Relieving and managing weather anxiety is a process that requires dedication and time. However, there are some simple ways you can take that will help alleviate your weather-based anxiety while having a positive impact on your life and your world.
Simply reducing your energy footprint, stopping being tied to the news and social media, prioritizing self-care, changing your diet and working to make a change are five things that together create a plan to manage climate anxiety.
Reduce your energy footprint
The slogan “think globally, act locally” is central to the idea of reducing your energy footprint by shopping at local stores that specialize in locally sourced items and products. In addition, shopping with reusable bags and containers instead of disposable bags can make a significant difference in climate impact, from the energy needed to produce these bags to the amount of time and resources needed to dispose of them.
Another thing you can do to reduce your climate energy footprint is to focus on energy conservation as a philosophy. Some examples of energy conservation in practice are:
- Turn off lights you are not using.
- Keep the room temperature at a moderate temperature.
- Carpool or use public transportation whenever possible.
- Purchase hybrid or electric vehicles
- Install solar panels in your home
- Use reusable coffee filters, eliminate disposable K-cups
- Limit shower times and bath water levels
- Get low-flow toilets and sinks
- Install energy-efficient appliances throughout the house.
Disengage from the news
The news is designed to provide information but in an entertaining way. It has been decades since most news divisions were strictly stand-alone forms of journalism. In fact, most are part of the entertainment division of the broadcasting company.
News is designed to provoke an emotional trigger in the audience, and finding ways to stop watching and consuming information will also help alleviate anxiety. Social media is another thing to consider regulating. Like the news, the algorithms that drive social networks to your feeds aggregate similar and like-minded posts that only accelerate the anxiety you may feel.
If you are searching for sources and articles on how to prevent global warming , for example, the algorithms on social networks would start recognizing this search request and start adding more and more articles similar to your feed.
Anxiety builds up in us when there is an external stimulus that we cannot control. One of the best ways to relieve stress is through exercise and mindfulness. Exercise provides several health benefits both physically and emotionally. When we exercise, we provide an outlet to burn off the adrenaline and stress that contribute to anxiety while strengthening our body’s processes.
Exercise causes the brain to release powerful neurochemicals that help regulate and elevate mood on an emotional level. Mindfulness is the practice of being emotionally centered and regulated in the moment, focusing on what is happening in real time rather than worrying about the past or the future, which are major factors of anxiety.
Prioritizing self-care also means seeking professional help when necessary. For example, someone with extreme weather anxiety may develop anxiety and fear of places other than home, known as agoraphobia. For those people, seeking treatment for agoraphobia is prioritizing self-care.
Change your diet
Eating a plant-based diet is healthier and has less impact on the environment than an animal-based diet. Animals produced for food contribute more than 17% of the gases that affect the climate, increasing the greenhouse gas CO2 and the far more harmful gas, methane. In addition, the resources needed to produce and raise animals are much higher than vegetables and fruits, making it more conscious to consume less meat and more plant-based diets.
Make an effort to change
Relieving climate-based anxiety is an ongoing process. In addition to the recommendations above, one of the best ways to alleviate that pressure is to make a difference. Small actions like changing your diet, volunteering to “green” your home and neighborhood, and being more conscious about your energy impact can make a long-term difference.
In addition, working to help educate friends, family and neighbors, joining organizations that sponsor climate and environmentally friendly actions will make you feel better. Simply planting trees can have two positive impacts. One is that you feel better about your actions, relieving the anxiety you are experiencing, and two, adding positive results that can impact the climate in the long run.