When we started this sustainability theme, we had quite a few responses from folks asking us to cover topics like coping strategies and how to not feel guilty about needing a break from climate news. By taking a look at the ways in which our feelings of climate anxiety manifest, we can start changing those unhealthy habits into something more productive.

If we don’t take the time to understand our feelings then we won’t ever be able to move beyond them. If our cups aren’t full then we can’t tap into the kindness, creativity and passion needed to tackle the climate crises. 

Today we’re sharing 6 ideas for changing your unhealthy climate anxiety habits. Check them out below: 

1. Evaluate your news consumption habits.  

When we learn about an upsetting climate report or story, we may find ourselves getting really fixated on it and develop an unhealthy fascination with checking the news.

If you’re trying to break some unhealthy news consumption habits, check out this article. It urges you to figure out why you might be obsessively checking the news (aka “doom-scrolling”) and offers ideas for breaking that habit. 

One solution could be to find a single source like a newsletter or podcast that can summarize the news for you in a way that doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed. Check out this list of 14 different climate newsletters or this list of 8 climate change podcasts to find the one that you think would work best for you.

2. Remember that only reading about doom and gloom is not productive. Read good news too! 

It can be hard to remember that there are actually positive stories related to climate change. Check out sites like The Daily Climate which feature stories of creative and inspiring responses to climate change.

3. Develop a mindfulness practice 

Rather than letting our brains wander into dark thoughts or worries, practicing mindfulness can help us stay grounded. Here are a few ways to get started with mindfulness:

  • Mindful breathing exercises: Mindful breathing is great when you’re feeling very overwhelmed and need to calm down quickly. Here are 8 simple breathing exercises you can try out.  
  • Meditation: Consider committing to a short meditation practice. Check out this article about different types of meditation to find the one that is best for you. 
  • Yoga: If movement is something you enjoy, consider finding a yoga practice designed specifically to release stress and anxiety, like this one.
  • Get outside! What better way to calm your anxiety about climate change than to connect with nature! Check out Imago’s Nature Rx Challenge for 13 creative ways to tap into the healing powers of nature.

4. Connect with others 

Because climate anxiety can make us feel isolated, connecting and sharing our fears with others can be a great way to not feel so alone. There are a number of online support groups for people experiencing climate anxiety, you can find a list of many of them here.

5. Dedicate to actions

Commiting to some sort of action is a great way to make sure your feelings of climate anxiety are not stagnating you. This could be anything from setting personal sustainability goals to getting involved in advocacy work

Check out this edition of the Heated Newsletter for a reminder about why taking an action – any action – is important and for ideas about where you can start.

6. Talk to a professional 

If therapy is something you have access to, consider finding a climate anxiety aware therapist. The Climate Psychiatry Alliance has a tool for finding a climate-aware therapist near you.

If you’re interested in finding more ideas for self-care and breaking unhealthy climate anxiety habits, check out the resources tab at imagoeath.org/climate-anxiety. If you want to dive deeper into topics related to climate anxiety you can join our Climate Anxiety Email Series, learn more and sign up here.