It is natural to be angry, sad, confused, disappointed, and scared when we hear about climate change. It is like we can’t move on without a single bad news about environment. Some people just move on saying this is a part of our life or we are paying for our sins but most of us get overwhelmed and feel discouraged, it gets tough to do simple task and that is Eco-Anxiety. No matter what we do, how much we try to change our habits, if the large corporate and government don’t take action, our action will go effortless. Yes, there will be changes but if majority of the companies don’t take responsibilities for their carbon emission; we are doomed. We need to talk more about climate change and how it is effecting the life of every species.

I read a lot articles and newsletter saying there is no medical term of eco-anxiety because it is not yet listed as an actual mental or physical health illness. In 2017, the American Psychiatric Association described eco anxiety as a chronic fear of environmental doom. Despite that, the influence of environmental disaster can cause a lot trauma from the outcomes like Loss of land, Security and Capital Destruction, Food and water shortage, little or no access to health care etc.

There are a few people who are more vulnerable to climate change are: Children, Teenagers, Senior citizen, People with pre-existing mental and physical health issues, poor or people below poverty line, people who completely depend on natural resources, third world countries.

How do we know if we have eco-anxiety?

  1. You feel angry or hatred when you realize others aren’t doing much for climate change.
  2. You don’t feel like doing anything or can’t focus properly because the planet is dying, anyway so what is the use of pursuing anything in life.
  3. You feel helpless, have weird coping mechanism or experience anxiety/panic attacks
  4. You feel sad for all the human, other species suffering and obsessively think about them
  5. You experience with insomnia and appetite keeps on changing.
  6. You don’t feel connected to anyone and it is creating chaos your relationships.

These are the few things that I have felt in the last 3-4 years and I am trying to cope up, trying out different things. Some of the ways that helped me stay calm are:

  • I changed my diet and tried vegan. Anything can be tough when we are doing it as a beginner but once we get used to it, it gets easier and we try to innovate with our own twist. Similarly, it is fun to create our recipe and make something out of non-vegetarian. Some people may judge by saying, “eat it the way it is”, “Vegan chicken will never be our delicious chicken” and for me, it is exactly saying things like, “Who use modern transportation when we can just walk our way.” “Why use whatsapp, when we can just send our pigeon.”We are intellectual species and can invent different things, so let’s not mock each other.
  • Calculating our footprint: There are different websites now we can calculate our carbon which includes from how much water we use to how food we throw to how much fossil fuel we use.
  • Being Mindful: Be mindful about what we are consuming, whom we are giving our money. For example: A(from xyz community) loves biscuits from ABC company which belong to B (from pqr community) but what A doesn’t know that motto of the company is to serve betterment of pqr community and thinks xyz community shouldn’t exist. In that way, Mr. A is basically paying ABC community to kill his own community. Therefore, we must be mindful before consuming anything.
  • Education is the key: Read more and find authentic source to get know knowledge. Internet is full of lies, we can’t trust everyone. So, make sure to trust only the expert and not someone, you idolize.
  • Individual actions: Take individual actions to educate your surroundings or general population through social media or other source. Gardening is a great hobby as well. Being able to grow our food is a big blessings and great workout. Educate people in your family, watch documentary together or movies that are focused on climate change, share information about the world in a fun away. Make them join doing fun activities so that they don’t find it boring.
  • Digital Detox: Don’t spend too much time on social media and try slow living. Join a social group with mind-like people. Or create a group/community and ask people to join to do their part. Positive self-care practices are great to cope up with mental health. Self-care is the toughest thing to do when we are suffering from mental health issue. Take one step at a time. Indulge in physical activity, eat well, Make a proper time table and follow It etc.
  • Professional Help: Lastly, seek a professional help; none of the above mentioned works more than a therapy. Finding the right therapy can get stressful and get overwhelmed at first. Like, I mentioned, it is always stressful at the beginning but if we try, we can overcome it. Just do proper research and once you the right therapist for you, stick till the end.

Just remember that every small change you make contributes to the global effort. For Instance, You can’t be vegan, try 3 day vegan and 4 day non-vegan diet.  It is not one person’s responsibility to change the entire world; people around the globe are trying their own way to help reverse the climate change. We are trying our best; just don’t be too hard on yourself.

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