At the start of 2022, there was a surge in climate change awareness, it was both a huge relief (we’d finally hit the tipping point!) but also a concern – because awareness starts with accepting the real truth about where we are and the huge challenges we face. And, as anyone knows who’s been paying attention for a long time, with awareness comes despair – deep, dark despair – now commonly called eco-anxiety.
Eco-anxiety is brutal, but it is part of the journey to acceptance, and if you allow yourself to experience the full emotions and then come out the other side, ready for action, we can all get to work and solve the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. But that path is not an easy one to navigate.
We must acknowledge that the impact of Eco-anxiety is intense. I’ve been through it many times, and it hit me again this year. If you want to understand how and why, I released this podcast: A ride on the eco-anxiety train and a return to hope.
The reason? It started with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which shocked me profoundly, and then every week since we have heard more and more alarming climate news, or as I like to call them: News Shocks. Together, I have been knocked for six, but I don’t stay down forever. That’s a useless place to be, in my mind. I can’t do anything from there.
However, going into eco-anxiety again surprised me, because I thought I’d done the work, but apparently it’s not a one-time thing. So be warned OK? Equally, this year, it’s about accepting that we are now accelerating towards climate collapse and have no time to lose. It’s all happening faster, it’s more extreme, and well, it’s on our doorstep.
What wasn’t supposed to happen until 2040 is happening now.
What wasn’t expected until 2080 is happening now.
What wasn’t expected until 1.5C or 2C warming, is happening now.
My biggest challenge recently, has been about accepting the accelerated timeframe and what it means to all of us. I know I am not alone here.
When I go into eco-anxiety, I have to go through my own process and it’s first about understanding the bigger picture of what’s going on, making sense of what that means to all of us, and then once I have the answers, I can get back to work. But it’s a hard journey – so hard – and that’s why I decided to put some resources together.
I’ve been collecting these over a long period of time, because it is an area I wanted to understand more, and I don’t share any as endorsements. I just wanted to go far and wide, so everyone can find one option that matches their personality. We are all different after all. I also wanted to make sure to cover children. Boy these kids have got some big stuff to deal with in their future.
Now when I wrote my book, Uncommon Courage: an invitation, I didn’t write it as an eco-anxiety book, and while one of the topics is climate courage, I do believe it is a very meaningful book for this time. It’s about going within and finding your inner strength to help you manage in the world today. And so I do believe it is a very relevant book for this time, because we all need that inner strength right now. Grab a copy if you have a chance.
So here you go, and if you have any other resources or recommendations, please send them to me or leave a comment. I’ll keep adding to this as I go.
My only request. Please pass this onto anyone you know who is struggling with eco-anxiety. If you are, please know you are not alone and let’s come together to support each other through it, so we can then get to work on solving the challenges ahead.
The Great Simplification – full movie
EAUC – The alliance for sustainability leadership in education
Climate change Australian Psychological Society
We WILL Fix Climate Change!
George Monbiot FULL INTERVIEW: the environment “MYTHS” threatening the world | The New Statesman
Coping with the climate crisis 1: Disavowal or everyday denial
Why Hope Matters in an Age of Doom & Gloom: Elin Kelsey April 2022
How I Cope with Climate Grief, as a Climate Writer
A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet: Ray, Sarah Jaquette and a review of it by Extinction Rebellion Book Review: A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety – Extinction Rebellion
Book Launch: ‘Climate Psychology: A Matter of Life and Death’
Meditation The Sitting Room
JOANNA MACY: Climate Crisis as a Spiritual Path
The Built Environment, Climate Change, and Mental Health
If you come across any really powerful eco-anxiety or mental health content relevant for people struggling to come to terms with the climate crisis, please do pass them onto me and I will update this blog.
I hope there is something here for you if you came looking for tools to help right now.
Uncommon Courage: an invitation – my latest book
Uncommon Courage is an invitation to be your courageous best self every day. It’s also an antidote to the overwhelm, fear, and rage rolling around the world. But it’s more than a book; it’s an invitation to join an inclusive community that wants to better understand humanities challenges – both global and personal – in order to take courageous action and create a better world for everyone. If Covid19 has given us the time and space to reflect, Uncommon Courage gives us the nudge we need to create lasting change.
Better yet, order it from your local bookstore, so you can #SupportLocal.
You can read the reviews, including a new five-star review on Book Commentary, another five-star review on ReaderViews, a review on BookTrib, and three more on Booklife, another on Book Commentary and Blue Ink Reviews. I’m also collating reviews on my Website too. Have a look and grateful to everyone who has written or recorded one.
Come and join the conversation on my Facebook Group Uncommon Courage.
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