Climate Anxiety

With lots of negative news stories about climate change, you may be feeling overwhelmed about the future of the planet and experiencing what has been termed ‘climate anxiety

What is climate anxiety?

Climate change (or global warming), is the process of our planet heating up making our weather more extreme and unpredictable. This change is also impacting on the planet’s environment – which is everything natural around us; rivers, trees, plants, animals.

Climate change is a crisis so large and complex, it can become overwhelming to think about and leave us feeling hopeless, like there’s nothing we can do to help.

After seeing lots of negative news stories about climate change, it’s understandable that you may feel anxious or fearful about the future of the planet. However, it’s possible to use these feelings to fuel change and make a positive difference.

We spoke to Laura Young, a climate activist and environmental scientist, about steps you can take if you are experiencing climate anxiety and burnout. One of the top tips Laura gave was to take action!

Watch the full episode below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Take action

Taking action can help us feel empowered because no matter how small, your actions will make a difference. You could try:

  • Joining a local group. This will help you feel part of a community and mean you can meet new people who are passionate about making a difference. Here are some examples of groups: Youth Ocean Network, Scottish Wildlife Trust, 2050 Climate Group, Friends of the Earth Scotland.
  • Start small: Get a group of friends together to pick litter in a local park, or follow RSPB’s top tips for helping the wildlife on your doorstep.
  • See if you can reduce your waste. You could start by using a reusable cup, buying loose fruit and veg and buying clothes second hand.
  • Avoid ‘doom scrolling’. As Laura says in the podcast episode, it can be very easy to get consumed by negative news stories on social media. If this is happening, you could try limiting the time you spend on social media or balance out the negative news stories you see by following positive news accounts.

Where to find support

If your climate anxiety is overwhelming, it’s important to talk to someone about how you are feeling. There are lots of organisations you can reach out to, find out how to contact them on our page ‘Who to Contact for Mental Health Support‘.

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