“Experiencing the climate crisis? Actively pretending everything is fine despite recent climate and extreme weather events? Feeling isolated in your worries about climate change and the future? Feeling grief and trying to navigate climate change in your work? We hope you will read on.
“By now, you have undoubtedly borne witness to the symptoms of the climate crisis. The fires, droughts, flooding and other extreme weather events are all markers of drastic and devastating environmental change. Rightfully so, the news is everywhere. Articles and journalists are calling this the challenge of our generation: Putting our energy towards a better, more sustainable future than the one we’re currently facing.
“But what happens when we can’t find that energy within ourselves?
“Terms such as climate anxiety, ecological grief and solastalgia — the distress caused by the environmental devastation of places we’re deeply connected to — are increasingly popular. Three out of every four Canadians feel that climate change impacts their mental health with anxiety about our rapidly warming climate, while one-third of Canadians feel hopeless about our ability to arrest that warming.
“One place the toll is felt is in our workplaces. Reported burnout across all sectors is at a record high. It is extremely difficult to continue as normal in our jobs when our world is quite literally on fire…”
“From climate grief to climate wellness: A way forward
“Many of the online resources we’ve found for coping with big climate feelings are rooted in exercises designed to draw your attention to other things, rather than sitting with the crisis and being in your own body. These strategies can be incredibly helpful and have their place in being well and able to meet the challenges of today. However, if a fire alarm is ringing, strategies for distracting yourself from the upsetting sound are only so useful.
“In other words, it becomes easy to neglect what your body is telling you and fail to take the actions necessary to protect yourself. We must instead sit with our feelings and slow down — to process, grieve and connect to the world we live in — so that we can respond as the situation demands…”
“Once we are able to process, accept and move through our climate emotions, we can arrive at a place where we are able to practise agency and have impact. In other words, we can decide when to engage and use our energies and when we need to rest and recover. The act of choosing to put ourselves in these spaces — as much as we are ready and able — creates both healthier work environments and healthier people within them, reducing rates of burnout and stress…”
Read the full article here.