Battling ‘climate anxiety’: Standing strong in the face of the climate emergency

Becoming better informed should be rewarding, especially on important topics such as the environment. But if, like me, you decide you want to dive into the details of the climate emergency, something called ‘climate anxiety’ may await.

What is ‘climate anxiety’?

You must have been living in a cave for the past year if you have missed the daily headlines on the catastrophic effects that global warming is having on our planet.

It’s alarming. And I’m not alone. An increasing number of people are becoming unsettled by the scale of the problem, often to the point of negatively impacting their mental health.

A recent study suggested that, globally, 59% of people aged 16-to-25-years-old are “very or extremely worried” about climate change. Psychologists and psychotherapists in the UK, US, and Sweden, amongst others, have identified rising anxiety in patients concerned by the climate emergency.

At Grasshopper, we place a great deal of value around supporting the mental wellbeing of our colleagues, but also ensuring our business has minimal environmental impact and doing our bit to flight climate change.

Yet surely that is something of a Catch-22? If we educate ourselves on the severity of the climate emergency, are we not endangering our own mental health?

How can we combat climate anxiety?

Retaining a positive mindset – is a principle valued by us at Grasshopper. So how can we do that?

This is a suggestion that some will likely scoff at but making smaller changes to your own life can help reduce feelings of worry and fear, whilst you gain other positives towards your wellbeing.

Save money and reap the benefits of physical exercise through active travel – cycle, walk, or take the bus.

Eating less meat will significantly lower your personal environmental impact and improve health outcomes.

Save energy in your home! Through our work on Wales’s Optimised Retrofit project, we’ve learnt that 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from households. With insulated homes that retain more energy, we can reduce our environmental impact and improve our overall wellbeing.

Encouraging greener business practices is vital. On our most recent public consultations, we’ve made sure our printing is sustainable, provided attendees with cans of water rather than plastic bottles, and encouraged greener travel where possible.

Like all things, it pays to be better informed. A look at the statistics on rising temperatures and a glance at its most devastating effects may induce anxiety. But are you aware of the steps being taken to fight it?

A deep dive into the ingenuity of those people fighting the climate emergency in labs, universities, government, and the front lines, shows that there is hope. The climate movement grows stronger every day, so it pays to stay informed of its triumphs too.