Supporting Climate Crisis Anxiety


 

The climate crisis is bearing weight on us all. It’s agitating, uncomfortable, fear wrangling – all kinds of emotions that can increase our experience of anxiety and depression. 

When we sit within this discomfort for a moment, and deeply understand the future our planet will experience, our general life stressors can either feel less significant, or further exacerbated. The truth that our planet will not continue to support us as a species as we move further into a climate crisis is a perplexing and at times hard truth to swallow. It can render us psychologically immobile, unable to look after ourselves, let alone our family, friends, and work life. How do we truly digest the harsh facts and realities that face us and our future generations?

The latest IPCC report was delivered to us in Australia during a stage of COVID lockdown, and along with it came all the feelings of helplessness and despair, further fuelling our feelings of immobility.

Addressing the current climate crisis feels at times an impossible task, and for those who begin to engage with the task are often met with a sense of sadness, grief, and urgency. There is so much that needs to be done, and not enough time, which is further compounded by the reality that so of the action that is required is out of our hands. We live in a structure that makes it difficult to make drastic change, we can do our bit and be a voice for others around us, but the true change comes with major undoing of societal structures. These structures are what our economy has been built on and become accustomed to for many years. 

The physical impact of emotional overwhelm is an area that’s often neglected in our modern health care system; however, our stress and emotional responses are major contributing factors and even driving forces behind many of our health imbalances. Emotions are gifts that allow us to access all of who we are, guiding us through the human experience. When you allow yourself to feel, only then will you truly be able to heal. These feelings are valid, they demand to be felt.

Realigning and connecting with ourselves and the natural world, is the most important place to start when we consider how to move forward in these overwhelming times.

Right now, we as human beings are not living in a reciprocal relationship with our natural environment. We are detached from the understanding that our actions are harming the earth, which of course unbeknownst to us, has also inflicted harm on our own kind. This irony leaves a deep wound on our psyche.

We know for a fact that the climate crisis has been caused by nothing or no one other than ourselves, humanity. Even though this feels gross (an accurate word to describe this entire situation), it’s a powerful piece of knowledge, because it means that we have the power and ability to make things better. 

We first must begin to realign with our connection to nature and from there we can start to change our lifestyles, make more conscious consumer choices, reduce our emissions, vote for independents driving climate policy and inspire others to do the same.

 

Emotional support 

It’s important not to avoid your emotions and feelings, because this can further create ill health. Implementing easy, little changes or daily rituals that initiate joy and play can be a helpful place to start to alleviate emotional overwhelm.

It’s important to acknowledge that individualised support is always recommended, as everyone’s health and experiences are unique. 

  

I. Give yourself some flowers

Wild foraged or purchased, whatever works. Flowers can bring so much to a space aromatically and visually, especially when in lockdown or isolation.

 

II. Touch – self touch or human to human

Warm some sweet almond oil up by rubbing it together in your hands and gently press on your shoulders, up towards your neck and then further towards your skull. Alternatively get someone else to massage you.

 

III. Music  

The universal language there for every mood, allowing you to move into a different headspace or be within the moment.

Pop it on while cooking dinner, let out some anxious energy by dancing, give an instrument a go (including your voice).

 

 IV. Speak or write your truth

Call someone you love, or put pen to paper to let out how you feel. Expressing your internal monologue, thoughts and feelings can allow you to expel and release stagnant emotions from the body.

 

 

If you feel like you need some extra support and guidance in building a more reciprocal relationship with nature, taking action against climate change and supporting your emotional wellbeing, we invite you to explore TØTUM's online course, BODY. For more individualised support, book in a Naturopathy Consultation today.