Eco-anxiety refers to a fear of environmental damage or ecological disaster. This sense of anxiety is largely based on the current and predicted future state of the environment and human-induced climate change
In today's world, we are more conscious than ever about our environmental impacts. Which is a really great thing as we SHOULD be concerned of our ecological future! However, when we face daily reminders of the tones and tones of plastics within our oceans, the imminent threat of climate change, mass flooding and fires, and threatened species (us being one of them) it's HARD to not stress about such eco-anxieties.
Anxiety and stress are some of the worse things we can do to our body as it wreaks havoc from our tummies to our brains. So, this blog is here to be a reminder to take time for your mental health and come up with some tips to help navigate such anxieties.
Discover Your Inner Crafter & Hobbies
I think nowadays, many people have forgotten the art of crafting! Today, it's so easy to fall into watching TV or playing on your phone in down times. Trust me, I've been a victim myself, but more recently have taken up painting! I too, face many struggles of overall anxiety, but have definitely felt them heightened from our current ecological state.
One day, as I lazily turned to TV for some mindless activity, I watched a Bob Ross documentary. Yes, this curly headed, soothing painter inspired me to take up painting! What did it was his love of nature and notion that painting is therapeutic! Why not paint what inspires us all so much and feel good while doing it!
If paining ins't your jam, there are so many hobbies to explore! I think that's the fun part is discovering what you like- whether that be making jewelry, cooking, reading, visiting every brewery in your city, or you name it there is a hobby for EVERYONE!
Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.
We've briefly mentioned this before, but mindfulness is a great way to really navigate your own feelings and mental state. Meditation may seem a tad bit intimidating, but there are some really great apps out there that make it fun and tailored to your needs. Headspace and Calm are a few that have some really cool options to practice mindfulness while working out, before you start the day and when you end it, and much more! How cool is that.
Another easy way to start practicing mindfulness is journaling. This is a simple way to monitor your feelings throughout the day as you keep track of what you did, what made you happy, and what intentions or goals you want to start working on. Some goals could even include tracking your sustainability journey and what YOU can do to relieve such eco-anxieties. Overall, journaling, is a really cool way to track your progress and emotions and maybe learn a thing or two about yourself!
One of the worst feelings may be the feeling of being alone in all this environmental chaos. The thing is, there are MANY people that have the same fears and want to take action. A great way is to join a group of like minded individuals to discuss such anxieties and come together to become a support group. Or, other ways to come together could be joining a community garden, start cleanups, and or any other clubs for the betterment of our communities and environment to participate meaningfully in helping our planet. Get creative and get out there, we believe in you!
The last, and maybe best tip we can offer you is get off your phone and get outside. It's a proven fact that nature uplifts us. And that's exactly what we need to be inspired that there is still nature worth fighting for. Get on those trails, get on the water, get up in the mountains. Wherever you may be, even if that's right in your backyard, get outside and breathe the air, take off your shoes and feel the ground- relax.