Eco-Anxiety, a term that went mainstream last year. It’s the depression, grief or anxiety that can arise from confronting the fact that according to the U.N. we now have 10 years to prevent catastrophic climate collapse, and the uncertainty of what is to come.
I have found myself completely overwhelmed thinking about the future. I get completely lost in apocalyptic thinking, imagining worst-case scenarios, social unrest, devastating natural disasters and I often question whether I will be able to have children. We are constantly bombarded by news of melting ice-caps, wildfires, tipping points, so it has become increasingly difficult or impossible to ignore the scale of the crisis. Whilst some shut down, distract themselves, or deny the reality that the climate is changing, my mental health suffers with the panic, terror and weight of the unknown.
Eco-anxiety has been compared to the emotional state that arose from the threat of nuclear war of 70s and 80s (according to the @guardian) with many feeling daunted by what they were facing and unable to actively do anything. We live in a consumer society & are treated as individual consumers. As a result there is a pressure on us to think about the crisis as our individual problem - this it is all our own fault. Whilst partly true, that frame of mind takes a toll on our mental wellbeing.
But we can’t talk of eco-anxiety without mentioning ‘climate trauma’, experienced by many in the Global South for whom climate crisis is an everyday reality, and who are more likely to be depressed, have anxiety and other mental and physical impacts following climate-related disasters.
So what can we do? Over the past year I have found that ACTION IS THE ANTIDOTE to anxiety : the cure for climate anxiety is the same as for solving the climate crisis itself - coming together and pushing for systemic change. But looking after my own mental health also has to be a priority, and to be honest I’m still finding the best ways to do that.
Do you have fears about the future? How do you guys handle eco-anxiety?
Corners of Rome 🏡
Happy Birthday to my beautiful D. And thank you for saying yes! 💍
Sea of clouds in the Jizera Mountains.
heights of the city
‘sit in silence’