Dealing With Pessimism About the State of the World? 7 Ways to Calm Climate Crisis Anxiety in 2022

This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

Anxiety and stress are common side effects of the state of our world in 2022. Climate change was a big thing on many people’s radars until 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Since then, the world has been flung into a state of chaos, and the climate crisis has been put in the back of many people’s minds.

For those who are passionate about sustainability and climate, we know the importance of a zero net carbon future. It can start to feel extremely overwhelming to see that no one is talking about these topics anymore, and it might feel like the world has given up.

Even when it feels pointless, activism is important. It changes the way the world works, and it makes our voices heard. If you’re feeling pessimistic, upset, anxious, or stressed about the state of the climate, here are a few ways to find calm in the midst of the (literal and figurative) storm.

ways to calm climate crisis anxiety

1. Spend Time in Nature

Our planet is beautiful, and there’s more time than ever to spend outside appreciating the beauty of what it offers, especially during the pandemic, when it’s safer to be outside than in.

Nature also has profound positive effects on your mental health, according to several studies. If you find yourself feeling panicked, scared, upset, or angry, spend some time under some trees or near a river, where there aren’t any people or reminders of the stresses you face.

If you live in a big city, consider taking a weekend trip to a smaller town that allows you to be closer to nature. Or try to find a park with lots of trees and open spaces, where there aren’t as many people present. Just be sure to be safe.

2. Spend Time With Pets and Family

Being close to those you love is another excellent way to feel safe and get some relief from stress and anxiety. If you’re feeling pessimistic, reminding yourself of the positive people and pets in your life is essential to make sure you don’t get stuck in a pattern of feeling like there’s nothing good in the world.

After all, animals are some of the purest beings on the planet, and they never give you a reason to feel hurt or angry. They’ll always love you unconditionally. If you have a dog, even going for a brisk walk with them is a great way to get exercise and bond with your pet.

If you have a cat, their purring can even help soothe you, as vibrations are comforting for humans as well as animals.

Try to avoid spending time with family members who cause you stress or may incite conversations that will cause fear or anger.

3. Join a Protest

Sometimes the best way to take action against pessimism is to be optimistic and continue to fight hard for what you believe in. For some people, this is the best and most productive way to fight anxiety. For others, it may make it worse.

If being part of a cause and making a change would help you, look for protests or peaceful demonstrations in your area related to climate change. If there are none and you know enough people, consider planning your own!

Planning an event is another great way to get your mind focused on something other than the thoughts inside of it.

4. Volunteer for an Environmental Organization

If you prefer to do something more long-term with your anxiety about the state of the climate, joining an organization or volunteering for an environmental non-profit is an excellent idea.

These organizations often make long-term efforts to help the community be greener and more sustainable, and they donate to larger organizations and offer political support. You can even sign up to help educate the public on voter information and environmental rights.

Some organizations simply need volunteers to help with cleaning, organizational tasks, money, etc. No matter where your skills lie, there’s like a spot for you.

If you have the time and money, there are some sites online that allow you to volunteer in other countries for environmental-impact projects in exchange for food and housing. You just have to pay for your plane ticket and dedicate a certain amount of hours.

ways to use persuasion to bring awareness to the reality of climate change

5. Change Your Sustainability Practices in Your Own Life

Opting for sustainable practices in your own life can make you feel like you’re making a change. Even if it feels useless or like one person can’t possibly do enough to change the world, every effort helps.

Not giving up on your goals and knowing that you’re doing something to help the environment is a great way to feel more optimistic.

6. See a Therapist

For some people, the anxiety, pessimism, and anger that comes with the state of the world during this time can be too much to handle on their own. That’s okay! These feelings are completely natural, and thousands, if not millions, of people feel the same way as you do.

Therapists are available online, as well as in person. However, if you’re looking to reduce emissions by not driving or using public transport, it’s always a possibility to see an online therapist from the comfort of your home! You can even utilize video chat, phone calls, or regular chat to speak to your therapist!

