Ask PF | 3 tips for dealing with eco-anxiety

Ask PF | 3 tips for dealing with eco-anxiety

Caitlin Evans

Related Topics:
Climate, Green Living

To kick off our inaugural Planet Forward advice column, we polled our Instagram followers on four topic areas. Not too surprisingly, the question that took the top spot was “How do I deal with eco-anxiety?

My name is Caitlin Evans and I’m a graduate student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. But today I’m taking on the role of your “anti-agony aunt” (or “anti-eco-agony aunt”?) to give you my best suggestions for dealing with eco-anxiety. 

There is no single answer to solving eco-anxiety, but here are some actions you can take to manage these feelings and ease the burden on your mind:

  1. Take a break from the news. We all know that climate news can be overwhelming, often negative, and can very easily throw you into a whirlwind of despair. If you’ve ever spiraled into a rabbit hole watching Instagram reels, you may know that reading the news can be the same. As important as it may feel to be informed, it is just as (if not more) important to give yourself and your mind a rest. An alternative is to read some good news about the planet – stories that will give you hope and make you feel inspired. Beyond Planet Forward, here are a few other sources to find positive environmental news:
  1. Focus on what you can do. Eco-anxiety has often been linked to feelings of guilt and responsibility. Climate change can’t be solved by one single person, but there are actions we can all take to help. Focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t. You could try:
  • Building sustainable habits around consumption, such as buying second-hand, selecting food options with less environmental impact, and recycling.
  • Changing your commute by taking public transport, walking, or cycling.
  • Talking to your family and friends about climate change and encouraging them to make sustainable choices.
  1. Remember you’re not alone in this. Sharing how you feel about the environment is not only beneficial to your mental wellbeing, but it can also help you find a community of like-minded people. Talk to your friends, your family, anyone with whom you feel comfortable sharing your feelings. Besides helping you connect, having these conversations could provide you with a different perspective. Even if it doesn’t solve all of your worries, it’s better to go through it with someone by your side.

— Caitlin

Interested in contributing your advice on an environmental topic, or do you have a question for us to answer? Email the team at!

How do you move the planet forward?
Submit Story

Get the Newsletter

Get inspiring stories to move the planet forward in your inbox!

Success! You have been added to the Planet FWD newsletter. Inspiring stories will be coming to your inbox soon.