anxiety over climate change, anyone see this episode also?).
This article is one of many discussing anxiety and climate change, titled ‘Ignoring young people’s climate change fears is a recipe for anxiety’ mentioned how anxiety over climate change can be caused by feelings of “unpredictability or uncontrollability” over our earths future. This really resonated with me and my own anxieties over climate change.
It also talked about how to ease anxiety over climate change suggesting learning why and how things happen and talking time to talk and listening to young peoples concerns.
I really think worldwide we need to take actions towards climate change and ways I manage my anxieties over climate change involves learning about how climate change works and ways (even small) i can help reduce waste and be more environmentally friendly such as using my own coffee cups, avoiding printing and waste of paper at work and always remembering my own canvas bag when I go to the shops.
What strategies do you use?
What do you think about climate change?
Such a good poitn @curiousss, so many of the mental health provides I follow have been providing information regarding climate anxiety and coping stratergies. I don’t really experience it too much, but I think that’s because I’m not of ‘developing age’ where I feel like the anxiety would be strongest. I can’t even imagine being five years old and worrying about something liek the world burning.
I think reminding yourself of your own agency and spacial awareness is important because it’s so easy to get carried away into thinking about the amazon burning and how your actions affect that. Ultimately, your own actions don’t affect that but big corporations and political figures who have a direct change on policy for environmental change. Sure we can do small things like taking a keep cup everywhere and not using plastic items, but on a largr scale that won’t really do much change for the environemnt. I feel like those things are still good to do because it makes a small impact and creates a platform for discussion on how to be better for the environment, but we cn only do so much.
I think keeping those things in mind is important to mimimise climate anixety, especially with people growing up with all this imformation being directed at them daily.
@curiousss @tea totally feeling this at the moment.
The fires across Australia are extremely unsettling. While I fully believe in using this time to rally together and demand policy changes, it’s very difficult through the paralysing images we’re getting fed daily on the news and through social media.
I’ve noticed it having a pretty huge impact on my mental health, as well as my partner’s. Our general interactions have changed, we’re sadder and more anxious.
I’m sure this isn’t uncommon. Sadness, global disasters and emergencies would absolutely have an impact on connections and intimacy.
Ugh. I guess it’s all about just giving ourselves/each other time.
Yes, I had to switch off for a week. I agree with you @tea that those little things don’t do much and that the polluters need to be held accountable – I do think doing your best and the little things can help alleviate some climate change anxiety though.
All of my conversations at work and with friends have been dominated by the bushfire crisis – when we have talked about climate change anxiety these have been suggestions to help look after ourselves that I have found useful:
– get active, channel fear, anxiety and anger into writing letters to your MPs, sewing marsupial pouches, make art, turn up at rallys
– switch off social media and the news. It’s okay to take a break
– connect locally with green community groups – it’s nice to be with a bunch of other people who are doing their best for the planet
– talk about it, with your friends, family and loved ones – we are all in this together
Personally I’ve found going to the rally’s and making signs for them very therapeutic at this moment. The incredible rain we’ve had in Sydney has help boost morale too I think
Agree with all of the above and the importance of switching off as self care.
I attended a rally in Sydney also and was overwhelmed by the immense comfort I felt at being surrounded by people who were also angry and frustrated and frightened. I think that when we remain isolated and just keep consuming media, we are likely to become far more panicked and anxious than if we realise we are part of a collective that feels exactly the same. People need people.