Worrying about the future of the planet can feel really overwhelming. It can be hard to think positively or feel like anything we’re doing is making a difference. But what if instead of letting climate anxiety consume us, we committed to building community and resilience? How can we learn to channel our climate anxiety into action and hope?
During the Climate Change: From Anxiety to Action theme, we’ll work to define climate anxiety and identify the actions, community building solutions, and self-care practices that can keep us going even in the face of climate disaster.
This page is the hub for all things related to this theme. Explore the resources tabs below to find definitions of climate anxiety and inspiring stories of community building, advocacy, and self-care.
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Resources for turning anxiety into action
Check out the topics below to learn more about climate anxiety. Featuring stories of hope, ideas for building community, resources for parents and teachers, and much more.
- What is Climate Anxiety?
- Community Building
- Taking Action
- Local Organizations
- Environmental justice + Climate Anxiety
- Resources for Parents and Educators
- Dig Deeper: Podcasts, Books, and more
Defining Climate Anxiety
- It’s not just you: Everyone is Googling ‘climate anxiety’ | “Searches for the phrase have soared 565 percent over the past year.”
- Young people’s climate anxiety revealed in landmark survey | Faced with a scary future, climate anxiety is very common among young people.
- ‘Overwhelming and terrifying’: the rise of climate anxiety | Includes perspectives on climate anxiety from young people and those living in places currently being impacted most by climate change.
- Anxiety from climate change isn’t going away. Here’s how you can manage it | This article shares five ways to recognize feelings of climate anxiety and how to sit with them and use them.
Stories of Resiliance
- 5 Ways Communities Are Coping With Climate Anxiety | “From action-oriented toolkits to talk therapy and meditation, these responses facilitate recovery, hope, and activism.”
- For Climate Solutions, Listen to Indigenous Women | “Indigenous women and women of color have the capacity to lead us out of this climate crisis. At this time of unprecedented challenge, these are the survivors we must turn to. These are the leaders who are creating real results and who hold the necessary understanding of what it means to live in sustainable harmony with the land.”
- Mutual Aid and Climate Justice in the Face of Disaster | What can withstand the crises we face are the courageous acts of solidarity in the service of shared humanity, guided by our natural instinct for cooperation.
- Gulf Coast communities are solving their own flooding crisis. It could be a model for cities nationwide. | “The innovative approach to developing them was based on a simple, yet profound, idea: Trust communities to know what they need, invite them to tell you, and provide the support to make it happen. “
- Adaptation | Stories of communities that have grown and adapted in the face of climate change.
- The Future Is Mutual | “The pandemic showed us the value of mutual aid, but don’t be fooled. Mutual aid is not a trend—and it could be key to addressing the climate crisis.”
- Seattle author says ‘mutual aid’ will be crucial in 2021 and beyond
- ‘Solidarity, not charity’: Mutual aid groups are filling gaps in Texas’ crisis response
How do I build community?
- Meeting your neighbors is a climate solution | “The most reliable way of ensuring that you’re going to be safe, and that the people around you are going to be OK, is knowing each other’s strengths.”
- Ways to support your community in times of crisis | This article explores 4 different ways we can help support our communities including mutual aid and skill sharing.
- The Community Tool Box | The Community Tool Box is a free online resource from The University of Kansas for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. They have resources for those interested in doing both small- and large-scale projects.
- We Can Build a Better Food System Through Mutual Aid | “Imagine if food producers and movements worked together to secure the basic needs of those fighting for a better world for everyone.”
- The Best Climate Solutions Start with Listening to Communities | “Engaging residents opens the opportunity for them to thrive despite the ever-increasing climate emergency.”
Why Taking Action is Important
- Talking about dread is not enough – we need action too | “Emotions shouldn’t be buried, but explored and understood, then taken up as tools.” Gen Dread is an email newsletter that is focused on finding tools for coping with our dangerous climate reality and cultivating resilience in these times.
- Op-Ed: Is climate anxiety bad for the planet? | “We needn’t remove carbon from the atmosphere in one fell swoop to be effective in addressing climate change. We need to start where we are, use the talents we already have, and plug into groups and communities that are already doing the work.”
What Can I Do?
- What is THE most important thing a person can do to fight climate change?
- How to fight climate despair | “You are not the only one feeling this way… it benefits the fossil fuel industry when you think you are. So find the other people who are feeling it too.”
- Your Guide to Climate Action | Guide from the National Audubon Society offers tips to get involved in 4 different climate actions.
