With Canadian wildfires causing smoke-filled skies in NYC—it’s no wonder many of us are experiencing anxiety around our changing world. Whether we have experienced these events first hand or our screens were filled with images of them, as we process particularly extreme climate change events, it is completely understandable to feel a level of fear or anxiety. Here are some things that can help:
First, recognize that you are not alone if you are experiencing some version of these feelings.
Climate change is happening globally and we are all being impacted, but we all have different methods of dealing with these monumental events and changes we are witnessing. It’s important to find safe people with which you can process your feelings. This will help you feel less isolated in your experience, and gain new perspectives on how those around you are coping.
Secondly, take action!
With such an expansive global issue, it is easy to feel like there is nothing you can do within your own power to help. However, there are many changes we can make on an individual and local level to be a part of the effort for sustainability. This could look like reducing waste on a daily basis, or joining a local advocacy group. This will break the larger issue into smaller pieces, allowing you to focus on what is within your control and lessening the feelings of powerlessness.
While it is important to stay informed, it is also easy to feel consumed by climate change related events on the news. This constant exposure can heighten your anxiety and leave you in a state of fight-or-flight. Try creating time limits for yourself on consuming this type of media, or schedule breaks to center yourself.
Last, remember to always take care of yourself.
When our focus is on such a collective issue, it’s easy to forget to check in with yourself. Listen to the way your thoughts and emotions are responding to our changing environment, and find ways to practice self care and cultivate joy on a daily basis.
If this resonates with you, you are not alone! Reach out to one of our expert therapists to help manage these difficult feelings and find relief today.
Written by Laura Dupper