The climate crisis can bring up a lot of emotions. Fear. Panic. Anger. Sadness. Grief. But managing these emotions can be difficult when we feel like our individual actions are just a drop in the bucket. Personal eco-friendly habits are a great way to take autonomy over your climate emotions, but talking it out can be immensely beneficial as well. This is the rationale behind Climate Awakening, an online forum for climate-centered conversations.
The website sponsors small group conversations, usually between strangers, where people can find a safe space to share how they’re feeling about the climate crisis. In their own words, Climate Awakening was founded “to convene thousands of small group conversations about our fears, grief, and rage.”
Started by clinical psychologist and climate activist Margaret Klein Salamon, Ph.D., Climate Awakening hopes to not only relieve anxiety and depression regarding the climate crisis but also to help people feel empowered to take action in their personal lives on the issues they can influence. This could be putting in water refill stations at the local gym, saving local green spaces, or just ditching single use plastic for a week.
You can easily sign up for a Climate Awakening session on their website and be paired with three other individuals around the world looking for a place to hash out their climate concerns. One participant said, “It allowed me to openly discuss some really difficult and intense emotions in a safe space.”
As human beings, we process much of our daily emotions and experiences through discussion. Whether that’s with a partner, a family member, a therapist, or just in a personal journal, reflection helps us cope and understand the world around us. Climate Awakening’s sessions provide a platform for this healing to take place and a starting place for people who may not feel comfortable or able to discuss climate anxiety with their friends and family.