- Activist Toolkit: Engage Policy Makers | A guide from the Sierra Club that lays out step by step ways to engage your legislators. Note: this guide was designed specifically to engage policy makers about the Trans-Pacific Partnership so there are a few references to it in the guide. However, the general information can apply to advocacy for any issue.
- Prepare to Act!: Practical tips for adolescents and young people to help you prepare for climate advocacy and action. | Guide from UNICEF with in-depth tips to get youth aged 15-24 engaged in climate action. Note: While this guide is geared for a 15-24 year old audience, there are ideas and tips in it that will be useful for climate advocates of any age!
- There is no climate action without culture and youth
- Why investing in libraries is a climate justice issue |“For vulnerable communities, libraries are increasingly becoming a refuge in times of disaster.”
- Building Community is a great action you can take to both combat climate anxiety and build climate and community resilience. Visit the Community Building tab to learn more about growing community.
Making room for self-care is very important, especially when it comes to feelings of climate anxiety. If we feel too overwhelmed, our anxiety can turn into hopelessness, loneliness, and inaction. Explore the resources below to find some self-care practices that may help you turn your climate anxiety into action.
- Resources for working with climate emotions | These resources from the All We Can Save Project feature ideas for dealing with climate change related emotions. The resources include mindfulness practices, online communities, storytelling and more.
- Bayo Akomolafe: Slowing down and surrendering human centrality (Green Dreamer Podcast) | “What might we gain from surrendering human control and centrality, slowing down even as we feel increasing urgency to address social injustice and climate change?”
- How Being Outdoors Can Relieve Stress and Anxiety | One simple action you can take when you’re feeling anxious? Get outside. You’ll feel less stressed and more connected to the natural worlds.
- Want to challenge yourself to get outside and soak in the healing benefits of nature? Check out Imago’s Nature Rx Challenge for 13 weekly challenges that will encourage you to get outside and connect with nature.
- What is Ecoanxiety, and How Can Mindfulness Help?
- 8 Breathing Exercises to Try When You Feel Anxious
- 6 tips to stop doomscrolling
- 10 recommendations for people with eco-anxiety
- Sunrise Cincy | Cincinnati-based hub of the national youth-led policy-based climate justice organization, The Sunrise Movement. Learn more about the Sunrise Movement here.
- Mutual Aid Cincinnati | Mutual Aid Cincinnati is group that encourages sharing resources and information. “Sharing is encouraged with an attitude of providing solidarity, not charity, to the people of the greater Cincinnati metro area.”
- Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition | “GCNAC exists to preserve and represent the culture and heritage of Native American, Indigenous, and First Nations people; providing education, advocacy, and support on Indigenous issues, cultivating knowledge in local and regional communities.”
- The Free Fridge | The Free Fridge is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a fridge stocked with food available to anyone who needs it. Donations to the fridge can be made in the form of food or monetary support.
- Triiibe Foundation | Triiibe Foundation is an organization whose goal is to bring together communities through projects like urban gardens and sharing resources. “Triiibe Foundation aims to empower and cultivate a strong, empathetic community. Our organization is unique because we choose to educate, and align with a common goal: Community. People. The preservation of both. When you see Triiibe Foundation, we want you to see yourself. We want you to see how attainable it is to reach personal, and community goals, when we work together.”
- Cincy Nice | Cincy Nice is a creative collective that creates events and projects where the goal is for people to come together, have fun, make friends, and bring about change. “Bringing folks together, Celebrating Cincinnati, Making friends, Spreading joy, Sparking conversations, Encouraging action, Creating memorable experiences, Curating freedom, Shifting the culture, STILL SMILING.”
- Cincy Food Not Bombs | Cincy Food Not Bombs is a volunteer-run that “not only provide meals to the hungry on the streets and at protests we also participate in planning and implementing campaigns of nonviolent direct action.”
- Community Happens Here | Community Happens Here was founded with the hope of bringing together neighbors for conversation, connection, and building community. Their co-working space is located in Pleasant Ridge. “The concept behind this project is that a mix of co-working and conference room rentals can sustain and fund programming for social good in the building, and create community.”
- Co-op Cincy |Co-op Cincy is an organization that supports local businesses who want to transition to become worker-owned cooperatives. Some of the co-ops include a childcare co-op, a composting business, and an affordable housing venture. “Co-op Cincy nurtures a resilient, integrated network of worker-owned businesses in the Greater Cincinnati region. Our goal: to create an economy that works for all.”
- Citizens for Rights of the Ohio River Watershed | Local group active in the Rights of Nature movement. “We recognize the sacred rights of the Ohio River Watershed to flourish as a life-giving natural ecosystem.”