7. Stop Compulsively Checking the News

Finally, compulsively checking the news for new information on climate crises can often cause more anxiety and pessimism. If you are susceptible to these things and very sensitive, try to give yourself a break. Although it’s important to be informed, you’ll likely get more accurate information from scholarly sources, such as the ones on Google Scholar.

Conclusion

If you want to learn more about pessimism in general and how to combat it, check out BetterHelp’s advice column and blog today. You can also learn more about how to get help for common mental health conditions and symptoms so that you feel safe and ready to get back to your advocacy for the environment!

5 Best Things Students Can Do to Save the Planet

Like anyone else, students have an important role to play in counteracting current environmental problems and adapting to new learning formats. After all, they are the generations that would unjustly inherit some of the most perilous global challenges humanity has ever faced. They would also become the future leaders that are expected to implement key measures to save the planet in the coming decades. Below, we explore the most important means through which students can help the ongoing fight. For some key advice on how each of us can contribute, check this info guide from the World Wildlife Fund.

1. Consume Less

If there is one thing you must do before everything else in order to save the world, it is limiting the number of resources you require. This applies to most products – there are very few exceptions. It is crucial to reduce the amount of environmentally damaging products consumed, such as plastics in any form, various chemical products (detergents, bleach, cosmetics), industrial products, especially those that use valuable resources, are hard to recycle, or whose production is associated with high energy demands.

Water conservation in schools and colleges is also a key factor in fostering environmental health. By reducing consumption, you can also save money, which is always relevant for a student. Given how our world and economy function, every time you buy something you cast a vote for a particular version of the future.

2. Recycle

Although probably having the greatest impact, avoiding consumption entirely is unrealistic or incredibly hard to achieve. Hence, for those products that you do consume, seek for ways to recycle them. Food waste can be turned into compost, while plastic, paper, metal, the glass could all be reused.

Also, ensure that you support producers that recycle materials. Even so, you should be aware that recycled materials are typically used only in producing lower-quality or less demanding industrial products, hence, it is not ensuring a closed circuit of resources.

3. Mind What and How Much You Eat

Even if food waste isn’t normally a polluting factor, the production of any food requires significant amounts of water, energy, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fossil fuels. Hence, when throwing food away, we waste considerable resources.

Apart from that, there are some foods that are associated with a much higher environmental impact, such as palm oil, which is associated with deforestation in tropical areas, or meat, which requires incredibly high amounts of water, energy, and crops/ land to produce.

This is where foods such as plant based meats come in – they are a great alternative to meat and are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals.

4. Volunteer for the Environment

The state of our environment is such that there is always work to do. Volunteering is one important way in which we can help the environment and inspire others to do the same. It can take many forms, such as saving animals or animal habitats, cleaning urban or wild areas from litter, finding sponsors and raising donations for specific environmental projects, helping to gather products for recycling, etc.

All these activities could be time-consuming and could interfere with college coursework. Sometimes, college homework might prevent you from attending an important event or activity that you planned for much ahead. In such situations or whenever confronted with multiple pressing deadlines, getting help from EduBirdie Canada could be a life-saver.

Note that any accomplishments in environmental volunteering could become a strong point in your CV as well as a convincing argument for your future academic or job applications, so they shouldn’t be ignored.

5. Travel Less Using Vehicles

Burning fossil fuels are an important contributor to air pollution (an important cause of disease worldwide) but also to rising CO2 levels, which cause global climate change. Hence, it makes sense to substitute, whenever possible, your trips by vehicle with bike rides or walks.

Importantly, air travel typically results in hundreds of kilograms of CO2 per passenger, which represents a much higher environmental footprint compared to land transportation.

Conclusion

We have listed above some key directions in which you should act in order to embrace a greener lifestyle. However, there are many more ways to help the environment. Feel free to check these energy-saving tips for additional advice. Importantly, the same goals could be achieved by using a great variety of paths – the way how you implement your personal environmental plan is up to you. You are highly welcome to come up with creative new ways and share them with your community. The world is in desperate need of solutions that would address the environmental disaster we are witnessing.