By Jason Kenner
You can’t tear your eyes away from headlines about climate change. The thought of spending your future on a warming planet frightens you, and no one around you seems to understand your perspective. You’re struggling with climate anxiety - and you don’t see any reasons to feel hopeful about our planet’s fate.
But you’re not alone in your concerns about climate change. You can read our blog posts here to find reassuring articles from others who care deeply about our planet. Furthermore, by taking the initiative to reduce your anxiety, you can shift your focus and start taking steps towards positive change for our planet. Here are a few lifestyle changes that you can apply to manage your anxiety and fight climate change, one day at a time.
Alleviate Your Anxiety Symptoms
Before making any big lifestyle changes for the sake of the environment, you need to focus on alleviating your anxiety. Psych Central recommends practicing deep breathing exercises, exercising more often, and sticking to a self-care routine that includes habits like yoga or meditation. You can also find fun sources of escapism, like reading novels in your favorite genre or watching a comedy TV show.
In addition to these ideas, you may want to open up to a therapist, who can provide you with personalized treatment. It can take time to find the right therapist but seeking professional support can make a huge difference in your quality of life.
Launch an Eco-Friendly Business
Maybe you don’t feel fulfilled by your current job. The problems facing our planet weigh heavily on your mind, and you wish that you could dedicate your time to developing solutions for climate change, helping wildlife, and preparing for a brighter future. You may want to consider starting a business centered around sustainability. Doing so could allow you to follow your true passions and make your community a better place.
If you do plan to start a business, you’ll need to stay organized and manage the different moving parts of your company effectively. By establishing a streamlined invoicing process, you can ensure that you’ll get paid on time. Rather than manually creating new invoices for each transaction, try using an online invoice generator. You’ll be able to choose your preferred free invoice template, which you can customize with text, images, your logo, and other features. You can then download your invoice to fill out for customers.
Buy Items Secondhand
Do you tend to feel guilty about creating waste when you go shopping? There’s an easy way to purchase what you need without adding to landfills - check out your local thrift stores and buy second-hand! Most of the time, secondhand goods that are on sale in thrift stores are practically as good as new, with very little wear and tear. Plus, shopping secondhand can be far more affordable than buying brand new items.
If you’re going thrift shopping, you might need to spend a little more time browsing the racks and shelves in order to find what you need. Block off an afternoon to check out local second-hand shops and bring a friend for a fun day of shopping. You never know what unexpected finds you might come home with!
Move Towards “Zero Waste”
Think about how much waste your lifestyle produces. Are there any areas where you could cut back on plastic usage? While it’s not possible for everyone to live a completely “zero waste” lifestyle, you can probably make some changes in order to cut back on the amount of waste you throw away every week. You can bring reusable shopping bags to the grocery store, use your own thermos at coffee shops, buy food in bulk to cut down on packaging, and hold on to glass containers and use them to store leftovers.
Eat Locally and Seasonally
Eating locally and keeping your diet in tune with the seasons is a fantastic way to connect with the natural world around you. Money Crashers states that shipping food across long distances requires a hefty amount of fossil fuel, so building your diet around foods produced nearby will naturally shrink your carbon footprint. Try checking the labels at your supermarket to see where different foods were produced and take a trip to your local farmer’s market to patronize small farms in your community.
Eco-Friendly Home Upgrades
If you’re thinking about renovating your home, why not do it in an eco-friendly way? There are several home upgrades you can move forward with in order to lower your utility usage. For example, you could look into installing a tankless water heater, choosing a renewable flooring material like green bamboo, and using a programmable thermostat so that you aren’t keeping your heat or air conditioning on when you leave the house. And if you’re interested in undertaking a bigger project, like installing a new roof, look into cool roofing materials to prevent heat absorption - this will naturally cool down your home during hot months!
Many people rely on their cars to get from point A to point B, but driving does release lots of carbon into the atmosphere. If you’re hoping to shrink your carbon footprint, driving less is a great choice. You may want to walk to places in your community when possible, get a bike for longer commutes, or take the bus or train if your area has good public transport options.
If you live in a neighborhood that lacks sidewalks, bike lanes, and a reliable public transit system, you might be wondering how you can realistically cut down on the amount of time that you spend behind the wheel. If you’re friendly with your neighbors, talk to them about carpooling when you need to run errands!
Dealing with climate anxiety isn’t easy. But you can do more than dwell on negative possibilities for the future - you can have a positive impact on the environment by transforming your lifestyle. By following some of these suggestions, you’ll be able to channel your climate anxiety into ongoing action.
Want to learn more about living a sustainable lifestyle? Browse our blog posts today for tips, reflections, and more.
About the author:
Jason Kenner is just a dad who loves sports and adores his kids, and who’s trying to be a good parent. The thing he realized as he started researching challenges he was facing with his own children, is there are a lot of similarities between sports and parenting. He also goes out of his way to teach them how to make a positive impact on the environment. So with On-Par Parent, he’ll share his best advice about both, but he won’t pretend to be a pro in either. And he promises to go easy on the sports puns!
Photo by Min An for Pexels