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Climate Change Anxiety: How to cope

If you're feeling anxious, worried or overwhelmed about climate change and what it means for the world, you are not alone. 


youth 2018 future (3).PNG

(Taken from Triple J's Whats Up in your World survey results 2018)

Climate change anxiety is being experienced by enough of us to coin terms such as  'ecoanxiety’ and ‘ecological grief’. Yep, it’s actually a thing.


We recently published some support on our website about how to cope with these feelings- have a read here.


ReachOut also went along to the School Strike 4 Climate rally in Sydney on March 15th, to join with the 1.5 million people world wide who were striking on that day. 


It's was a powerful day, filled with savage signs, and strong voices.

Did you go to a rally in your local area? 


By sharing our feelings about this topic, and speaking up about what we can do - we can help each other to feel less overwhelmed, and more able to take positive action. 


Things to share in this thread:

1. Good/ inspiring news about efforts being made to help the environment 

2. Something you're doing or have done to help the climate and the environment


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Re: Climate Change Anxiety: How to cope

@ILikeCake I thought this might be something you would enjoy, I remember you were struggling with anxiety around climate change and it's been a while since we heard from you about that, hope you are well Heart

Re: Climate Change Anxiety: How to cope

This is a very good post and climate change can be such a scary thing to worry about.


It is very small steps but my resolution this year was to try and cut out all one use plastic and I have been doing pretty good!


I have also been thinking of changing my bank account to one that doesn't invest in fossil fuels.... maybe a long shot but does anyone have any advice for that?

Re: Climate Change Anxiety: How to cope

hey @Tasi  that's such an inspiring new years resolution! Cutting out plastic is tough .. but so worthwhile! What are some of your tips in how to cut it out?? How do you manage shopping etc?


Changing bank account is one of the most impactful things you can do ! 

There is a comprehensive list of Australian banks that do not invest in fossil fuels. Bendigo, and Bank Australia are ones that I know to be more ethical than the major banks in that regard - but go check it out for yourself. 

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Re: Climate Change Anxiety: How to cope

I recently learned about a term named 'Voluntary Simplicity', which basically means to live a more simple life. I found this lifestyle really interesting, because living a more 'simple' life is much more beneficial for the environment! It doesn't mean to throw away everything away and live with few things, but it just reinforces the idea of living more sustainability and having a balanced lifestyle. This could include things like being more sustainably mindful (recycling and reusing), conserving energy and taking shorter showers. 


Although it might leave only a small imprint on helping the environment, its something that is fairly easy to adapt to, even just in moderate amounts Smiley Happy Definitely something I would like to continue working toward this year!


Re: Climate Change Anxiety: How to cope

@MochaChino  I love that idea! 

Living simply is great! And can be fun too. 


A few simple things I do: 

I keep jars (from pasta sauces etc) and use them as cups. I have never had to buy cups since moving out of home (plus jars are cool). 


Another use of a jar: instead of spending money on a keep cup - make your own from a glass jar you would have otherwise thrown out, and any elastic bands you have floating around. 


Something thrifty - host a clothes swap with a few friends instead of buying new clothes each season. 
It's a wonderful way to save money, and the planet. There are far too many clothes being produced - why waste them! 


Any other fun tips? 



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Re: Climate Change Anxiety: How to cope

Hey everyone, I only just stumbled across this thread and am definitely guilty about having climate change anxiety. It has only been the past 2 years that I have started to really think about how humans impact the earth and the fact that it is so important look after it. 

I guess with the Australian Federal election coming up this is creating more anxiety for me... I feel like climate change is the number 1 issue that should be focused on right now and I feel like politicians and the government are doing anything but that. I also quite often feel alone in my efforts. I try to reduce my plastic use whenever I can, limiting new items I buy and trying to buy the most ethically sourced items with the least amount of packaging. If I forget my reusable coffee cup out with me then I simply won't buy a take away coffee and I also don't leave home without my reusable metal straw. I have also been trying to reduce my meat and dairy intake and hope to eventually become pescatarian or vegetarian. 

Not many of my friends or family talk about climate change as an issue and its something I think about every day so thank you for making this post and making me feel like I'm not alone in trying to save this beautiful earth. Heart

Re: Climate Change Anxiety: How to cope

hey there @lr8991  thank you for posting and sharing your experience of climate change anxiety with us. 
As you've said, you are certainly not alone. 
This is one of the top issues for so many young people at the moment, and for good reason. 

Caring about the planet is important, and feeling anxiety about the climate means that you care deeply about this issue. 

It's important to reach out to others who feel similarly to you - there are some groups you could join online where efforts are being made to combat climate change - the Australian Youth Climate Coalition or the Australian Student Environment Network are great groups that take serious action to stop climate change. You might find like minded ;people there - even if it's just in the FB groups. 


I love hearing about all the steps you're taking to minimise your personal impact - go you! 


Remember to look after your mental health in all of it, and take time to 'switch off' from the issue. While it is extremely important,t there is only so much each of us can do , and change in any given moment. We can take action and put time into the issue, and also step back from it and relax and think about/ enjoy other things as well. 

Make sure you're engaging in self-care, and using your supports when you need. 


Let us know how you go with the groups, or anything else that you try. Heart


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Re: Climate Change Anxiety: How to cope

Wow, this is an amazing thread, I definitely relate to this. I also love the advice that's being shared! I'm keen on finding a new way on reducing my impact on the environment. 


I personally collect soft plastics - mostly from food products such as bread bags and ramen bags (ramen is so yummy and easy!) and eventually collect enough to put into the Redcycle bins in Woolies and Coles. I believe they go towards making furniture and what not. 

Re: Climate Change Anxiety: How to cope

@I_am_not_Groot such a good way to reduce your waste! I also collect my soft plastics and do this and it really makes you realise how many soft plastics you go through each week that would otherwise end up in landfill. It's awesome to know something single use is being recycled to create something more permanent like furniture.