Four Top Tips for Coping with Eco Anxiety

Four Top Tips for Coping with Eco Anxiety

On Earth Day 2022, we hosted an interview on Instagram Live with the fantastic psychoanalyst and author Anouchka Grose, discussing her book A Guide to Eco-Anxiety: How to Protect the Planet and Your Mental Health. This blog shares the headlines from what was a fascinating discussion. 

We all experience eco-anxiety in one form or another. I still drive a petrol-engine car! There is so much plastic packaging waste in my bin! Eating meat generates so much carbon, I must cut down! The pressure - coupled with the echo chamber of traditional and social media - can make you feel utterly hopeless in the face of impending environmental catastrophe. 

Anouchka specializes in treating this in therapy and her book is a balanced and objective analysis that is relevant to all of us. The key takeaways are as follows.

  1. Stay Anxious! It’s ok to feel anxious about the climate crisis and the environment. It’s real, it’s happening and there will be consequences unless we take action. So - start to see your anxiety as a positive motivator to action rather than a debilitating demotivator.

  2. Being sad is not the same as being hopeless. In a similar vein to the above point; it’s ok to feel emotional about plastic waste at the bottom of the Mariana trench or record deforestation levels in the Amazon, but it’s not ok to feel hopeless - activate, campaign and make your voice heard. Also, set realistic goals about what you can achieve.

  3. Small steps create big change. One of our mantras at Bower, don’t beat yourself up for all the things you aren’t doing, but celebrate the small, incremental improvements you make every day. From reuse and refill, to community activism, to cycling rather than driving, to flying less.

  4. Nobody’s perfect but everyone can help. “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly; we need millions of people doing it imperfectly” -  so says Anne-Marie Bonneau, Zero waste chef, and we couldn’t agree more. Every imperfect contribution, decision and change we make counts. 

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