7 empowering personal actions to combat climate anxiety

A few months ago we hosted a webinar on managing emotional inflammation, specifically in the context of climate anxiety. In a world where climate news can be overwhelming, if not downright depressing, it can be hard to find the motivation to pursue climate action.

If you feel like your own individual actions are inconsequential, you’re definitely not alone, but taking climate action in your day to day life does make a small difference and can help empower others around you to also invest in a greener future. Here are a few ways you can combat climate anxiety in your daily life. 

  1. Donate! There are a wide variety of organizations ranging from grassroots movements to well-established nonprofits that are always in need of financial support. Pick a cause that you’re particularly passionate about and donate whatever you can spare. 
  2. Support indigenous communities. Indigenous communities have been actively practicing sustainable living and conservation tactics that can help save our planet for thousands of years. Unfortunately, discrimination and land theft have marginalized these communities. Advocating for indigenous rights and supporting organizations like the International Work Group For Indigenous Affairs and Indigenous Environmental Network is a great way to protect our planet. 
  3. Create an insect-friendly garden. Planting native species and creating habitats for local birds, bugs, and bees supports a healthy ecosystem and offers the opportunity to teach children and neighbors about the importance of conservation. If you need inspiration, check out this resource on supporting pollinators in your backyard. 
  4. Join an environmental group. If you want to get directly involved in the work that nonprofits are doing, consider joining a local chapter of a national nonprofit or a local environmental organization. Many of these groups have opportunities for citizen science and advocacy so you can get directly involved in the action. 
  5. Clean up your community. A greener future starts in our own local communities, so why not get out and clean up trash right in your own town. Safely recruit friends and family for a distanced clean-up to remove trash from a local beach, park, or river. 
  6. Read and learn. Learning about environmental degradation is the best way to become an informed advocate. Educate yourself on local and global issues and potential solutions to these problems. Throughout your research, you might even think of new and innovative ways to contribute to conservation!
  7. Shrink your footprint. What impact do your personal habits have on the environment? Lifestyle changes like reducing single-use plastic consumption, transitioning to a plant-based diet, and driving less are simple strategies anyone can use to shrink their ecological footprint. If you have more disposable income, consider investing in solar panels or an electric vehicle. 

Climate anxiety is a natural feeling especially for those most concerned about the environmental future of our world, but when you feel this anxiety creeping over you, taking tangible sustainable actions in your own life can help combat these stressors and pave the way for even more impassioned advocacy. Try these strategies and keep reading The Optimist Daily for more environmental solutions!

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