Do you feel powerless in the fight to save the planet? Maybe you’re frustrated with climate change policy, or you’re overwhelmed by the pressure to live a low impact lifestyle.
Join the club. According to a 2018 national survey, nearly 70% of Americans worry about climate change with around 51% feeling “helpless.”
Here at Perpetual Pollen, we felt this way when we started to learn about the dangers facing honey bees, leading to the creation of Everbee to save bees from their greatest threat.
What is eco-anxiety?
Defined as “the chronic fear of environmental doom”, eco-anxiety is a modern phenomenon fueled by our awareness of climate change and nonstop doomsday media headlines. Living in a society obsessed with data consumption, it can feel impossible to escape the stress of the climate crisis.
The Cost of Climate Worry
With the uncertainty of the planet’s future weighing heavy on our minds, it’s all too easy to live in a constant state of low-grade stress that interferes with our well being. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recognizes climate change awareness as a growing threat to mental health.
Healthy Humans, Healthy Planet
We can’t change the earth if we don’t change ourselves in the process. The beauty of tending to our own well being is that we become a stronger resource for our families, communities, and our planet.
Below are ways to make positive changes in your life to avoid the eco-anxiety trap and remain a mighty force for climate justice.
1. Connect with Nature
You care about Mother Nature, so make it your job to celebrate her daily. Turn away from the screen and immerse yourself in nature.
Whether it’s a walk in the park, watching the sunset, planting herbs in your garden, or camping in the wilderness, find ways to breathe fresh air and feel the sunshine on your skin. You can bring nature indoors by adorning your space with plants, diffusing essential oils, or sprouting seeds in your kitchen.
Simply being with nature calms your nervous system, lightens your mood, and reminds you that nature is alive and resilient.
2. Take Small Steps
Being 100% sustainable is not possible, yet. Eco-influencers can make us feel inadequate for not having a zero-waste home, vegan lifestyle or sustainable wardrobe.
Everyone starts somewhere, so do what’s possible for you. Reflect on the changes you’ve already made, instead of comparing yourself to others.
3. Take your Power Back
The best antidote to feeling despair is taking action! It doesn’t matter how big or small, your actions make you better, inspire others, and build a healthier world.
Choose ways to make an impact that align with your lifestyle. Here are a few ideas:
- Shop secondhand
- Pick up litter when you take walks
- Join a community beach/river clean up
- Compost your food scraps
- Start a bee garden
- Join a CSA to support local farms
- Commute on public transit or ride a bike
- Support eco-conscious brands
- Donate to sustainable causes you love. With each Everbee purchased, we plant a tree with the help of One Tree Planted.
- If you are a small business like us, you can become a carbon neutral business in partnership with Carbonfund.org.
4. Raise your Resilience
Being proactive about your wellness and anticipating problems in life will help build your reserve when tough days arise. Being prepared boosts your confidence in your ability to overcome stress and anxiety.
Here are some ways to boost self-resiliency:
- Expect challenges.
- View problems as a benefit to your growth.
- Prioritize your sleep and self care.
- Write down your strengths and gratitude daily.
- Schedule free time in your calendar.
- Establish a support system to lean on when challenges arise.
- Practice saying “no” to avoid overextending yourself.
- Surround yourself with positive and resourced people.
- Book in weekly activities that restore your energy and joy, instead of depleting it.
5. Move your Body
Regular exercise reduces most types of anxiety. Don’t overthink it. Find something you enjoy and make it a non-negotiable part of your life. Maybe it’s walking, running, dancing, cycling, hiking, gardening, fitness classes, yoga, swimming… or something else!
6. Know When to Disengage
We are deeply influenced by our culture and social media, no matter how much we think we aren’t. Our cultural climate is polarizing and congested with information that may or may not be accurate, trustworthy or helpful.
If you start to feel overwhelmed in your quest to stay informed — pause, unplug, and breathe. “Knowing more” is not worth the stress, and not necessarily helping the planet either.
7. Find your People
Humans are wired for connection. We thrive in a supportive community of people with a shared purpose.
Be intentional when you join a new community. Take time to observe their dynamics to ensure you are joining a community that embraces positive ethos, rather than a group of people that just blame and complain.
Follow your curiosity. Are you passionate about empowering the next generation of climate justice leaders? Maybe sustainable fashion is your jam. Or, you might be obsessed with saving the bees like us!
8. Stand Behind Sustainable Brands
Amplify your impact and peace of mind by supporting brands that align with your values. Check out their transparency, sustainable practices and eco-partnerships to feel confident in their integrity.
Saving the Bees, Sustainably
Our commitment to saving the bees doesn’t leave much space for eco-anxiety. We focus on taking action by empowering anyone with a backyard to protect honey bees.
Join us in saving the bees!