5 Ways to Cope With Eco Anxiety

By Hugo Douglas-Deane

Have you felt eco anxiety before?

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to highlight this feeling that more people than ever are having – and what you can do about it to make positive steps forward.

What is Eco Anxiety?

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the challenge and scale of climate change, you may have felt 'eco anxiety' before. It's becoming increasingly common especially among young people, and it's also affecting people carrying out climate research and environmental studies.

According to a 2021 study of 10,000 young people aged 16-25, nearly 60% said they felt 'very worried' or 'extremely worried' about climate change.

How to Cope With Eco Anxiety

In many ways it's actually perfectly reasonable to feel this way – while it's unpleasant, it's a recognition of the true reality we are facing, rather than burying our heads in the sand.

But that doesn't make it any less difficult to deal with. Here are a few ways you can take meaningful action. Remember, if you're really struggling to cope, consider talking to a mental health professional. If you're aged 11-25 and live in the UK consider talking to Kooth, if you're older start with the Mind website.

🌍 Remember you're not alone

Millions of people worldwide are demanding action from governments, businesses and other institutions. And there are plenty of communities (including ours!) on social media, in person and online, that you can join or be a part of. Connecting and talking to others can help us contextualise things and make positive steps as individuals, or as part of a collective.

✍️ Write to your elected officials

Writing to politicians shows them what you care about. If you're not sure who your MP or councillor is, visit Write To Them, and if you're not sure what to write, grab a free email template to get your started from either Hubbub or The Climate Coalition.

📢 Take action

Joining an event or march can be a very positive experience and bring you closer to others. It's not just important for the climate movement as a whole to feel unified, it's important for your own mental health. Supporting an organisation that runs campaigns is a brilliant way of funding positive change.

Check out Greenpeace UK's current campaigns, Friends of the Earth, Surfers Against Sewage and Hubbub.

🛒 Buy better

This is what Canopey is all about! Supporting brilliant brands that pay fair wages, source materials sustainably, and reduce waste. Voting with your wallet shows the wider retail industry that we don't want to support unethical practices and planet-destroying businesses any longer.

Check out one of our blog posts or buying guides on social media for brands you can support today, and sign up to our newsletter to get 10% off your first order when we launch later this summer.

🌲 Plant trees

Tree planting initiatives are a basic but important way we can begin improve ecological habitats worldwide. You can plant a free tree every day with apps like Treeapp, or pay a small monthly subscription for Ecologi.

Planting a tree is a simple positive action we can all do every day and is easy to get your head round. It's a great way of feeling like you are at least doing something every day.