Have you ever heard of eco-anxiety? Well, maybe you haven’t heard of this term exactly but have you ever had feelings of anxiety due to environmental concerns? With the feelings of impending environmental doom hitting a lot of us, eco-anxiety has been a buzzing topic. Here is what it is and what to do about it.
What is Eco-Anxiety?
Eco-anxiety is the feeling of fear or stress in relation to environmental concerns. Often, the source of this anxiety is fear of future environmental issues that are not being taken care of. Personally, my eco-anxiety stems from my fears of climate change, global waste and other environmental issues I feel aren’t being properly handled.
What Are Common Causes of Eco-Anxiety?
Personally, spending too much time on social media can heighten my eco-anxiety. Being informed is a great thing — but being over-informed can make you feel helpless, stressed out and overly anxious. Whenever wildfires are happening, seeing countless images of the fires can make me really nervous and do more harm than good. Watching too much news can do the same. With the recent snowstorm in Texas, it is hard to look anywhere without seeing something about it. This is great because the more people talking — the more people helping. But, intaking too much environmental news can damage your morale. Social media news can also be challenging to navigate as anyone can post anything and false news spreads like wildfire (no pun intended).
What do I do if have eco-anxiety?
Here are a few steps that have soothed my eco-anxiety:
Limit your social media news intake
Find ways to combat it by making a mark (even a small one)
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Social media breaks
Social media is so fun! I love Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and all the rest! In moderation, it can be a fun creative outlet. If you let it consume you, you might experience eco-anxiety as I do, or just feel overwhelmed! Take some breaks and spend your time elsewhere, with a more relaxing hobby.
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Help out the environment!
One major way I have soothed my eco-anxiety is by creating little changes in my life that made me feel better.
Find ways to shop more sustainably, like through consignment shops or wardrobe rental services. And make sure to shop for reusable items rather than single-use!
Educate yourself on how to make a difference.
Get involved within your community or a national environmental organization.
Research products and brands before you buy, make sure you’re investing in brands that support the environment, and don’t deliberately act against what you’re fighting for!
I haven’t used more than five plastic straws in the past year, I use reusable shopping bags (when allowed), and I shop (mostly, if not all) thrifted. Being environmentally friendly does not have to take over your whole life. Small wins are still wins!
Have you ever experienced eco-anxiety? Leave your thoughts below!
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