What is it?
Eco Anxiety is feeling anxious or stressed about the ecological crisis and something some of us experience every day. It is something that is increasing, especially within young people due to the growing awareness of climate change and what is happening to the environment. More and more people are feeling a sense of responsibility to make changes, anxiety about the future and anger about actions and inactions that are taking place across the world.
A recent study of 10,000 people aged 16-25, found that 60% felt very or extremely worried about climate change and feeling this way is a normal response.
What can you do? Educate yourself
As bad as things may seem in the media it’s not all doom and gloom. Research into the positives, education is a great way to combat the fear of the unknown. There are lots of sustainability societies at the University that you could get involved with to find out more and meet with other students who care about the environment.
What can you do? Reframe your daily impact
Make changes where you feel you can make a difference. These can be really small changes, like using reusable coffee cups, cycling to campus, or even using a sustainable search engine such as Ecosia. Actions like this can help you feel more in control and help to overcome some of those feeling of anxiety.
Have a look at some of our other pages for ideas for how you can be more sustainable.
What can you do? Spend time in nature
This can boost your mental wellbeing and help you feel more connected to the planet. Our campus is home to a huge range of plants and animals, and we have lots walks and green spaces you can enjoy.
You could also try getting involved with conservation activities or campaigns to help the environment, for example tree planting and litter picks across campus. Even simple things such as planting helpful seeds for bee conservation can be beneficial. Read more about nature and mental health and tips to get started here.
What can you do? Be kind to yourself
You may feel that your actions won't make that much difference, but if everyone made small individual changes to their everyday lives it can help make a big difference. We can't all be 100% sustainable all the time, so it's important to not be hard on yourself when this happens. Try to stay positive and focus on the good things you are doing and learn new things you could try in the future.
Useful links and apps
- Force of Nature - Empower young people to turn their eco-anxiety into agency, and work with leaders across business and education to drive intergenerational solutions.
Giki Zero - Measures your carbon footprint and helps focus on individual actions.
For What It’s Earth: a weekly podcast makes big issues bite sized.
How to Save a Planet: Force of Nature podcast focuses solely on Eco Anxiety, with each episode exploring a different face of the climate crisis, through the lens of our mental health.
The Climate Question: a weekly podcast focused on finding the best way we can respond to Climate Change, and where we can find hope.
TIL Climate: 15 minute episodes break down the science, technologies, and policies behind climate change, how it’s impacting us, and what we can do about it.