- Tikkun Farm | Tikkun Farm is a 3.5 acre farm located in Mt. Healthy that offers a place of healing, restoration and repair. Tikkun hosts a number of workshops and retreats and is also home to a free food market for members of the community.
- Wave Pool | Wave Pool is an art and community organization located in Camp Washington. Their mission is to “create community fulfillment through artistic opportunities.”
For some, climate anxiety relates to hopelessness in the face of future climate catastrophe. But for many communities, the impacts of climate change are already being felt today. Explore the resources below to understand how the climate crisis — and therefore climate anxiety and trauma– affect communities of people differently.
- Is It Time to Abandon the Term “Climate Anxiety”? | An interesting perspective on the term “climate anxiety” and how the term may fall short to describe the situation for many marginalized communities who have long been experiencing the impacts of climate change.
- Climate Anxiety Is an Overwhelmingly White Phenomenon | “As climate refugees are framed as a climate security threat, will the climate-anxious recognize their role in displacing people from around the globe?…How can we make sure that climate anxiety is harnessed for climate justice?”
How does climate anxiety affect young people and parents?
- Young People Are Anxious About Climate Change And Say Governments Are Failing Them
- How Parents Can Deal With Climate Anxiety | Climate anxiety may be worse for parents who are worried about their children’s future. This article gives parents ideas for how to deal with those feelings of climate anxiety.
Helping children deal with climate anxiety
- How to talk to kids about climate change | 6 tips for talking to kids about climate change
- Talking (and Not Talking) About the Climate Emergency With My Kids
- Helping kids deal with climate anxiety | This article offers an explanation of why/how climate anxiety affects children and offers ideas for empowering them to take some action.
- Here’s how to talk with your kids about climate anxiety | “Many parents unintentionally shut down their kids’ climate fears. A psychotherapist explains how to break the cycle.”
Teaching students about climate change
- Most Teachers Don’t Teach Climate Change; 4 In 5 Parents Wish They Did | “More than 80% of parents in the U.S. support the teaching of climate change. And that support crosses political divides, according to the results of an exclusive new NPR/Ipsos poll: Whether they have children or not, two-thirds of Republicans and 9 in 10 Democrats agree that the subject needs to be taught in school.”
- 8 Ways To Teach Climate Change In Almost Any Classroom | Tips for teaching your students about climate change
- Teach About Climate Change | NASA has put together tons of resources including games, activities, and videos that can be used in the classroom to teach students about climate change.
Youth Activism | Inspiring stories of youth activists that you may want to share with young people in your life.
- How teens started the Zero Hour Movement (video)
- How can I convince my parents to care about the climate?
- 12 kids who are changing their communities and our world
- Meet the young activists of color who are leading the charge against climate disaster
- ‘You Need To Act Now’: Meet 4 Girls Working To Save The Warming World
- All My Relations Podcast: Healing The Land IS Healing Ourselves | This episode of the All My Relations Podcast features a conversation with “community organizer, citizen scientist, activist, water protector, entrepreneur, writer, gardener, and all around incredible Diné woman, Kim Smith.”
- Cooler Earth Podcast: “Be a little less of an individual” | In this episode of the Cooler Earth Podcast, long-time climate change journalist Bill McKibben shares stories about the importance of community activism.
- As She Rises Podcast: The Inland Sea | In this episode of the “As She Rises” podcast, Kimberly Blaeser, a Chippewa poet, scholar, and member of the White Earth Nation encourages listeners to embrace the feeling of insignificance. “Acknowledge how small you are, accept it, and now play your small part.”
- TED Radio Hour Podcast: Moving The Dial On Climate Change | In this episode of the TED Radio Hour, David Biello shares some promising and fascinating solutions for fighting climate change.
- Neighborhood Connections Key To Surviving A Crisis
- How to Save a Planet Podcast: Is Your Carbon Footprint BS? | In this episode of the How to Save a Planet podcast, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Alex Blumberg settle a sibling debate on individual actions vs. systemic change.
- All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis Edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson
- Indigenomics: Taking a Seat at the Economic Table by Carol Anne Hilton
- Guardians of the Trees: A Journey of Hope Through Healing the Planet by Kinari Webb
- Transforming Communities: How People Like You are Healing Their Neighborhood by Sandhya Rani Jha
- Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet by Sarah Jaquette Ray
- The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature by David Suzuki
- Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals by Alexis Pauline Gumbs
- Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake
Climate Anxiety Email Series:
Click the boxes below to explore the Climate Anxiety Email Series. Each email contains resources related to a certain topic as well as a prompt to inspire you to take action and dig deeper.